Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Judge dismisses WPIRA lawsuit

Judge Korman of the federal court in Brooklyn issued a decision in the case against the City that Willets Point Industry and Realty Association brought in 2008 for lack of services. The lawsuit was brought with the hopes of proving that the City intentionally neglected the area for decades so that they could use the blight argument for condemnation purposes. Damages were sought. The judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the City acted "rationally, and within its discretion" in refusing to provide municipal services to the area. He also said plaintiffs should have sued 10-20 years ago. The next step would be an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, should the plaintiffs choose to go that route.

It should be made clear that this is not the Article 78 that Willets Point United filed to stop the redevelopment project, as several news outlets are reporting. But it is still a blow to property owners who are intentionally neglected by the City because it has "bigger plans" for their property.