WATCH v. Harris

603 F.2d 310 (1979)

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WATCH v. Harris

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
603 F.2d 310 (1979)

  • Written by Jody Stuart, JD

Facts

In 1973, the Waterbury Urban Renewal Agency (WURA) (defendant) and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (defendant) executed a contract for HUD to give WURA funds for an urban-renewal project involving building demolitions in downtown Waterbury, Connecticut. The contract provided for the work to be done in phases, with each phase requiring HUD’s approval of funds. A carriage house in the project area became eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in February 1978. HUD had not approved all stages of project funding at that time. After receiving notice of the carriage house’s NRHP eligibility, HUD did not consider the effect of the project on the house. In October 1978, Waterbury Action to Conserve Our Heritage (WATCH) (plaintiff) brought suit in federal district court against HUD and WURA, seeking to stop the demolitions. The district court held that the National Historic Preservation Act (act) was not applicable because the project contract had been executed before any affected properties were listed on the NRHP. Based on the applicability of another statute, the court granted WATCH’s motion for a preliminary injunction. WURA appealed the preliminary injunction. WATCH cross-appealed, asserting that the act applied to the project.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Oakes, J.)

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