The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action on the ground that plaintiffs lacked standing, incorporating the lower court's memorandum into its opinion. Plaintiffs had not established a logical link between their taxpayer status and NHPA. Moreover, none of the plaintiffs had any real interest in the project, as none of them owned or had legal control over any of the buildings at the time they were placed on the National Register and none had submitted a development proposal for the area. 421 F.2d at 460-61. The court also rejected plaintiffs' argument that they had standing under the "private attorney general" doctrine because they had no direct interests in the buildings and had not engaged sufficiently in the administrative process to show a special interest in the controversy so as to be included among those parties aggrieved or adversely affected by agency action. Id. at 461. [Ed. note: This case preceded the Supreme Court's landmark standing decision in Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972), in which the court found allegations of use of an area to be sufficient to confer standing.]
The court went on to say, however, that even if plaintiffs did have standing, they would not be entitled to relief because the grant contract and the contract amendments occurred before the buildings had been placed on the National Register. Id. at 461-62. Rumors of the historic significance of the buildings were not enough to require HUD to notify the Council. HUD's subsequent approval of demolition did not trigger NHPA, which applies only when an agency authorizes plans or amendments to plans and enters into the resulting grant contract. Id. at 462.
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