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Goodman Group, Inc. v. Dishroom

Citation: 12 ELR 21069
No. No. 80-4370, 679 F.2d 182/(9th Cir., 06/08/1982)

The court upholds a decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) not to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) concerning a decision to rehabilitate and convert to low-income housing an historic building in San Francisco as part of a redevelopment project funded by the federal agency. The court first notes that economic and social impacts alone do not generally require preparation of an EIS. Applying a reasonableness standard the court rules that HUD did not err in determining that the alleged cultural impacts in this case do not require preparation of an EIS. The agency is due special deference in dealing with nonphysical impacts because they are so difficult to assess. The court finds additional support for that result in the fact that HUD worked closely with local officials and that its decision was consistent with local land use policies. HUD's compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act also weighed in its favor. Moreover, the facts do not demonstrate that the artists in residence in the Goodman Building produced any significant influence on the exterior environment. The court then rules that HUD considered the potential hardships that appellants might face as a result of their displacement in accordance with its regulations. Finally, the court rules that there was no contract between appellants and the building's owner concerning their continued occupancy at the time of HUD's preliminary approval, and thus rejects appellants' claim of tortious interference with their contract rights.

Counsel for Appellants
Sarge R. Holtzman
1310 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94117
(415) 863-2244

Counsel for Appellees
Bruce N. Bagni, Anthony J. Steinmeyer
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-3305

Before MERRILL and KENNEDY, Circuit Judges, and KING,* District Judge.