Metropolitan Transp. Authority v. Village of Tuckahoe

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
Writing for the CourtJOHN C. MARBACH
Citation67 Misc.2d 895,325 N.Y.S.2d 718
PartiesMETROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, Plaintiff, v. VILLAGE OF TUCKAHOE et al., Defendants.
Decision Date07 October 1971

Page 718

325 N.Y.S.2d 718
67 Misc.2d 895
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF TUCKAHOE et al., Defendants.
Supreme Court Westchester County.
Oct. 7, 1971.

Page 719

[67 Misc.2d 896] Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York City, for plaintiff.

Clark, Gagliardi, Gallagher & Smyth, White Plains, for plaintiff.

W. Bernard Richland, Sp. Counsel, New York City, for defendants.

JOHN C. MARBACH, Justice.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is seeking to enjoin the Village of Tuckahoe from enforcing its building code as it would apply to the construction of a footbridge overpass connecting the new high level platforms above the Penn Central right of way located at the Crestwood Station within the Village of Tuckahoe.

The Village opposes on the grounds that the construction is in violation of Article 7, § 8, of the New York State Constitution, which prohibits the gift or loan of State monies to or in aid of private corporations. In this case, it is conceded that public monies are funding the contract of June 4, 1971, between the Trustees of Penn Central Railroad and Cayuga Construction Corporation for the construction of high level platforms with this passenger access facility. The MTA contends this project is authorized by statute (Title 11 of the Public Authorities Law) and specific appropriations of the Legislature; the Village argues it is an illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public monies for private gain. The Court will first outline the [67 Misc.2d 897] facts giving rise to this litigation, will then set forth the statutory authorization, and will conclude with its decision.

FACTS

In an attempt to alleviate the well-recognized problems which beset urban-suburban commuter transportation in the New York metropolitan area, the MTA and Public Service Commission decided in the Fall of 1970 that Penn Central should purchase 80 new self-propelled commuter cars. The price was approximately 23 million dollars. The cars were built on an already existing operative production line. Because of this, the cars were delivered quickly and are ready for service. However, because they are similar in structure to the subway trains used in New York City, the passenger stations must be reconstructed and raised to the floor level of the cars. To do this, it takes money.

Back in the Spring of 1970, the Legislature appropriated 44.4 million dollars pursuant to Chapter 473 of the Laws of 1970 for the

Page 720

rehabilitation and modernization of commuter railroad service on the Hudson and Harlem Divisions of the Railroad. That bill provided, in prt 2 thereof,

'No part of the appropriation made by this act shall be available for expenditure until the authority shall have purchased or leased the assets used by or comprising the said divisions, or until it shall have entered into a joint service arrangement with the owner or operator.'

No money was yet available for the immediately necessary alteration of these facilities to accommodate these new trains so the Legislature was called into action again to give the MTA some money to do the improvements. By Chapter 1 of the Laws of 1971, the Legislature appropriated 7.5 million dollars for the alteration and improvement of railroad passenger stations along the Hudson and Harlem Divisions of the Penn Central. This appropriation made no mention of a purchase, lease or joint service arrangement as did the original appropriation. However, this amount reduced the original appropriation of 44.4 million dollars to 36.9 million dollars. On February 3, 1971, the Trustees of the Penn Central and the MTA, citing this 1971 legislative grant of 7.5 million dollars, agreed to provide for the Betterment of Penn Central's commuter railroad facilities. This agreement provided that Penn Central, using its own forces and equipment and the forces and equipment of others, shall alter and improve the railroad passenger stations in the electrified zone of the facility within Westchester including the construction[67 Misc.2d 898] of high level station platforms and appurtenances and the alteration to existing platforms and stations and ancillary track changes. All of this was to be at the MTA's expense up to a limit of the appropriation figure of 7.5 million dollars. On June 4, 1971, Penn Central entered into an agreement with Cayuga Construction Corporation for the construction of high level platforms with passenger access facilities for the Harlem Line.

