CENTRAL ISLIP - Garden City officials answered allegations of racial discrimination Wednesday in court.

New York Communities for Change is suing the Village of Garden City in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit, claiming it has violated fair housing rights. The case dates back nine years to when former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi proposed a plan to sell a 25-acre complex in Garden City to a developer for affordable housing.

The plaintiffs allege that village officials changed zoning laws to halt affordable housing plans in an effort to keep minorities out of the area.

Village administrator Robert Schoelle testified that he attended a public hearing on the proposal in 2005 during which a number of residents voiced their concerns about affordable housing. Shoelle testified today that Suozzi then told the crowd that officials would be willing to put deed restrictions on the property to ensure that it became upscale housing instead.

Suozzi’s campaign manager did not return calls for comment.

Schoelle is due back on the stand tomorrow.