The resistance among Connecticut’s wealthier suburbs toward state action on affordable housing often comes down to a pleading for the state tradition of local control. Don’t force action on us, these towns say. We know best how to handle it, and we will work out our own solutions.
The problem is that those solutions have not been forthcoming. Absent a push from the state, towns have been all too successful at building a wall around themselves and keeping out anyone not wealthy enough to buy their way in. These towns have worked to hoard the resources for the best-equipped school districts and leave less desirable elements for other communities to handle.
A lawsuit filed this week could be a major step in changing that dynamic.
A coalition of advocates led by the Open Communities Alliance filed suit against the town of Woodbridge over the community’s regulations barring anything other than single-family homes in the vast majority of the town. Woodbridge prevents multifamily housing with three or more units in 98.4 percent of the town, which advocates had challenged through the town’s zoning process over the past year.
Having been denied change through that avenue, the coalition is turning to the courts.
Editorial: A needed push against exclusionary zoning in CT, Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board, Connecticut Post, Sept. 1, 2022, available here