Construction commenced in July of 1971. On September 1, 1971, the Mayor of Tuckahoe, the building inspector and a policeman appeared on the job site and ordered the work stopped because, among other things, no building permit had been issued. The Mayor was acting in his official capacity after complaints from various segments of the community, both old and young, about the alleged safety hazards and esthetic damage which would be caused by the footbridge overpass. In this respect, the record contains a detailed factual affidavit from the Chief Regional Engineer of Penn Central which sets forth all the precautions taken by the Railroad to protect the citizens who use its facilities. The affidavit also attempts to answer and elaborate on the points raised by the Mayor in his objections to this project.

Page 721

An order to show cause containing a temporary restraining order was signed by me on September 1, 1971, returnable September 10, 1971. After the return date, the Court received numerous letters from respective counsel and the community, as a result of which the matter was not fully submitted until September 30, 1971.

STATUTES

In 1965, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was established by the Legislature pursuant to Chapter 324 of the Laws of 1965, now codified in Title 11 of the Public Authorities Law. Its purpose was to continue, further develop and improve commuter transportation and other related services within the metropolitan transportation district, which includes Westchester. (Public Authorities Law § 1264). A further purpose was to develop and implement a unified mass transportation policy for the district. (Public Authorities Law § 1264(1)). The Legislature specifically declared that such purposes are for the benefit of the people of the State of New York and the MTA shall be regarded as performing an essential...

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11 practice notes
  • CBS Outdoor, Inc. v. City of N.Y., 100394/13
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2015
    ...County's sanitary code for operating fuel-emitting diesel trains. In Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 (Sup.Ct., Westchester County 1971), the court enjoined the Village of Tuckahoe from enforcing its building code to the construc......
  • CBS Outdoor, Inc. v. City of N.Y.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2015
    ...County's sanitary code for operating fuel-emitting diesel trains. In Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 (Sup.Ct., Westchester County 1971), the court enjoined the Village of Tuckahoe from enforcing its building code to the construc......
  • Tucker v. Toia
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 12, 1976
    ...if the injunction is not granted, and (3) a balancing of the equities in (his) favor' (Metropolitan Transp. Auth. v. Village of Tuckaho 67 Misc.2d 895, 900--901, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718, 722--724, affd. 38 A.D.2d 570, 328 N.Y.S.2d 615, see also, Albini v. Solork Assoc., 37 A.D.2d 835, 326 N.Y.S.2d......
  • Schulz v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • March 21, 1994
    ...County, 28 N.Y.2d 80, 320 N.Y.S.2d 29, 268 N.E.2d 771 [1971], privately owned railroad passenger stations (MTA v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 [Sup.Ct. Westchester Co. 1971], aff'd without opinion 38 A.D.2d 570, 328 N.Y.S.2d 615 [Second Dept. 1972], urban developmen......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • CBS Outdoor, Inc. v. City of N.Y., 100394/13
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2015
    ...County's sanitary code for operating fuel-emitting diesel trains. In Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 (Sup.Ct., Westchester County 1971), the court enjoined the Village of Tuckahoe from enforcing its building code to the construc......
  • CBS Outdoor, Inc. v. City of N.Y.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2015
    ...County's sanitary code for operating fuel-emitting diesel trains. In Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 (Sup.Ct., Westchester County 1971), the court enjoined the Village of Tuckahoe from enforcing its building code to the construc......
  • Tucker v. Toia
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 12, 1976
    ...if the injunction is not granted, and (3) a balancing of the equities in (his) favor' (Metropolitan Transp. Auth. v. Village of Tuckaho 67 Misc.2d 895, 900--901, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718, 722--724, affd. 38 A.D.2d 570, 328 N.Y.S.2d 615, see also, Albini v. Solork Assoc., 37 A.D.2d 835, 326 N.Y.S.2d......
  • Schulz v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • March 21, 1994
    ...County, 28 N.Y.2d 80, 320 N.Y.S.2d 29, 268 N.E.2d 771 [1971], privately owned railroad passenger stations (MTA v. Village of Tuckahoe, 67 Misc.2d 895, 325 N.Y.S.2d 718 [Sup.Ct. Westchester Co. 1971], aff'd without opinion 38 A.D.2d 570, 328 N.Y.S.2d 615 [Second Dept. 1972], urban developmen......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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