About 60 people turned out to the Danbury Zoning Board of Appeals meeting last night to hear their decision about whether a cease and desist order issued to the Dorothy Day homeless shelter at 11 Spring Street would be upheld. The meetings have been tense, and there were several police officers on hand last night as the Board announced that the order would remain in place.
Attorney Sharon Dornfeld, providing a requested opinion to the Board, said the question was narrow: whether the Zoning Enforcement Officer erred in issuing the order on the basis that there is no current zoning permit.
She said the question is not about whether the comfort and aid provided is a worthwhile activity, whether the City supports providing assistance to the needy, whether the neighbors are being reasonable in posing the appeal, or if whether the Zoning Enforcement Officer was acting at the behest of a local developer. She said all involved; Dorothy Day supporters, neighbors and City officials; must be given the benefit of the doubt that they are acting in good faith.
There has been some speculation by Dorothy Day supports and others that the decades old issue came up now because luxury apartments are opening around the corner. Kennedy Flats is a 5 minute walk from the 11 Spring Street facility.