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Pacific Community Resource Center v. City of Glendale

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 12, 2015

PACIFIC COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF GLENDALE, OREGON et al., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

MICHAEL J. McSHANE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Pacific Community Resource Center (PCRC) is a registered non-profit organization purporting to provide housing to disabled and other low income individuals. PCRC, along with former and current tenants, [1] bring this action alleging that the City of Glendale (Glendale) and various Glendale officials discriminated against plaintiffs by: (1) obstructing PCRC's efforts to obtain a conditional use permit to operate the Glendale Hotel as multi-family housing in the commercial zone; (2) selectively enforcing certificate of occupancy requirements; and (3) removing multi-family housing as a permitted use in the commercial zone through the adoption of Glendale Municipal Ordinance (GMO) 03-2012.

This Court is asked to consider: (1) whether defendants discriminated and/or retaliated against plaintiffs under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, [2] (2) whether defendants denied plaintiffs a reasonable accommodation under ORS § 659A.145; and (3) whether defendants' conduct violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[3] Because a fuller record will afford a more substantial basis for decision and the existing record supports triable issues of fact, this Court finds that it cannot determine whether defendants violated the FHAA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a), 3617, ORS § 659A.145, or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth. Thus, defendants' motion for summary judgment, ECF No. 24, is GRANTED IN PART[4] and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend, ECF No. 94, is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs' claims arise out of alleged FHAA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a), 3617, Fourteenth Amendment, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and ORS § 659A.145 violations. All claims are based on Glendale's alleged discriminatory obstruction of PCRC's efforts to obtain a conditional use permit, selective enforcement of certificate of occupancy requirements, and Glendale's adoption of GMO 03-2012.

Beginning in October 2009, PCRC entered into a commercial real estate agreement with Cow Creek Properties, LLC (Cow Creek) for a seventeen-unit motel (Glendale Hotel) located in Glendale's commercial zone. Pls.' Aff. Prelim. Inj. 1, ECF No. 39; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 40, ECF No. 94-4. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff Cassidy, on behalf of PCRC, attended a City Council meeting and obtained permission to rent rooms to small businesses. See Defs.' Resp. Second Mot. Prelim. Inj. 2, ECF No. 46-3; see also Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 88, ECF No. 94-4.

On or about September 11, 2011, Cassidy asked the city recorder, defendant Stanfill, what action he needed to take in order to operate the Glendale Hotel as multi-family housing. Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 104-107, ECF No. 94-4. Plaintiffs allege that in response, defendant Stanfill informed Cassidy "that's not available to you, [multi-family housing], and we don't want those kind of people in our town." Id. at 107.[5]

On or about October 21, 2011, Glendale sent a letter to PCRC indicating that PCRC was in potential violation of residential use in the commercial zone. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 42, ECF No. 35; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 131, ECF No. 94-4. Upon receipt of this notification, PCRC communicated with the City Council multiple times to discuss zoning compliance alternatives. See Decl. of Art. Corbett 2, ECF No. 40; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 9, ECF No. 94-10. Despite these communications, Glendale and PCRC were unable to reach an agreement. See Decl. of Kayrene Loggins 2, ECF No. 41.

On or about December 3, 2011, plaintiff Cassidy received notice for a zoning ordinance violation from Glendale. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 57, ECF No. 35. Cassidy contested this violation, but was ultimately convicted at trial on or about December 13, 2012, for "renting, letting or allowing residential occupancy in a commercial zone, without having received and obtained an R-2 Certificate of Occupancy; and in the case of accessary use apartments, without having first obtained a conditional use permit." Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. 1-2, ECF No. 91-3.

In an effort to obtain a R-2 certificate of occupancy, PCRC initiated a series of inspections with the State Fire Marshal. The first inspection, occurring February 28, 2012, resulted in a report identifying eleven deficiencies. Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 71-73, ECF No. 35; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 166, ECF No. 94-4. Following a subsequent inspection, occurring May 10, 2012, the Fire Marshal issued a report finding that ten deficiencies were resolved and that the only remaining deficiency "was failure to obtain a certificate of occupancy." Second Am. Compl. ¶ 79, ECF No. 35. On May 11, 2012, PCRC approached Glendale to acquire a certificate of occupancy sign-off.[6] Id. at ¶ 80; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 31, ECF No. 94-11. Glendale officials refused to provide plaintiffs with this sign-off because of non-compliance with city requirements. Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. 2-3, ECF No. 91-1; Pls.' Resp. Summ. J. 32, ECF No. 94-11. As a result, Douglas County did not issue the R-2 certificate of occupancy to plaintiffs.

On April 9, 2012, during plaintiffs' pursuit of the R-2 certificate of occupancy, the Glendale City Council unanimously adopted GMO 03-2012. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 60, ECF No. 35. GMO 03-2012 amended GMO 01-2005 and removed multi-family housing as a permitted use in the commercial zone. See Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. 3-4, ECF No. 91-1. Plaintiffs unsuccessfully challenged the removal of multi-family housing under GMO 03-2012 through the Land Use Board of Appeals.[7]

On January 21, 2013, Glendale issued plaintiffs a notice of building code civil penalty for violation of Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) § 111.1 Use and occupancy.[8] Second Am. Compl. ¶ 119, ECF No. 35. On August 22, 2013, Cow Creek received an invoice stating the civil penalties balance amounted to $30, 000. Pls.' Aff. Prelim. Inj. 2, ECF No. 39. By September 16, 2013, this balance had increased to $65, 000. Pls.' Mot. Expedited Hr'g & Prelim. Inj. 2, ECF No. 22. To date, plaintiffs continue to operate the motel for residential use and defendants continue to levy civil penalties against the property. Defs.' Resp. Second Mot. Prelim. Inj. 2, ECF No. 46-2.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

This Court must grant summary judgment if there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An issue is "genuine" if a reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor of the non-moving party. Rivera v. Phillip Morris, Inc., 395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A fact is "material" if it could affect the outcome of the case. Id. The court reviews evidence and draws inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 988 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)). When the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must present "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. " Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (emphasis in original).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs contend that: (1) defendants discriminated and/or retaliated against plaintiffs under the FHAA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a), 3617; (2) defendants denied plaintiffs a reasonable accommodation under ORS § 659A.145; and (3) defendants conduct violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Defendants move for summary judgment as to all claims.

I. FHAA

Plaintiffs contend that defendants discriminated and retaliated against them under the FHAA. This Court ...


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