NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A judge has ruled in favor of NYU, and against angry Greenwich Village residents, in a lawsuit to stop the massive expansion plan by the university, according to published reports.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Coin said NYU’s development project is still in its early stages anyway, and the plaintiffs have not taken the steps that would warrant halting the project, according to a New York Post report.

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The City Council last summer approved the plan to expand New York University’s footprint in Greenwich Village by a vote of 44-1. Following objections from neighborhood residents and NYU faculty members, the proposal was reduced shortly before the vote to 1.9 million square feet of new classroom space and other facilities for the more than 50,000 students at the nation’s largest private university.

Greenwich Village residents later sued, alleging that NYU and the city colluded for decades to block several pieces of open space on Mercer Street and LaGuardia Place from being handed over to the Parks Department.

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The NYU expansion plan calls for removing the four open spaces for an addition to the campus valued at about $2 million. The land would be used for part of the footprint of the school’s new “Zipper Building,” which would replace the Coles gym, according to published reports.

Matthew Broderick is among the Village residents who have been fighting NYU.

NYU faculty members also have voiced opposition to the NYU 2031 plan, as it is known. Last week, the expansion plans were among the issues that prompted the faculty to approve a vote of no confidence against university president John Sexton, according to published reports.

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