Volume 75, Number 6 | June 29 - July 5, 2005

Stringer: First course of action on restaurant is review in Albany

Assemblymember Scott Stringer believes he has a way to fight the Bloomberg administration’s plan for a now-seasonal restaurant in the Union Square pavilion building. According to Stringer, a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president, the restaurant can be fought under the concept of alienation. Alienation is the process of the city taking parkland away from the public for either private or public use — such as, in the latter case, the contentious Bronx water filtration plant. Under alienation, the state Legislature must approve the change of use.

“I believe they would have to come before the State Legislature — and my committee that considers state alienation,” said Stringer, who chairs the Cities Committee in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

“As chairperson, I would think that, legally, I would not approve of that alienation,” he said. “I’m against the restaurant there.”

Stringer wrote the Bloomberg administration two weeks ago and thinks the city is now “reconsidering” the restaurant plan. Stringer noted that there is a loophole in alienation, in that the city can take parkland if the planned use is considered an amenity. But, he said, this argument won’t hold up because Union Square has an abundance of restaurants already.

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