Appellate Court Issues Historic Decision To Keep Parkland Public In Willets West Lawsuit

NY State Senator Tony Avella
July 2, 2005

(QUEENS, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella, along with the City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, members of Willets Point United Inc., and nearby residents/business owners opposed to the “Willets West” mega-mall proposal, announced that the Appellate Division of the First Department issued a historic decision in their favor which will keep parkland public.

The lawsuit filed by State Senator Tony Avella, City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, members of Willets Point United Inc., and nearby residents/business owners against the “Willets West” mega-mall proposal, challenged the give-away of 47 acres of Queens parkland worth an estimated $ 1 Billion to build the “Willets West” mega-mall adjacent to CitiField.

The suit sought a declaratory judgment to invalidate approvals already granted to the project, as well as a permanent injunction to prevent the construction of a megamall on City parkland without the proper State legislative authorization or proper zoning. The Supreme Court of New York had ruled against Senator Avella and Petitioners, and the group appealed last August.

Today, Senator Avella, along with appellants, declared that the appellate court had announced its ruling in favor of Petitioners. In a unanimous decision, the appellate court granted injunctive relief and declared that the development can go no further without state legislative approval.

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