Avenue 6E Investments, LLC v. City of Yuma

Developers filed suit against the City, contending that the City’s refusal to rezone land to permit higher-density development violated, among other things, the Equal Protection Clause and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq. Developers maintain that the City’s refusal stemmed from intentional discrimination against Hispanics and created a disparate impact. The court held that Developers presented plausible claims for relief for disparate treatment under the FHA and under the Equal Protection Clause where the City Council denied Developers’ request for rezoning despite the advice of its own experts to the contrary and in the context of what a reasonable jury could interpret as racially charged opposition by Yuma residents. Further, this was the only request for rezoning that the City had denied in the last three years. Because the complaint passes the plausibility bar given these circumstances, the court reversed and remanded. The court also reversed and remanded the grant of summary judgment for the City on the disparate-impact claim, rejecting the district court’s view that other similarly-priced and similarly modeled housing available elsewhere necessarily precluded a finding that there was a disparate impact. The court vacated the denial of the second summary judgment as moot and remanded for the district court to address the motion in the first instance. View "Avenue 6E Investments, LLC v. City of Yuma" on Justia Law