Civil-rights speakers threw down the gauntlet: “Snob” Woodbridge promotes segregation through exclusionary zoning.
Woodbridgers pushed back: “Elitist” interlopers have no business labeling their liberal ‘burb racist and trying to change their zoning laws.
That debate — the latest chapter in an ongoing quest to address affordable housing and racial segregation regionally rather than community-by-community — played out Monday night during a special meeting of the Woodbridge Town Planning & Zoning Commission. The nearly three-hour public hearing was held online on YouTube Live.
“We’re here today to open Woodbridge by making changes to the town zoning regulations and Plan of Conservation and Development in order to end a long period of exclusionary housing practices,” said OCA Executive Director Erin Boggs (pictured), one of the lead backers of the suburban zoning changes.
Woodbridge has long been a “pioneer in exclusion,” she said, and has used single-family zoning laws to “entrench segregation” by race and class for nearly a century.
The town is currently dominated by single-family houses and is significantly whiter and wealthier than the surrounding region.
“When Woodbridge stays the same,” warned Yale Law School student Karen Anderson later in the evening, “Woodbridge stays segregated.”
City, ‘Burb Clash On Open-Housing Quest, Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, Dec. 1, 2020, available here