Town of Huntington v. NAACP
488 U.S. 15 (1988)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Town of Huntington v. NAACP, 488 U.S. 15 (1988)

Town of Huntington v. Huntington Branch, National Association

for the Advancement of Colored People

No. 87-1961

Decided November 7, 1988

488 U.S. 15

Syllabus

The town of Huntington, N.Y. has a zoning classification permitting, inter alia, private construction of multifamily housing projects, but only in the town's urban renewal area, where 52% of the residents are minorities. A private developer, after acquiring an option to purchase a site in a 98% white section of town zoned for single family residences, requested the town board to amend the code to permit multifamily rental construction by private developers townwide. The board rejected this request. Appellees filed a complaint in the District Court against appellants alleging, among other things, that appellants had violated Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 by refusing to amend the zoning code and by refusing to rezone the proposed building site. Appellants conceded that the facial challenge to the code should be evaluated under a disparate impact standard. The District Court rejected appellees' claims. However, the Court of Appeals reversed as to both claims, holding, with regard to the town's failure to amend the zoning code, that appellees had established a prima facie case of discriminatory impact, which appellants had failed to rebut. It ordered the town to strike the zoning limitation from the code, and to rezone the project site.

Held:

1. This Court expressly declines to review the judgment below insofar as it relates to the refusal to rezone the project site, because that portion of the case does not implicate this Court's mandatory jurisdiction.

2. Since appellants conceded the applicability of the disparate impact test, this Court does not decide whether that test is the appropriate one. Assuming that test applies, the Court is satisfied on this record that appellees have shown that the zoning restriction has a disparate impact, and that the justification proffered by appellants to rebut the prima facie case is inadequate.

844 F.2d 926, affirmed.

Page 488 U. S. 16

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