It was merely a coincidence that the latest racial and housing discrimination lawsuit against suburban Sunnyvale was filed this year on Martin Luther King Jr. Twenty-four years have passed since he filed his first suit against the town, which sits between sprawl-covered Mesquite and Garland, 12 miles east of downtown.
She found nothing of the sort in Sunnyvale. It allowed only single-family houses on 1-acre lots.
After a trial, U. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer ruled in that it was no accident that, inSunnyvale had only 16 blacks among its 2, residents. The town reached a settlement in with the Inclusive Communities Project ICPa Dallas fair housing nonprofit organization that took over pressing the case, to provide at least 70 low-income units.
Five years later, Sunnyvale was found in contempt for failing to live up to the agreement.
To satisfy the court with a remedy, the town last year approved zoning and financial incentives for a developer to build 94 units. Their location could hardly have been more isolated: an industrial-zoned section of town away from any existing homes and adjacent to a sprawling warehouse on a road busy with wheel trucks.
Still, U. The rejection prompted ICP and Daniel to file suit in January and again accuse the town of using zoning to enforce racial discrimination.
But the year-old semiretired IT consultant says Sunnyvale is different now, and that is reflected in its more diverse racial makeup. Today, blacks represent 5.
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Indian-Americans, who are counted in census figures as Asian, are by far the largest minority in the town, making up about 20 percent of its 5, residents. Lee Adams, a burly political gadfly who put out a town newspaper, the Sunnyvale News, until health problems forced him to stop last year, says white residents have fought low-income housing with a passion. For decades, Sunnyvale kids went to North Mesquite High School, but when the student body there became predominantly Hispanic and black over the past decade, Sunnyvale residents voted to build their own high school, which opened in Riding around town with Adams at the wheel of his pickup, I see the changing housing styles: older ranchettes with their horse pastures and newer subdivisions with 6,square-foot Hummer houses.
Here and there someone has planted a stunning million-dollar home.
There is resentment about a Dallas fair housing group or a federal judge telling Sunnyvale what to do, he says. The letter also says that Council Member Pat Wiley would be willing to testify to that fact in court.
On location: august 13,
Wiley, who moved to Sunnyvale about seven years ago and opened an auto body shop in a newer commercial area, says residents tell him they fear affordable apartments will harm property values and crowd the schools. He sees the issue from another angle, as the father of someone who could use a subsidized apartment.
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