Dupont Circle Citizens Assoc. v. Barry
- Title: Dupont Circle Citizens Assoc. v. Barry
- Citation: 455 A.2d 417 (D.C. 1983)
- Decided Date: 07-Jan-83
Petitioner appealed a decision by the Mayor’s Agent not to grant it a trial-type hearing after the Joint Committee and the Mayor’s Agent had approved a controversial new construction permit. The court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction under the D.C. Administrative Procedure Act because hearings on new construction permits are not “contested cases.”
Judicial Review of Administrative Hearings:
- The D.C. Administrative Procedure Act limits review of agency actions by the D.C. Court of Appeals to “contested cases,” which D.C. caselaw defines as a “trial type hearing, which is required either by statute or constitutional right.” The court found that petitioner’s asserted property interests (speculative reduction in property values and damage to the aesthetic character of the historic district) were too vague and speculative to constitute a constitutional right entitled to judicial protection by a trial-type hearing.
- Petitioner is not entitled to demand a hearing from the Mayor’s Agent upon approval by the Review Board of a new construction permit. Only the applicant on request or the Mayor’s Agent can determine to hold such a hearing.
- The Court noted in a footnote that it “is significant that petitioner has had continued access to all the hearings before the JCL and the Mayor’s Agent concerning the proposed construction. Petitioner has not been denied meaningful participation in this administrative process. A full-blown hearing would be unlikely to produce any material facts unknown by the JCL or the Mayor’s Agent at the time of their decisions.”
- The court will defer to the Historic Preservation Review Board on matters of aesthetic judgment.
The standing requirement for review by the D.C. Court of Appeals is assessed under a three-prong standard: (1) the petitioner must allege injury in fact; (2) the petitioner’s interest must lie within the zone of interest covered by the statute or the constitutional provision at issue; and (3) there must be no apparent “legislative intent to withhold judicial review.”
The Court emphasized that “[p]roof of a taking requires more than demonstration of a diminution in value.”
Decision of the Mayor’s Agent, HPA No. 80-71 (June 9, 1980).
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