United States District Court, D. Utah
RECOVERY LAND HOLDINGS, LLC, a Utah limited liability company, Plaintiff,
CITY OF SOUTH OGDEN, and DOE DEFENDANTS I through X, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT -DISPARATE
STEWART DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's disparate treatment
claims. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant
Recovery Land Holdings, LLC (“Brighton”) operates
a residential facility for people recovering from alcoholism
and substance abuse located in South Ogden, Utah.
Plaintiff's facility is located in an R-1-10 residential
zoning district. South Ogden City Code § 10-14-21
prohibits all “Group Living Arrangements”
(“GLA”) in the City's R-1-10 Residential
Zoning District. The definition of GLAs includes a
Residential Facility for Disabled Persons
(“RFDP”). However, a different provision of the City
Code, § 10-7A-1, provides that RFDPs are a permitted use
in R-1-10 zones.
previously received an accommodation from the City allowing
up to 20 patients at its facility. After Brighton received
its accommodation, the City adopted Ordinance 16-20, which
amended certain provisions of the City's zoning code.
Relevant here, Ordinance 16-20 added the definition for GLAs,
restricted GLAs to certain zoning districts, and banned any
GLA within a 2, 460-foot radius of any other GLA.
Additionally, Ordinance 16-20 increased the number of
disabled persons who could live together in an RFDP to 8
March 10, 2017, Brighton filed an application for a
reasonable accommodation from the City to allow it to provide
treatment for up to 32 people. After learning of Ordinance
16-20, Brighton supplemented its reasonable accommodation
application. In that supplement, Brighton sought
accommodation from the City's prohibition of GLAs in
R-1-10 zones and the 8-person cap for RFDPs.
City's Accommodation Review Committee denied
Brighton's application on May 17, 2017. Brighton appealed
that decision to a Hearing Officer. On August 30, 2017, the
Hearing Officer denied the appeal.
brought this action on September 29, 2017. Brighton asserted
claims under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the
Rehabilitation Act (“RA”). Brighton advanced
three theories of liability under these provisions: (1)
disparate treatment discrimination; (2) disparate impact
discrimination; and (3) failure to grant a reasonable
Court previously granted summary judgment on Plaintiff's
reasonable accommodation claim. Defendant now seeks summary
judgment on Plaintiff's disparate treatment claim.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” In considering whether a genuine dispute
of material fact exists, the Court determines whether a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party in the face of all the evidence
presented. The Court is required to construe all
facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party.
addressing the merits of Defendant's Motion, the Court
must address Plaintiff's claim that the Motion somehow
violates the Court's prior order denying Defendant's
earlier motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 56(d). Put simply, it does not. Nothing in
that prior order prevents Defendant from filing the instant
Motion. Further, as is addressed more fully in the
Court's Memorandum Decision and Order denying
Plaintiff's Renewed Rule 56(d) Motion and Motion to Amend
Scheduling Order, no further discovery will be permitted.
to the merits, a disparate-treatment claim requires proof of
“differential treatment of similarly situated persons
or groups.” “There are two ways to prove
intentional discrimination (or ‘disparate
treatment'), ” direct proof and circumstantial
evidence of discrimination is evidence which, if believed,
proves that the decision in the case at hand was
discriminatory-and does so without depending on any further
inference or presumption.” Thus, “if a city
zoning official explicitly relies on a discriminatory policy
in making the challenged policy decision, or if he makes
discriminatory comments about the ...