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Karlen v. Harris

Citation: 9 ELR 20001
No. No. 78-7147, 590 F.2d 39/13 ERC 1769/(2d Cir., 12/14/1978) Rev'd

After six years of litigation concerning the construction by the City of New York of an urban renewal project with the approval of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the court again remands the proposal to the federal agency for reconsideration. Following the first remand, 5 ELR 20497, which directed that alternatives to the project be considered as required by § 102(2)(E) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the agency concluded that the original proposal remained the preferred alternative because of the additional delay inherent in the other proposals. The court determines that an excessive concern with delay rather than the substantive goals of the housing project is inconsistent with the mandate of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Further, the plan to construct a high-rise apartment building comprised solely of low-income units does not envision the kind of integration contemplated by NEPA, and thwarts the Fair Housing Act's purpose of achieving racial and economic integration. On remand, the agency must give less heed to the consequences of a short delay in completing the project, given the expected long life of the building, must consider to a greater extent the option of guaranteeing an economic mix among the residents, and must further consider whether low-rise dwellings would be more compatible with the command of the Fair Housing Act.

Counsel for Appellants
A. David Benjamin, Eugene J. Morris, Jonathan M. Bryer
Demov, Morris, Levin & Shein
20 W. 57th St., New York NY 10019
(212) 757-5050

Counsel for Appellees
Peter C. Salerno, Ass't U.S. Attorney
One St. Andrews Plaza, New York NY 10007
(212) 791-0055

Carolyn E. Demarest, Leonard J. Koerner, Allen G. Schwartz
Corporation Counsel of the City of New York
100 Church St., New York NY 10007
(212) 566-4338

John de P. Douw, Catherine P. Mitchell
Community Action for Legal Services, Inc.
335 Broadway, New York NY 10013
(212) 431-7200

Mulligan & Gurfein, JJ., concur.