Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in a five-to-four decision that a Florida water management district violated private property rights by asking a local developer to help finance the environmental mitigation of building on wetlands in exchange for a construction permit. Justice Elena Kagan said the decision might cause a revolution in land-use regulation. “Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District” will retain an enduring impact on the capacity for local governments to influence new development.
Yesterday, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court denied a request by the city and Vornado seeking to dismiss Justice Lucy Billings’ ruling which allied a protected natural resource with an urban landmark. In ruling that the Citizens Emergency Committee to Protect Preservation (CECPP) and Pratt professor Eric Allison had legal standing for their petition, Billings cited Save the Pine Bush v. Common Council City of Albany, a case addressing the protection of a forest Upstate under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. In deciding against the appeal, the court effectively said that they won’t hear the Manufacturers Hanover case in piecemeal. The case returns to Justice Billings’ courtroom next Wednesday where CECPP is asking for everything from reams of email correspondence between Landmarks and Vornado, to the new tenant’s lease and rental terms.