Zoning Board Says ‘NO’ to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House
Danbury's Zoning Board of Appeals told the Dorothy Day homeless shelter they could not give them the 'variances' they need to stay open.
What exactly does that mean? Dorothy Day has been operating under past zoning rules and regulations without the proper permits for years, which means they are not in compliance with current zoning laws. Board of Appeals Chairman, Dick Jowdy told the NewsTimes:
"Our decision up here has nothing to do with being ethical or not, our decision is doing what the city calls us to do and that is to make a decision for the entire people(based on the law)," I don't think there's a person on our board who would not donate to the homeless or the shelter, but we have to make a decision."
For the Dorothy Day House to stay open, 11 highly technical special variances had to be granted by the Zoning Board which they voted not to do. Supporters and non-supporters of the Dorothy Day House were in attendance and the meeting did get contentious with booing and applauding going back and forth.
The Dorothy Day House has been helping people since 1982 where they have beds for 16 guests and where they serve approximately 75 meals a day. It is run exclusively by a large group of amazing volunteers.
Is there any hope at all for the shelter? Dorothy Day's attorney, Neil Marcus is hoping the Zoning Board might be able to come up with a creative solution. If not, it will be left in the hands of Judge Berger.