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Covington & Burling Represents Local Residents in Suit Against American University Over Tenley Campus Development Plans

November 5, 2002

November 5, 2002 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - On October 25, 2002, three local residents, each of whom is a member of the Tenley Campus Neighbors Association, sued American University in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia over the University's breach of a 1986 Agreement with its neighbors. The agreement governs the University's use and development of the Tenley Campus in Northwest Washington. Covington & Burling represents the plaintiffs.

The 1986 Agreement is the result of negotiations between the University and the neighbors that arose out of the University's announcement in the mid-1980s that it intended to relocate the University Law School on the Tenley Campus. As the result of plaintiffs' objections to this proposal, the University agreed not to place the law school on the property and to restrict its use of the Tenley Campus to those buildings in existence in 1986. The University also agreed to cap the number of students who would live and attend classes on the Tenley Campus, restrict parking, and preserve open space.

In violation of the 1986 Agreement, the University now proposes to construct a 75,000 square foot building, including a 200-car parking garage, on the Tenley Campus. The proposed building would violate almost every material term of the 1986 Agreement.

The plaintiffs have requested that the Court:

  • declare that the 1986 Agreement is binding on the University;
  • order specific performance of the 1986 Agreement; and 
  • enjoin the University from proceeding with its proposed development of the Tenley Campus.

For more information, please contact Kimberly K. Egan, 202.662.5108 or Noël Decker, 202.662.6361.

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