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Taubman Realty Group Ltd. P'ship v. Mineta

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

January 21, 2003, Argued ; February 21, 2003, Decided

No. 02-1612

Opinion

 [*478]  HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge:

TRG-Regency Square Associates, LLC (TRG) 1 appeals the district court's Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal with prejudice of its claim against Henrico County, Virginia (the County), alleging that the County [**2]  violated the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Art. VI, § 2, by approving a certain private developer's "Plan of Development" to construct a regional shopping center known as Short Pump Town Center in the County near the intersection of Interstate Highways 64 and 295. 2 Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Under Supremacy Clause jurisprudence, TRG's Supremacy Clause claim is broadly characterized as alleging that the County's approval of the Plan of Development  [*479]  for Short Pump Town Center stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the Federal-Aid Highway Act (FAHA), 23 U.S.C. §§ 101 to 189, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 to 4370e. See, e.g., English v. General Electric Co., 496 U.S. 72, 79, 110 L. Ed. 2d 65, 110 S. Ct. 2270 (1990).

 [**3]  More specifically, with respect to the FAHA, TRG's Supremacy Clause claim alleges that, by approving the Plan of Development for Short Pump Town Center, the County usurped the Secretary of Transportation's authority, as delegated to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), to approve new access to Interstate Highway 64 at Gayton Road or modified access to the same highway at West Broad Street. See 23 U.S.C. § 111(a); 23 C.F.R. §§ 625.1 to 625.4. In this regard, TRG's complaint alleges that operation of Short Pump Town Center will create such significant traffic congestion of the existing roadways in the vicinity of the development site for Short Pump Town Center that the FHWA will be required, without the ability to exercise any discretion in the matter, to approve a change in access to Interstate Highway 64. Similarly, TRG claims that the County's approval of the Plan of Development for Short Pump Town Center is in violation of NEPA's requirement that an environmental impact statement (EIS) be prepared by the appropriate federal agency for "every recommendation or report on proposals for . . . major Federal actions significantly [**4]  affecting the quality of the human environment . . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 4332(C). According to TRG, the appropriate federal agency in this case is FHWA and the change in access to Interstate Highway 64 that will inevitably be required by execution of the Plan of Development for Short Pump Town Center constitutes a major federal action for purposes of NEPA.

TRG also appeals the district court's Rule 12(b)(1) dismissal of its two claims, brought pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (the APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 to 706, against the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, Norman Mineta, and the FHWA (collectively the Federal Defendants). Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). The district court dismissed these claims without prejudice.

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320 F.3d 475 *; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 3217 **

THE TAUBMAN REALTY GROUP LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, a Delaware Limited Partnership; TRG-REGENCY SQUARE ASSOCIATES LLC, a Virginia Limited Liability Corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. NORMAN Y. MINETA, Secretary of Transportation; FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION; COUNTY OF HENRICO, VIRGINIA, Defendants-Appellees.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Robert E. Payne, District Judge. (CA-02-2-3).

 Taubman Realty Group L.P. v. Mineta, 198 F. Supp. 2d 744, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8331 (E.D. Va. 2002).

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

interstate highway, Mall, standing requirement, district court, devaluation, alleges, approve, commercial property, injury in fact, zone

Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Justiciability, Standing, General Overview, Preliminary Considerations, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Reviewability, Standing, Environmental Law, Land Use & Zoning, Constitutional Limits, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Business & Corporate Compliance, Environmental Law, Assessment & Information Access, Environmental Impact Statements, Natural Resources & Public Lands, National Environmental Policy Act