The Group ‘Desegregate Connecticut’ Is Coming to Bethel for a ‘Zoning Audit Walk’ June 30th

Report by Paula Antolini, June 26, 2022, 7:27AM EDT

On Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 10:00 AM  to 11:30 AM, “Desegregate Connecticut” is coming to CT for a “Zoning Walk Audit” of the Bethel train station. The event description says, “This event is an opportunity to learn about the downtown Bethel area, and like our other walk audits will help inform and promote our transit-oriented communities initiatives.”

  • Bethel Metro-North Station (13 Durant Ave., Bethel, CT)
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water
  • Masks are optional as the event will take place outdoors

Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) members and other Town officials will also be there to “review affordable sidewalks, connectivity, and housing” according to the Bethel Planner’s Report in the June 14, 2022 P&Z meeting minutes, indicated by Bethel Town Planner Beth Cavagna, which mentions this “walk about Town.”

The “TOC Walk Audit in Bethel! should last roughly 90 minutes,” according to the group’s website for the event. They also say, “Dress for walking outdoors. We will reach out with more details as the event approaches.”

Register for the event here.

We’re trying to make Connecticut more inclusive, by design,” reads the “Desegregate Connecticut” website. “We are a pro-homes coalition of neighbors and nonprofits advocating for more equitable, affordable, and environmentally-sustainable land use policies in Connecticut, with a focus on expanding the diversity and supply of our housing stock. Formed in June 2020, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the renewed conversation on racial justice, our work is about first imagining and then enacting a new vision for local and state land use policies that promotes racial, economic, and climate justice.  We leverage original research and grassroots organizing in service of public education and policy change at both the state and local levels.”

The “Desegregate Connecitcut” 2022 Platform includes:

TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES – “Transit-Oriented Communities. Connecticut must get on board for dense, mixed-use development with diverse housing options near train stations and CTfastrak stations.”

SENSIBLE LOT SIZESSmall Lots in Smart Places. Connecticut could foster more equitable, sustainable communities by rethinking one-size-fits-all lot sizes.

COMMISSION MERGERS – “Simplifying Zoning Bureaucracy. Connecticut could empower towns to merge land use commissions.”

ACCESSORY APARTMENTS – “Accessory Apartments. With the passage of HB 6107, Connecticut became the 8th state to legalize accessory apartments – but we still need towns to support their creation.”:

WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS – “Walkable Neighborhoods. Connecticut could support small-scale housing in mixed-use areas to boost businesses and create jobs.”

PARKING – “Ending Costly Parking Mandates. With the passage of HB 6107, Connecticut became the 4th state to enact state-level parking legislation, and the first to affect all housing, including market-rate apartments not near transit.”

2021 REFORMS – “2021 Legislative Reforms. The passage of Public Act 21-29 (aka HB 6107) will give us a fairer, stronger, cleaner Connecticut.”


View the Desegregate Connecticut “Activism and Zoning” video below:

View the Desegregate Connecticut “Zoning Reform in CT is a Racial Justice Issue” video below:

View the Desegregate Connecticut “Zoning and the Environment” video below:

View the Desegregate Connecticut “Economics and Zoning” video below:

Sara Bronin is the founder of Desegregate Connecticut. “By day: Cornell professor + architect. Hometown: Hartford. View rest of team here.