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Crosby v. Young

Citation: 11 ELR 20798
No. No. 81-70844, 512 F. Supp. 1363/(E.D. Mich., 04/24/1981)

The court refuses to enjoin municipal acquisition of property in the Poletown area of Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan for construction of a General Motors assembly plant. Detroit and Hamtramck, with funds from loan guarantees and grants administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), have acquired property from individual owners in order to consolidate it into a Central Industrial Park for the plant. The court rejects claims by local residents that HUD and the local governments failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). HUD properly released loan funds before the completion of an environmental impact statement (EIS) because there was an emergency need for the funds. Regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality, which has authority to interpret NEPA, support such an accommodation of emergency circumstances. The court confirms that under the Housing and Community Development Act local recipients of government funds, and not HUD, have the responsibility to assure that funded projects comply with NEPA. The court rejects a claim that an EIS prepared by Detroit and Hamtramck failed to analyze all reasonable and feasible alternatives. Plaintiffs' proposed alternatives for a smaller or different plant site are neither feasible nor reasonable, since they would, among other things, provide inadequate rail yard space, cause increased traffic congestion, or create hazards for adjacent neighborhoods.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Hugh M. Davis
Glotta, Adelman, Dinges, Davis & Riley
1529 Broadway, Detroit MI 48226
(313) 964-1190

Bruce Terris
Terris & Sunderland
1826 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 332-1882

John C. Sims
Public Citizen Litigation Group
2000 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 785-3706

Counsel for Defendants
Sylvester Delaney, Deputy Corp. Counsel
1010 City-Cty. Bldg., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 224-4552

David L. Maurer, Ass't U.S. Attorney
817 Fed. Bldg., 231 Lafayette Blvd., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 226-6175

Ronald S. Holliday
Dykema, Gossett, Spencer, Goodnow & Trigg
35th Floor, Renaissance Center, Detroit MI 48243
(313) 568-6800