606 F.2d 254 (8th Cir. 1979), 78-1878, Cedar-Riverside Associates, Inc. v. City of Minneapolis

Docket Nº:78-1878.
Citation:606 F.2d 254
Party Name:CEDAR-RIVERSIDE ASSOCIATES, INC., etc., et al., Appellants, v. The CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS and the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Appellees.
Case Date:October 03, 1979
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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606 F.2d 254 (8th Cir. 1979)

CEDAR-RIVERSIDE ASSOCIATES, INC., etc., et al., Appellants,


The CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS and the Minneapolis Housing and

Redevelopment Authority, Appellees.

No. 78-1878.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

October 3, 1979

Submitted May 16, 1979.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Nov. 13, 1979.

James P. Larkin, Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren, Minneapolis, Minn., for appellants; Peter K. Beck, James D. Lano, Oppenheimer, Wolff, Foster, Shepard & Donnelly, Minneapolis, Minn., on brief.

Jerome F. Fitzgerald, Asst. City Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., for appellee, City of Minneapolis; Robert J. Alfton, City Atty., on brief.

John M. LeFevre, Holmes & Graven, Minneapolis, Minn., for appellee Housing & Redevelopment Authority; John M. Utley, Minneapolis, Minn., on brief.

Before BRIGHT, HENLEY, and McMILLIAN, Circuit Judges.

BRIGHT, Circuit Judge.

Cedar-Riverside Associates, Inc., and several associated developers of the beleaguered "Cedar-Riverside New Town in Town" housing project in Minneapolis, Minnesota (collectively, appellants), 1 appeal from a judgment dismissing four of their claims against the City of Minneapolis (the City) and the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority (the MHRA). 2 The claims at issue arose from the appellees' approval of a plan to reduce the housing

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density permitted in the Cedar-Riverside area and their alleged diversion to other housing projects of federal funds designated for the Cedar-Riverside project.

Appellants now concede that two of the four dismissed claims, both brought directly under the fourteenth amendment, are barred by this court's decision in Owen v. City of Independence, Mo., 589 F.2d 335 (8th Cir. 1978). 3 In their two remaining claims appellants allege violations of national housing policy, as expressed in the Housing Act of 1949, 42 U.S.C. § 1441 Et seq. (1976) (the Housing Act). The Housing Act does not expressly provide a private remedy for such violations. Hence, the threshold issue presented in this appeal is whether a private remedy should be inferred on behalf of appellants. The district court concluded that it should not, I. e., that appellants have no implied right of action under the Housing Act. We agree and therefore affirm.

I. Background. 4

In 1968, the Minneapolis City Council approved an Urban Renewal Plan for the Cedar-Riverside area (1968 plan) that had been prepared by the MHRA. In 1970, the MHRA selected appellant Cedar-Riverside Associates, Inc. (the developer) to develop 100 acres of private, noninstitutional land within the Cedar-Riverside Urban Renewal Area. The development plan for that land contemplated high density residential and commercial development; between 1972 and 1991, approximately 12,500 dwelling units were to be constructed or renovated. In 1971, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development guaranteed $24,000,000 of the developer's obligations pursuant to Title VII of the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. § 4514 (1976).

Appellants completed the first of ten planned stages of redevelopment. In December 1973, however, environmental litigation halted further construction in the Cedar-Riverside area, and appellants have been unable to resume work on the project since that time. Nonetheless, the developer in late 1976-early 1977 indicated that it intended to proceed with the project upon conclusion of the environmental litigation. See Cedar-Riverside Environmental Defense Fund v. Hills, supra, 560 F.2d at 380.

In February 1977, the Minneapolis City Council established the Cedar-Riverside Task Force and assigned to it the responsibility of devising a plan for redevelopment and rehabilitation of the Cedar-Riverside area. In May 1977, the Task Force issued its report proposing, among other things, that residential development in the Cedar-Riverside area be limited to 1,900 new apartment units, 450 rehabilitated units, and 2,113 existing units. On May 19, 1977, the MHRA adopted the land use recommendations contained in the Task Force report, and the Minneapolis City Council followed suit on May 27, 1977. 5

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The Task Force report, as adopted by the appellees, represents a substantial departure from the original 1968 plan pursuant to which the appellants undertook to develop the Cedar-Riverside area. If implemented, the Task Force proposal would reduce the 12,500 housing units permitted in the project area under the 1968 plan to approximately 4,500 units in that same area. In addition, the report proposes substantial changes in building design, building location, and commercial development.

The delay caused by the environmental litigation already had placed the appellants in serious financial difficulties. 6 On October 19, 1977, the New Communities Development Corporation, representing the federal guarantors of the developer's debentures, resolved to initiate foreclosure proceedings on the Cedar-Riverside project. 7

Thereafter, appellants brought this action. In the two claims remaining at issue here, appellants alleged that the City and the MHRA, in adopting the Task Force report and in administering and diverting to...

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