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Ely v. City Council of Ames

Iowa Court of Appeals
787 N.W.2d 479 (2010)


Facts

Laurel and Mildred Ely (plaintiffs) owned a commercial tire and automotive service center in Ames, Iowa. The property adjacent to the service center was designated a “historical landmark” by the City Council of Ames (the Council) (defendant). The 1920’s historical home was well known for advancing the integration effort of African-Americans into the Ames community. The Elys alleged that the home had fallen into disrepair and decreased the commercial value of nearby properties, including the Elys’ business. The Elys filed a petition challenging the Council’s designation and asserted claims of violations of due process and equal protection and illegal spot zoning. At a bench trial, the district court upheld the designation. The Iowa Court of Appeals granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sacket, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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