Kingman Park Civic Ass'n v. Bowser, No. 14-7168 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The Association has successfully applied to the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board to have the former Spingarn Senior High School designated a historic landmark. Next to Spingarn is Langston Terrace, a 13-acre public housing complex built in the 1930s as segregated housing for African Americans. The Association now challenges the District's development of a streetcar program and Car Barn that would be centered in this neighborhood. The district court rejected the Association's claims in dismissals for failure to state a claim and summary judgment. The City Council passed the “Wire Acts” to allow the construction of aerial wires to supply streetcars with power: Transportation Infrastructure Emergency Amendment Act of 2010, D.C. Act 18-486; Transportation Infrastructure Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2010, D.C. Act 18-583; Transportation Infrastructure Amendment Act of 2010, D.C. Act 18-684 (codified at D.C. Code 9-1171(a)). Determining that the Association has standing, the court concluded that taking into account the Home Rule Act's, District. D.C. Code 1-201.02(a), 1-206.02(a), stated purpose, the Wire Acts do not violate an 1888 statute barring the District from authorizing telegraph, telephone, electric lighting or other wires, D.C. Code 34-1901.01. The court upheld that district court's dismissal of the Association's environmental impact statement (EIS) claim. The court rejected the Association's Equal Protection claim, concluding that the project and the associated site selection appear to have been facially neutral and to serve legitimate government purposes. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.