Garden City accused of using zoning laws to discriminate against minorities

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The Village of Garden City is accused of using its zoning laws to discriminate against minorities. 

Diane Goins and Mary Crosson are the faces behind a housing discrimination lawsuit that's been going on for more than a decade. Crosson says she vividly remembers house hunting in the 1990s and being told not to even look at Garden City.

"I got a job and I worked, and if I wanted to put my kids in a nice neighborhood, why couldn't I do that?" she asked. 

When the lawsuit was first filed back in 2005, a piece of land at the corner of Washington Avenue and 11th Street in Garden City was at the center of the case. The plot was planned to be an affordable housing development. 

The village then rezoned the land, which blocked multifamily dwellings. It was a move housing advocates claimed was done deliberately to prevent minorities from moving in.  

Since then, there have been several court rulings against the village, including one last week. There have also been several appeals by the village. 

Attorney Fred Brewington says it's time to stop fighting and start doing what's right.  

"What  [the village has]  done here is you've locked and chained the doors of Garden City for people who simply want to have a good place to live," said Brewington. "You've encouraged discrimination. You've encouraged hate. You've encouraged segregation and that should not be what's happening in the year 2017."

News 12 left messages for the Village of Garden City, but hasn't heard back yet.

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