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(Comments by Stephanie Elson of New Yorkers For Parks referring to NY Times article “New York Lets Housing and Gardens Grow” September 19, 2002 By Jennifer Steinhauer.)

Mayor Bloomberg and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced the settlement of a three-year lawsuit that identifies hundreds of gardens to be saved and others developed into affordable housing. The lawsuit was filed in May 1999 by Attorney General Spitzer to stop former Mayor Giuliani from auctioning the 700 community gardens to developers. The settlement of the NYC Garden Lawsuit preserves many gardens (including La Plaza cultural Garden on 9th Street & Avenue C, a central location for many Earth celebrations’ pageants), while others are slated for development. The Memorandum of Understanding provides for the preservation of 193 gardens, while 114 gardens are classified as “subject to development following the garden review process”. “This settlement recognizes the importance of open space by preserving hundreds of gardens; however, it fails to permanently protect these sites and does not set up a meaningful process for creating new gardens,” said Christian DiPalermo, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks Nearly 200 of the 700 community gardens will be developed into housing sites, according to the settlement. Future sites will go through a”Garden Review Process.” While the victory of saving the 193 gardens is significant, there is still a need for legislation ensuring their long-term permanent preservation in either a land trust or transfer to the Parks Department. Community garden supporters now have a supportive platform from which that can work to preserve the other nearly 200 gardens that will be going through the public review process before being released for development.

Click here for full list of gardens in the settlement.

Click here for NY Times Article re: Deal Preserving 193 Gardens 9/19/02 .

To view past updates, please visit our update archive.


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