The following item was posted on Park Watch on December 30, 2013 following Judge Dickstein’s ruling on the Downtown East Park:
What the Downtown East Lawsuit Means
THE CRITICAL OUTCOME OF THE OSTROW, WOODRUFF, COHEN LAWSUIT WAS CLARIFICATION OF WHO CAN DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN DOWNTOWN EAST PARK. BY CHARTER, IT IS THE MPRB.
During the Court Proceedings on December 20, 2013, the city claimed that “The Yard” was a “square” and not a “park.” Therefore the city would have jurisdiction over the “The Yard.”
But MPRB Attorney Brian Rice stated that “If it looks like a park, acts like a park and smells like a park, it should be treated like a park.” And the judge did agree with this assessment that it is a park.
In his ruling, Judge Mel Dickstein found that the council has the authority to buy the land for the park in the Downtown East project, but the city charter gives the Park Board and not the city the authority to run parks.
He also said, “The city must eventually turn the land over to the MPRB.”
His concluding statement states that,” If the City continues to work with the Park Board, and the Park Board eventually takes over operation and control of the Downtown East Park, there is no apparent reason for the Court to intercede—only time will tell whether Plaintiffs or the Park Board have good reason to seek injunctive relief..” _____________________________________
So to sum it all up:
The property called the Downtown East Project can be purchased by the city, but the city must eventually turn the land over to the Park Board because the city can not develop or maintain a park and the Downtown East Project is intended to be a park.
Co-founder of Park Watch