US Dist Ct, W.D. KY, Louisville Div., No. 3:10-CV-539-H, April 8, 2011: Allows neighboring property owner and historic preservation groups to intervene to challenge an agreement between the County and Iron Quarter to demolish landmark buildings.
Property owner Iron Quarter LLC (“Iron Quarter”) sought to demolish landmark buildings (“landmarks”) in Louisville. The County denied a demolition order. Iron Quarter sued, alleging the denial violated city ordinances and Constitutional equal protection and due process rights. In a Memorandum Opinion Jan. 12, 2011, the US District Court allowed Iron Quarter’s suit to proceed because it either (1) properly appealed the denial of its demolition request under the County ordinance or (2) was not required to exhaust administrative remedies. Thereafter, the parties reached a settlement agreement whereby the county would issue an emergency demolition order.
Several interested entities (Movants) moved to intervene to block the Agreement. One entity, (DKH) is one of the owners of the building immediately adjacent to the landmarks. Others, the Louisville Historical League, Inc., Neighborhood Planning and Preservation, Inc., Open Louisville, Inc., and Preservation Louisville, Inc. (the Public Interest Groups) are historic preservation non-profit organizations. The Movants have not yet specified what relief they seek.
Applying Rule 24(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court determined that (1) the motion to intervene is timely; (2) Movant DKH has a substantial legal interest in the subject matter of the case; and the Public Interest Groups have a question of law or fact in common with the main action, (3) DKH’s ability to protect its interest may be impaired in the absence of intervention; and (4) the parties already before the court cannot adequately protect DKH’s interest.
The Court noted that it has not considered whether the acts of the County under the Agreement “are acts which it may properly perform under all circumstances. The issue looming on the horizon is whether [the County] would abuse their discretion or violate some other rule by issuing the [demolition order] as promised in the Agreement.”
A copy of the Agreed Judgment is posted at http://preservationlouisville.org/whiskeyrow/2011_02_08_Court-Parties_Agreed%20Judgment.pdf.