Wednesday, November 18, 2009

`COLUMBIAGATE': Is Columbia University's West Harlem-Manhattanville Campus Expansion Project Illegal?--Part 8

In a January 21, 2009 petition to the First Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, a New York City civil liberties lawyer named Norman Siegel presented the legal case against New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC] allowing the Columbia University Administration to move forward on its 17-acre campus expansion project in the West Harlem-Manhattanville neighborhood, just north of West 125th Street. (See below for parts 1 to 7)

According Siegel’s January 21, 2009 petition:

“Overwhelmingly, the West Harlem community has consistently opposed the Columbia project so long as it was premised upon the use of eminent domain.

“On September 23, 2005, West Harlem Community Board 9 opposed the use of eminent domain in Manhattanville by a resolution adopted 29-0…

“…In August 2007…Community Board 9 voted 34 to 3 against the project…

“Community Board 9’s 197 (a) plan called for the creation of an entity which could negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement [CBA] with Columbia. The West Harlem Local Development Corporation [LDC] was established in 2006…

“…Columbia…was unwilling to negotiate over the scale, configuration, or program use of its Project…”

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