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Nucleus of Chicago Homeowners Ass'n v. Lynn

Citation: 5 ELR 20698
No. No. 74-1206, 524 F.2d 225/8 ERC 1388/(7th Cir., 10/06/1975) Aff'd

The court of appeals affirms a district court's judgment for defendants following a full trial on the merits of plaintiffs' contention that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to comply with NEPA with respect to the siting of low-income public housing units in middle-class neighborhoods in Chicago. The administrative record provides a satisfactory basis for judicial review of HUD's determination not to file an impact statement. Using the "arbitrary and capricious" standard of review, the court finds that the agency's negative determination must be upheld since HUD gave good faith consideration to the impact of such housing projects on both the physical and social environment of plaintiffs' neighborhoods. While preparation of an impact statement is mandated by the CEQ Guidelines for projects which are "likely to be highly controversial," the controversy in this case does not require an EIS. Because the agency is under a court order to construct the public housing, a recommendation in the negative determination to the effect that two prospective sites be dropped for environmental reasons demonstrates that HUD has adequately considered alternatives within the meaning of NEPA. For the district court's opinion, see 4 ELR 20106.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Patrick W. O'Brien
John Bleveans
Steve Rasher
Mayer, Brown & Platt
231 S. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Ill. 60604

Joseph V. Karaganis
Martin, Karaganis & Gail
33 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Ill. 60602

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Samuel Skinner, U.S. Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Ill. 60604

Stephen S. Eilperin
Judith S. Feigin
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Before FAIRCHILD, Chief Judge, KILKENNY, Senior Circuit Judge,* and SPRECHER, Circuit Judge.