E.D.N.Y. Dismisses Residents’ Fair Housing and Equal Protection Claims Over Rezoning Of Mobile Home Park

Developer Frontier applied to rezone the Property from a mobile home park to 500 residential units of one and two bedroom apartments and up to 45,000 square feet of retail space. On December 29, 2011, the Town Board of the Town of Babylon granted Frontier's application, subject to various conditions and covenants, in Resolution 743. The Town Board then adopted by resolution a relocation plan for mobile homes and households on the Property. Subject to the Town Attorney’s approval, this plan would provide a maximum of $20,000 per household in relocation assistance for residents who: (1) actually occupy a unit; (2) are in good standing; (3) submit the name and contact information of the resident to receive the relocation assistance on the household’s behalf; and (4) vacate the premises within 90 days of receiving notice. The resident’s complaint alleges that the defendants violated: (1) the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; (2) 42 U.S.C. § 1981; (3) 42 U.S.C. § 1982; (4) 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (5) 42 U.S.C. § 3608 and its “affirmatively furthering” obligations.

Frontier claims the case should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as it incorrectly assumes the relocation plan requires residents to sign a release giving up their “rights” to the 100 affordable/workforce housing units. Frontier also claims the complaint contains no allegations that any Plaintiffs executed documents associated with the Relocation Plan or applied for the affordable/workforce housing units and were denied because they agreed to the Plan. The court agreed, finding Plaintiffs could not plausibly allege executing the Plan documents foreclosed a “right” to the affordable housing when the Plan contains no such provision and there are no allegations that any Plaintiffs applied for and were denied affordable/workforce housing by agreeing to the Plan's terms. The court also found the complaint’s allegations were wholly unsupported by the public record and by the documents included, or affirmatively omitted, from its exhibits. Accordingly, Frontier's motion to dismiss was granted, Plaintiffs' complaint was dismissed with prejudice, and Frontier's motion for Rule 11 sanctions was granted.

The case was Amityville Mobile Home Civic Ass'n v. Town of Babylon, 2015 WL 1412655 (E.D.N.Y. 2015).

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