MEATPACKING DISTRICT — The Hudson River Park Trust is being sued by a local civic organization that claims it violated the public trust doctrine in their push to use public parkland for ticketed events.
City Club of New York wants the Trust, which manages Hudson River Park, to halt progress on the Barry Diller-funded island park, dubbed Pier55, until the project undergoes a more thorough environmental review process than what's already been conducted.
City Club is joined in their suit, filed in New York Supreme Court, by New School environmental studies professor Rob Buchanan and activist Tom Fox, once the president of the organization that preceded the Trust, the Hudson River Park Conservancy.
The lawsuit was first reported by the New York Times, and later by NY1, the Wall Street Journal, and the Villager.
The park would have an amphitheater for performances, and the Trust has promised that 51 percent of the park's events will be free or low-cost.
But the park's opponents take issue with the 49 percent that would be ticketed.
Fox told the Villager that "they can charge up to $1,000 for these events."
“To our mind, it’s taking away what was public,” Fox reportedly said.
"We are confident we have followed the law, including conducting an environmental review in accordance with state law, and going beyond what was required by inviting public comment on that review," the spokesman said. "We continue to believe the new pier will be an incredible amenity for the public."
The plans for the park are currently under review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers, which must approve them before construction can commence.
The Trust has said they hope to begin in 2016. It recently revealed new, more detailed renderings of the park's design.
Reached for comment on the case, City Club President Michael Gruen, Buchanan, and a spokesman for the Trust all said there have been no developments since the initial court filings.
The court filings, including the initial complaint and affidavits by Buchanan and Fox, are below.