The occupation of Zuccotti Park can continue, leading to celebratory marches across downtown today. At the heart of the debate over the base camp on Brookfield’s “property” is whether or not the landlord can retroactively change the rules at the site. The Observer has heard a mix of answers from architects and zoning experts, but according to the Department of City Planning, which oversees the city’s POPS, Brookfield can make some restrictions, but not others.
“POPS owners can establish reasonable rules of conduct to help ensure that the plazas continue to be used for their intended use,” a Department of City Planning spokesperson told The Observer. “They do not need to go through land use review process to do so.” So all those provisions about tents and tarps and lying down seem within reason, even if the department has defended the rights of the homeless and other apparent transgressors in the past. If Brookfield wanted to change the hours on the plaza, however, which it can do (and which the real estate lobby would like to see happen), that would require departmental review.
Meanwhile, the Daily News points out that maybe Brookfield should be more generous with its public space, given that it has received almost $700,000 in city subsidies since 9/11.