Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council v. Karlen

United States Supreme Court
444 U.S. 223 (1980)


In the 1960s, New York City, acting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), decided to establish a plan for renewal of 20 square blocks on New York’s Upper West Side. Initially the plan called for a mix of middle-income housing and low-income housing. After further study, local agencies in New York decided that more low-income housing was needed and amended the plan to designate the site as the future location of a high-rise building containing 160 units of low-income housing. In October 1971, Trinity Episcopal School Corp., which had participated in the plan by building a combination school and middle-income housing development nearby, sued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to enjoin the construction of the low-income housing project. Karlen and several others (plaintiffs) intervened as plaintiffs and Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council (defendant) intervened as defendant. The district court found for Strycker’s Bay. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed except for the claim based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which among other things, requires the preparation of an environmental-impact statement for major federal action. Although the Second Circuit agreed with the district court that HUD was not required to prepare a full-scale environmental-impact statement, it held that HUD had not studied, developed, and described appropriate alternatives. On remand, HUD prepared a report entitled Special Environmental Clearance, which found that although the choice of location for the low-income housing site “raised valid questions about the potential social environmental impacts,” the problems “are not considered so serious as to require that this component be rated as unacceptable.” It found that any change in location would have delayed construction by another two years, which it deemed an overriding factor in staying with the present location. The district court again found for Strycker’s Bay. On appeal, the Second Circuit vacated and remanded. It found that although HUD had given consideration to alternatives, consideration was not an end in itself. It held that delay could not be an overriding factor in HUD’s decision to proceed and instructed HUD to attack the shortage of low-income housing in a way that would avoid the concentration of housing on the site. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial