Third, and perhaps most importantly, the New Haven city government has maintained a remarkable set of zoning dossiers on every BZA application filed since 1954.
14) If extensive discrimination exists, we would expect the BZA to reject church applicants at a much higher rate.
The city records show that during the period studied, the New Haven BZA granted over 76% of exemption requests from religious institutions.
In fact, the opposite is true: the New Haven BZA approved only 67% of requests from restaurants, in contrast to the 76% approval rate for congregations.
30) If anything, minority religions had slightly more success in the zoning process than the mainstream denominations: the BZA approved 77% of the applications from small churches versus 75% from larger sects.
Throughout the 1990s, the BZA showed no interest in excluding small, unpopular religious denominations and instead granted exemptions to a range of less familiar congregations including the Church of the Redeemer, the Church of the New Beginnings, and the Iglesia Cristiana Tercera Estrella de Jacob.
At the BZA level, religious institutions received exemptions more than three-quarters of the time and regularly won authorization to pursue major construction and expansion projects.
I chose to begin this study in 2992 primarily for administrative reasons; the BZA did not record data chronologically before this date.
Moreover, the BZA did not always rule as Yale wished.
For the sake of simplicity, I divided BZA decisions into two categories: approvals and denials.
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