Zoning isn’t racist

Re: Alex Harris’ letter of Aug. 27, there is some misinformation therein. He dismisses Desegregate Connecticut as only an advocacy group who just writes letters to legislators and towns asking them to reconsider their zoning laws. Actually they have a definite agenda to change land use laws and are behind three bills before Connecticut’s legislature.

They also had nine goals for the special summer legislative session. While they didn’t make it onto this summer’s agenda, they are sure to be pushed in the January regular session. These include their rules for land use in our towns, e.g. 10% of our land to be used for multifamily or mixed use buildings; they will determine traffic and sewer standards, and model zoning regulations without consideration of a town’s “character.” Notice that our elected town officials are bypassed. Also notice that special sessions do not have public hearings, so no input was wanted from those most affected.

House Bill 5132 requires zoning decisions to ignore the “character of a district,” with compliance to be determined by their working group. Mr. Harris claims the bill was voted down in committee in March. That doesn’t mean it is off Desegregate Connecticut’s agenda.

Senate Bill 110 allows the Department of Housing to expand their jurisdiction at their own discretion without any input from towns involved.

House Bill 5303 requires planning and zoning officials to have training, no doubt to their ideology.

Desegregate Connecticut believes “Connecticut is highly segregated” and this is due to zoning laws. Fairfield County is 63.5% white and 36.5% non-white. Towns vary from the most rural at 97% white to more populated suburban towns like Danbury that are 53.9% white. (Statisticalatlas.com) Not only is liberal Connecticut diverse, but any minority who wants to purchase/rent property is welcome anywhere. Zoning laws are not racist.

Linda Lavelle

Ridgefield, Aug. 29