560 F.2d 377 (8th Cir. 1977), 76-1452, Cedar-Riverside Environmental Defense Fund v. Hills

Docket Nº:76-1452, 76-1576.
Citation:560 F.2d 377
Party Name:CEDAR-RIVERSIDE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Carla A. HILLS et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:August 08, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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560 F.2d 377 (8th Cir. 1977)

CEDAR-RIVERSIDE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND et al.,

Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

Carla A. HILLS et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 76-1452, 76-1576.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 8, 1977

Submitted March 17, 1977.

Anthony J. Steinmeyer, Appellate Section, Civ. Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for appellant, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Wayne G. Popham, Minneapolis, Minn., for appellant, Cedar-Riverside Associates.

Page 378

John H. Herman, Minneapolis, Minn., for appellee, Cedar-Riverside Environmental Defense Fund.

Rex E. Lee, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D. C., Robert G. Renner, U. S. Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., and Morton Hollander and Anthony J. Steinmeyer, Attys., Appellate Sec., Civil Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., on brief for Federal appellants.

Raymond A. Haik and Allen W. Hinderaker, Attys., Minneapolis, Minn., on brief for Cedar-Riverside Associates.

Roger A. Peterson, Minneapolis, Minn., on brief for The Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, as amicus curiae.

Trudy McFall, St. Paul, Minn., on brief for The Minnesota Chapter, American Institute of Planners.

Timothy W. Regan, Minneapolis, Minn., on brief for Model Cities Planning Council and Model Cities Policy Board, appellees.

John H. Herman and James A. Payne, Minneapolis, Minn., on brief for appellees.

Barbara Allen Babcock, Acting Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D. C., Robert G. Renner, U. S. Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., Morton Hollander and Anthony J. Steinmeyer, Attys., Appellate Sec., Civil Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., on brief for the Federal appellants.

Before BRIGHT and ROSS, Circuit Judges, and URBOM, [*] Chief District Judge.

PER CURIAM.

This is an appeal from an order of the district court permanently enjoining further construction on the housing project in Minneapolis, Minnesota, designated as the "Cedar-Riverside New Town in Town." The district court found the defendants in substantial noncompliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Minn.Stat.Ann. §§ 116D.01 et seq., and the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, Minn.Stat.Ann. §§ 116B.01 et seq. Cedar-Riverside Environmental Defense Fund v. Hills, 422 F.Supp. 294 (D.Minn.1976). Because we find the dispute to be no longer "alive" for purposes of the Article III case or controversy requirement, we dismiss the case as moot and order the injunction dissolved.

This appeal arises in a peculiar context. We proceed to outline the pertinent developments which have brought the case into its current posture.

In 1968, after years of study indicated that the Cedar-Riverside area of Minneapolis was in a state of urban decay and in need of urban renewal, the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority (MHRA) submitted the Cedar-Riverside Urban Renewal Plan to the Minneapolis City Council which, in turn, approved the Plan. 1 The Plan contemplated high density residential development and concomitant commercial development in order to accommodate the educational and institutional character of the area. In 1970, the defendant Cedar-Riverside Associates, Inc., was selected by the MHRA as the private developer for 100 acres of private, noninstitutional land within the Urban Renewal Area. At that time the Development Plan contemplated a ten stage residential and commercial development between 1972 and 1991, which would provide approximately 12,500 dwelling units and 2,500,000 square feet of commercial/cultural space. The population of the area at project maturity was projected between 25,000 and 30,000 people. 2 In

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1971, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guaranteed $24 million of the developer's obligations pursuant to Title VII of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4501 et seq.

On December 13, 1973, the plaintiffs brought this action alleging, inter alia, noncompliance with NEPA, MEPA and the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. Because its financial involvement constituted a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under NEPA, HUD agreed, on March 22, 1974, to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on Stage II and the project at maturity. This lawsuit was held in abeyance pending the...

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