Familystyle of St. Paul (Familystyle) (plaintiff) operated residential group homes for mentally ill individuals. Minnesota and the City of St. Paul (defendant) had zoning codes that required new group homes of that type to be at least a quarter of a mile away from an existing residential group home. The purpose of the restrictions was to further the state’s goal of deinstitutionalization of those with mental illness by integrating them into the community. Familystyle petitioned for permits granting an exception to the zoning laws so it could add three homes next to an existing home. The City of St. Paul granted temporary permits while Familystyle looked for other locations, but refused to grant a renewal of the permits. Familystyle brought suit claiming a violation of the Fair Housing Act. The district court found in favor of St. Paul. Familystyle appealed.