Sunday, March 22, 2015

11-Person Family Threatened by the City of Hartford, CT

I learned of an 11-person family in Hartford, CT, earlier this week on Facebook whose home is being jeopardized by zoning regulations.

Let me step this back a bit and define this family. They aren't adult siblings and they aren't a poly household. They are a group of 11 people consisting of three couples, three children, and two single people. They are all longtime friends who have bonded together to jointly purchase and maintain their home:
"I think there's a real extension of our values as people," English teacher Kevin Lamkins said. "The values I'm speaking of are sustainability, cooperation, living more, living well but within your means. Being connected to other people and not being in a silo, so to speak."

The group of friends includes three teachers, a grants manager and a mental health therapist. "It's not a cult, there's no religion, there's no intermingling," Julia Rosenblatt said. "We're really living like most people are, you know, we are just doing it together."

They purchased the nine-bedroom home and moved in last August. They have a legal partnership agreement and a shared bank account to pay expenses. The group has spent $30,000 so far to repair the home which was built in 1921.
Neighbors have complained to the city, which has asserted that no more than two unrelated people in this area. Meanwhile, this family has unsuccessfully appealed this decision and is now considering a lawsuit. Either that, or they will have to sell their home and dissolve their functional family.

I understand why these types of zoning laws exist, but I really question if the city of Hartford, CT, is truly better off by forcing this group out of their collective home.

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