Definition of Family Still Up for Debate in Hartford Zoning Case

When zoning codes separate uses, they require definitions about what constitutes each of those uses. The question in Hartford, Connecticut: Does a group of cohabiting adults fit the definition necessary to reside in a "single-family house"?
November 18, 2015, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A zoning case that made news earlier this year is back in the spotlight. "A federal judge has agreed to reopen the 'Scarborough 11" case after accepting new arguments from the West End group that is suing Hartford over its definition of family," reports Vanessa de la Torre.

The ruling reversed a ruling earlier in October that dismissed the suit. The zoning case is tied up in big questions like the definition of family because of the city's response to a group of eight adults and three children living in a mansion on Scarborough Street. The city ordered a cease-and-desist notice in October 2014, ordering "some of the residents who are not legally related to move out of the nine-bedroom house."

Adds de la Torre:

"The neighborhood controversy escalated to a federal lawsuit in March, when the adult members of the 11-person household — two couples with children, a couple with no children and two individuals collectively dubbed the Scarborough 11 — argued that the city was violating their constitutional rights to live together and raise children as a family through a partnership among good friends."

The article provides more detail on the political coalition insisting on the traditional definition of family to define the zoning regulations, while a new administration opens the possibility that the issue might be resolved without the help of the court.

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Published on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 in The Hartford Courant
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