STONY BROOK, N.Y. (WPIX)—Stony Brook University Students and the Stony Brook Environmental Conservancy filed a lawsuit to try and protect a 12 acre environmentally sensitive wooded area on the campus.
The group was successful in getting a temporary restraining order to stop trees from being cut down to make way for a hotel. However, Thursday a judge in Riverhead lifted the restraining order.
The group's attorney George Locker argued that cutting down the trees would do interruptable damage.
The assistant state attorney general representing the college testified the development was shovel ready in the summer, and already $1 million was lost, and if the project didn't start soon, it would be held up until after the winter.
Construction of the hotel is expected bring jobs and services to the campus. The group still plans on suing to try and stop the project, claiming it violates state law. A private developer was awarded the contract to build on state land that is considered public property.
Locker said the suit had nothing to do with Administrations decision to shutter the Southampton Campus, but that students who fought to save the campus have joined the fight to save the forest.
Khadija Botaswin who was walking past the forest now in peak fall colors told PIX 11 News, "There getting involved for their campus standing up for their right, I think especially when it came to the closing of Southampton that they didn't really have a say that their power was taken away from them, this might be there way of taking a little bit of that power back."