Civil Rights Group Sues Woodbridge Over Zoning Practices

NBC Universal, Inc.

A civil rights organization has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Woodbridge Tuesday morning claiming the town's zoning regulations violate the state's Fair Housing Act and Zoning Enabling Act.

The group Open Communities Alliance says by banning most multi-family housing and requiring large lot sizes, Woodbridge effectively excludes lower-income families, who are often Black and Latino, from moving into the town due to the lack of affordable housing.

“For decades, Woodbridge’s zoning has erected unjustifiable barriers preventing lower and moderate-income families, who are disproportionately families of color, from moving to town," said Erin Boggs, founding executive director of OCA. "Woodbridge’s unduly restrictive zoning fails to address the stark regional need for affordable housing, disparately harms Black and Latino households, and deepens economic and racial segregation in the area."

OCA first called on Woodbridge to change its zoning regulations in Sept. 2020.

The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in New Haven Tuesday.

Joining OCA as plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Open Communities Trust, a development trust created by OCA that has leased property in Woodbridge with an option to buy for the purposes of building a multi-family structure that would include affordable housing, according to the organization. The current owner of the property, and two Woodbridge residents are also named as plaintiffs.

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