Does ‘snob zoning’ lead to segregated suburbs in CT?

When it came time sell this particular 5-bedroom home in Woodbridge, located on a 1.5 acre lot studded with trees, the realtor pitched the house to prospective buyers with these inducements: “Location, location, location,” the ad proclaimed, adding that the “expansive home” has a floor plan capable of “accommodating anyone and everyone.”

The property – located just off the route taken by local politicians and residents as they marched over the summer chanting “Black Lives Matter” and toting signs that read “End White Silence” – is now at the center of a controversial proposal that challenges the town’s so-called “snob zoning,” which civil rights attorneys argue keeps Woodbridge segregated.

These same attorneys, who teamed up with a developer to purchase the property last spring, are calling on town officials to throw out the town’s prohibition on multi-family housing and to approve their application to tear down the 5-bedroom home and allow them to build a 4-unit dwelling.

While opposition to the application has been fierce – a dozen homeowners hired the conservative former gubernatorial candidate and land use attorney Tim Herbst to fight the zoning changes – other residents have stepped up to support the effort to dismantle the town’s zoning laws, which they say are restrictive.

Does ‘snob zoning’ lead to segregated suburbs in CT?, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, CT Mirror, Dec. 7, 2020, available here

  • Open Communities Alliance
  • 75 Charter Oak Avenue
  • Suite 1-200
  • Hartford, CT 06106
  • Phone: 860-610-6040