unlikely that RA would release the Sansom Street apartments if the present tenants vacate. The vacancies resulting from either of the above situations would lead to deterioration of the buildings on Sansom Street, making their rehabilitation more difficult.
7. Given the RA's record of performance with the now vacant properties on the 3400 block of Sansom and Walnut Streets, the RA would not maintain or manage the Sansom Street properties with the same degree of care as would the present prime tenants (or tenants who have subleased to others in violation of their leases).
8. The transfer of property maintenance and property management functions from the plaintiffs to the RA would have a significant and irreparable effect on the present character of the Sansom properties before the environmental impact statement could be completed.
9. The La Terrasse Restaurant, an establishment of notable local reputation, was transformed from a one-building restaurant into its present three-building size by breaking party walls between two adjacent buildings. (3436-3432 Sansom Street). The breach in both walls was made in 1969 or 1970 and was known to RA officials at the time. Defendant RA claims that this breach of the party walls violates the lease between Nicoles, Inc., the lessee of the three buildings, and the RA. Nicoles, Inc. (La Terrasse) denies that its acts violated its lease. This Court does not and need not decide whether or not these actions constitute a violation of the lease terms.
10. In the summer months of 1974 defendant RA informed Nicoles, Inc. the landlord of La Terrasse, that their leases for 3432-36 Sansom Street would be terminated on September 3, 1974, unless the breaches were filled in.
11. The filling in of these breaches would make impossible the operation of La Terrasse at its present size, and would at best force a return to a smaller concern of less size, character, and renown, or could lead to the closing of the restaurant entirely.
12. The breach of the party walls between 3436, 3434, and 3432 Sansom Street, albeit a possible violation of the lease between the RA and plaintiff Nicoles, Inc., does not constitute a hazard or a threat to the public welfare.
13. The elimination or reduction in size of La Terrasse would have a significant and irreparable effect on the present character of the Sansom properties before the environmental impact statement could be completed.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. This Court has jurisdiction by reason of 42 U.S.C. § 4332(C) (National Environmental Policy Act) and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
2. The defendants' proposed plans for the redevelopment of the 3400 blocks of Sansom and Walnut Streets are "major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment", 42 U.S.C. 4332(C) requiring that an impact statement be prepared before defendants may take action on the proposed plans.
3. Absent a threat to the public welfare from governmental inaction, no action should be taken which will significantly affect the environment while that environment is the subject of a pending Environmental Impact Statement. Sansom Committee v. Lynn, et al (Memorandum of July 31, 1974). No threat to the public welfare is presented by the continuation of the leases which existed before the RA issued its termination notices.
4. Plaintiffs will be irreparably injured if an injunction does not issue in that the character of Sansom Street will be irreparably and significantly altered before the environmental impact statement, to which plaintiffs are entitled by law to eventually contribute, can be prepared and considered.
5. The public interest will be served by an injunction.
AND NOW, to wit, this 6th day of September, 1974, the motion of plaintiffs in the above captioned action for a preliminary injunction is hereby GRANTED. Defendant Redevelopment Authority is hereby enjoined from terminating or otherwise interfering with any of the residential leases which were in effect before the Authority issued its termination notices during the summer of 1974. Defendant Authority is also enjoined from terminating or otherwise interfering with the lease of Nicoles, Inc. (La Terrasse Restaurant).
This injunction shall remain in effect until the environment impact statement now underway has been prepared in final form and considered by the Secretary of HUD.
Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction as against the federal defendants is hereby DENIED.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
Clarence C. Newcomer, J.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.