Tobacco Warehouse Update
In a hopeful sign, the National Park Service may be preparing a settlement offer to end the Conservancy’s and other plaintiffs lawsuit against the NPS for removing the historic Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse from Brooklyn Bridge Park without following legally mandated public procedures.
During a pre-motion conference before Federal Judge Eric N. Vitaliano in Brooklyn’s Eastern District Court on April 20, Assistant United State Attorney David M. Eskew announced that a settlement offer from the National Park Service would be forthcoming.
This followed Judge Vitaliano’s April 8 preliminary injunction favoring the plaintiffs that ordered that both structures be put back within the park and under federal protection. Judge Vitaliano also said he found no leeway for the National Park Service to avoid following legally required public procedures before historic buildings are removed from parkland.
At the pre-trial motion, both sides said they would prepare motions for summary judgment.
The Conservancy joined the Brooklyn Heights Association, Fulton Ferry Landing Association and Preservation League of New York State in this lawsuit because the National Park Service, which is charged with upholding federal preservation statues,should not be allowed to selectively enforce the law.
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