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Neighborhood Dev. Corp.: Butchertown, Inc. v. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 20083
Nos. No. 79-3765, 632 F.2d 21/(6th Cir., 10/20/1980)

Reversing the judgment of the lower court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals holds that plaintiffs have standing to challenge the demolition of historic buildings for a federally assisted development project. Plaintiffs, five neighborhood organizations, sought to enjoin federal funding of the project, alleging that defendants had acted in bad faith in discharging their obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act and had failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. The district court denied plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint because they lacked standing and because they failed to join the owners of the buildings. The circuit court finds that plaintiffs' alleged injury-in-fact is sufficient to confer standing because they alleged "use" of the buildings' aesthetic and architectural value. The court notes that deprivation of the use of an aesthetic resource constitutes injury-in-fact and that standing cannot be denied because the alleged injury is commonly shared. Finally, the court holds that plaintiffs' failure to join as defendants the buildings' owners was not a proper reason for denying a motion to amend. Thus, the district court abused its discretion in denying plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint, and the case is remanded.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
J. Phillip Griffin Jr.
518 Marion E. Taylor Bldg., Louisville KY 40202
(502) 584-4056

Steven R. Berg
310 W. Liberty St., Louisville KY 40202
(502) 589-2399

Counsel for Defendants
David C. Shilton
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2737

Michael Powers
Department of Housing and Urban Development
P.O. Box 1044, Louisville KY 40201
(502) 582-5255

Larry Zielae
Law Department, City of Louisville
200 City Hall, Louisville KY 40202
(502) 587-3511

Hancy Jones, Ass't U.S. Attorney
Rm. 211, U.S. P.O. & Cthse., 601 W. Broadway, Louisville KY 40202
(502) 582-5911

Before: WEICK and JONES, Circuit Judges, and DUNCAN, District Judge.*