Vol. 17, No. 24 Dec. 2 - 15, 2004


VC Park Begins to Resemble Construction Zone


Though four lawsuits have now been filed in an attempt to stop the construction of a filtration plant at Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park, the city has already begun preliminary work at the site. 

On Monday, a work crew began clearing the area of the park adjacent to the 233rd Street exit ramp off the Major Deegan Expressway. They were removing brush and some pine trees, which the city says it will replant elsewhere in the park. The exit road will be expanded to make extra room for the daily parade of construction trucks to the site. 

Park advocates say the city should not be acting so hastily while the courts have made no final decision on the four suits. Two prior temporary restraining orders have been lifted, however.

“I don’t know why they are doing this stuff so quickly,” said Paul Sawyer, executive director of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. “It makes no sense to any of us. Our case is still pending.”

The city’s Department of Environment Protection (DEP) does not agree, however. “The courts have lifted any stays, which legally entitles the parties to move forward,” said Charles Sturcken, a DEP spokesman.

Meanwhile, a group of community residents plans a vigil to protest the city’s plans.

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