posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:50 PM
Skadi, it looks like the Fair Housing Act is aimed at property owners; so it doesn't apply.
This is a city government policy, and not an owner discriminating. In the past, "homeowner associations" have been given tons of leeway in this
area, under the argument that they were similar to city councils. I'm sure the city atty would just reverse the argument. A lot would depend on
state law, as to what is acceptable for a city to zone.
I would expect they'd lose HUD eligability and other fed funds. But if they are a small bedroom community, such funds might be irrelevant. Most Fed
funds go to major cities and not to small town, from what I can get.
In truth, this is probably a way for the town to discriminate (racially) without admitting it.
Suburbs in TX have done the same thing by outlawing rentals that are more than single family units. Since most minorites and poor people can only
afford an apartment.
Sometimes the motives aren't even actively racial; sometimes big bland "politically correct" corporations will support these policies, since
apartments depress neighborhood property valuations.
City tax assessors don't like apartments either; they generate paltry revenues, and lower the assessed value on whole neighborhoods. A 'burb
produces more money by demanding single family dwellings.
In my experience, zoning boards are almost all white, elderly property owners who are "against change." Although the article makes it sounds like
the zoning cmte is actually more progressive than the city council. Either way, it still comes out "against change."
Anyway, just some speculation about their actual motives.