Goochland County: Children Not Welcome

It’s illegal to discriminate against minorities in U.S. housing markets. It’s illegal to discriminate against old people. It’s illegal (I think) to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation. But it’s OK to discriminate against families with children. Indeed, it’s perfectly acceptable for local governments to institutionalize that discrimination with their zoning codes.

A case in point comes from Goochland County. This comes from the Goochland Courier:

COURTHOUSE VILLAGE — Not that long ago, when developers’ representatives presented residential rezoning applications, they told the Goochland County Planning Commission and the board of supervisors that the homes their clients planned to build would sell for more than $400,000. People who buy homes in that price range, they contended, rarely sent their children to county schools.

The problem, according to the Courier, is that things have changed. Houses in that price range are being purchased by families with children — and Goochland schools are coping with higher-than-expected enrollments.

Hmmm. Maybe Goochland supervisors can solve the problem by permitting only houses that cost $1 million or more.

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8 responses to “Goochland County: Children Not Welcome”

  1. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    Fairfax County made the very same mistake — assuming that people with young children (elementary school and pre-school age)cannot afford higher-priced homes. Right! The result was trailers, trailers, trailers and a half-hearted apology to parents that the Schools dropped the ball.

    Hopefully, neither Fairfax nor Goochland will make the same mistake twice.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    It is not illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation for housing in Virginia. Virginia has continually refused to add sexual orientation to the list of protected groups in housing and employment discrimination. Gov. Kaine has, by executive order, banned discrimination by state agencies, but generally Republican governors have not done this. In fact, AG McDonnel criticized Kaine for this move; see “McDonnell objects to governor’s order,” Times-Dispatch, 2/25/06

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Fairfax County has another problem as well.

    Years ago many, many apartments were built there and in other inner suburbs (Arlington, Alexandria, for example) where, by and large, mostly people without children lived. Then each apartment may have generated only a pinch of property taxes (paid in the rent and not income tax deductable); however, few passed on the rather high price of kids in public school. Most folks with children moved far enough out not to have to live in apartments or waited until they could afford a townhouse before having children.

    Now many of those apartments are packed full of immigrants, many with several children; hence ESL, special ed, and over-crowded class-rooms are becoming a problem in a county famous nation-wide for great schools.

    I read somewhere recently that there are relatively few apartments being built in Loudon County. If true, interesting.

  4. It is also an increasingly common tactic to propose age restricted housing, as was done in the recent Fauquier/Warrenton plan that the builder backe out on because of extreme proffer requirements.

    How is age restricted (over 55) housing legal? what happens to rich old geezers with 25 year old trophy wives?

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Age restricted housing won’t last.

    The housing/real estate market is so bad everyone involved will benefit if the restrictions are lifted, i.e., sellers/buyers/agents/banks.

  6. I find it a bit wierd and a sad commentary on our society when senior citizens are actively looking to segrate themselves away from children.

  7. It is worse than that. Counties are trying to segregate themselves from children so they won’t have to pay for schools.

    How sick is that?

  8. Ray,

    I so agree. I live in Warrenton, too, and I never though the Centex proffers would go through as there just isn’t a market for 800K+ seniors’ only housing. There is a very small market here for 800K+ houses as it is, let alone thinking retirees want to pay that much.

    I was irritated by a radio ad advertising a 55+ community. There was a dog being adored in the ad and they were talking up the virtues of no kids around. I would be happy living in a dog-bark and poo free neighborhood, but that would be discriminatory, I suppose.

    We send our children to a private school in Fauquier County, as do many other parents in our neighborhood. There are quite a few private schools here as well as a number of homeschooling families. It’s *tough* coughing up the tuition every month. But I do think my children are better off academically and socially, and I’m content to go without a new car, vacations, and nice clothes for them in order to ensure their education.

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