The Partnership Of Blight And Crime–West Side Lot A Mess, Taxes And Penalties Owed

Blighted properties, such as the one shown here, are co-conspirators in a spike in crime. Former City Councilman Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez, who lives near this abandoned garbage-strewn lot at 848 Maplewood Avenue, brought this video to OIB’s attention. The lot is adjacent to Bryant School and near the location where a three-year-old girl was shot one week ago while walking with her mother.

The footage was taken months ago, but Gonzalez says it’s been in this condition for years presenting a scar on the neighborhood.

The Commercial Recording Division of the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office lists Maplewood Associates LLC, with an address in Storrs Connecticut, as the owner. Eric G. Phelps of Fairfax Station VA is listed as manager of the LLC. City land records show the limited liability company has owned the property since 2007 and did not make a tax payment in 2011 with $2,093.78 owed in back taxes including $221.76 in interest.

Neighborhood residents have scheduled a rally tonight in response to last week’s shooting. The discussion should also bring awareness about property owners’ trash-filled lots.



  1. It certainly is great to see the West Side residents banding together to bring attention to the problems besieging their neighborhood: blight and crime, which obviously go hand and glove.
    I would have thought at least the unpaid taxes would have attracted the city’s attention, but I guess I was wrong.
    Where are the City Councilmen and the State Legislators on this issue? Why aren’t they actively involved?
    Kudos to the West Siders for rallying about last week’s shooting. The time has come for action to be taken by our elected officials as well.

  2. Yeah, it is good to see West Side residents banding together, especially the residents of “the woods.” All it took was a drive-by shooting that left two people wounded, including a 20-year-old man who has been shot at before.

  3. I believe these three lots are owned by the City and were once slated to become either a playground or a parking lot for the school.

    1. I stand corrected. The three properties I was thinking of are actually on Poplar Street and were sold by the City in 2007; 195, 199 and 205 Poplar Street. I have to drive by and see if they are being kept up.

  4. Bridgeporteur, the three lots are indeed on the Poplar Street side and at least they have been maintained by the BOE as far as keeping them clean goes. Bridgeport Kid, for 10 years I have been doing my part with a few property owners to keep the ‘hood in as decent condition we could. Despite the shooting there are many people who are afraid to get involved and some don’t because they are part of the problem and know most of the troublemakers who come around once in a while.
    The condition of 848 Maplewood Avenue started getting out of hand back when Tom Mulligan was one of the City Coucilmen NOT representing this part of the 130th district. Ezequiel Santiago hasn’t done any better. The last time his representatives came near the lot was to put up the Black and Yellow campaign signs on the telephone poles. Ezequiel is supposed to represent Marina Village, The Greens Homes and this section of Maplewood Avenue just to give you an idea of the great work he has done. This is not part of Auden Grogins’ district, but I wish it were. Just several months ago–around the time I took the videos–we discussed the reason why I felt there is a need to have representation from this part of the district in the Democratic Town Committee. Hector A. Diaz responded by calling me a loser and “a snitch” on another occasion.
    When I first got elected to the City Council, one of the first projects we undertook was ironically the Bryant School remodeling project and we purchased the properties in back of the school for the project to proceed and playground space.
    To the Finch administration and the City Council I ask: Have you ever heard of the term ‘Broken Window Effect?’ Kudos to Lennie Grimaldi!

  5. Yes Joel. These three lots have been maintained with a nice lawn on them. But is the City paying to maintain a private property? Have you seen City equipment and workers on this private property?
    I had to go by and see 848 Maplewood after this. Not surprisingly, it is quintessential “knee jerk” reaction time on the part of the City. There are now three large bright green posters on the City-built fence saying the City Code Enforcement Inspector will be there in a few days to determine if this is a “blighted property.” This is what the kids look at when they look out the windows of the school and this is what they walk past every day to get to and from school. They come to see it as a normal condition of their environment. It outrages and upsets me. Why doesn’t anyone see this? Mayor Finch is running all around the City doing window-dressing green projects, blowing money on out-of-town consultants and contractors and getting press for it but please, multiply this lot by 50 x and you can finally see what is going on here. By the way, it is not an impossible task to address. Oh yeah, where is Councilman and Councilwoman Olson and Bryant? There is not a flower in sight when you stand in front of Bryant School.

  6. Bridgeporteur, I saw one of the inspectors drive by my house and I thought he was heading to 848 Maplewood Avenue. So much for “a loser” getting involved.

  7. *** There are blighted property lots like this across America, now more than ever! Some cities or towns have successful programs that use community service workers or DOC work details for the labor part and provide the equipment needed to keep them clean and in some cases usable like community gardens, playgrounds, etc. Some sell the lots at a lower market value rate depending on what the buyers’ plans are for the lots. This particular lot in the video could be used for Bryant School staff or visitor parking since it’s right across the street. Where there’s a will there’s usually a way, no? *** Think outside the box! ***

    1. Implementation. People in government and elected officials getting busy and doing their jobs. It’s been done before in other cities but keep in mind, it has also been done in Bridgeport at certain times. I am very frustrated with this administration. We really really have to vote them out–vote them out and the current Democratic Town Committee because they are only going to knee-jerk react, they will never be proactive, they will NEVER change. Trust me.

  8. Maybe this is why Coble the “BLIGHT” director was canned.

    was a new director named? If so, that person should be contacted and made aware of the “BLIGHT.”

    That is a $90K a year job; am I right?

    1. More of the same.
      The new guy is a party guy like Coble was, like Kelly is, like Alanna is, like Nunn is, like Wood is and like Finch is.


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