Zoners Consider Housing Units For Sacred Heart Students

From AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia Facebook page.
From AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia Facebook page.

UPDATE: measure tabled. City Councilwoman AmyMarie Vizzo Paniccia was among North End residents voicing zoning opposition to this housing proposal for Sacred Heart University students on Park Avenue. She writes on her Facebook page:

This may look small in print–but this proposed development is huge.

It’s a private developer’s rendering for SHU housing for over 600 Students, their guests and friends of their guests. Never mind the parking and speeding nightmares. This is being heard and presented, TONIGHT, September 24, 2018, Zoning Meeting with Commissioners, City Hall, Council Chambers,45 Lyon Terrace, 6:30pm sharp!

Be there early as 1st on Agenda.

Use the front entrance at stairs/ramp.

I will be there to voice my opinions and to say no–see you there.

We’ve had enough of SHU’s Administration and their Students being disrespectful to Bridgeport. Enough of their abusive behavior to the Property owners, littering and loitering, excessive disorderly conducts, violations to housing codes, trespassing, extensive over use to our Bridgeport Police and Fire Departments, loud and disorderly conduct, also, alcohol related events–also underage situations and the negative list goes on and grows everyday. It’s time to gather and tell SHU and Bridgeport–“enough and NO!” My city cellular and email is: 203-275-6412;

She provided this update on her Facebook page:

Tabled until next Zoning meeting. There was some info stated as fact and was not. Oooops.
Now, to wait for a real traffic, engineering and accident reports. There were 3 men speaking in favor–2 big time developers and a SHU Employee.
About 15 or so folks speaking against–me included.
Then, the zoning attorney for SHU gets his chance as a rebuttal that should answer the concerns of those folks with questions that opposed–yet, he used his time for insults and bad remarks. Shameful!
The other piece is that the City Admin spoke in favor of this project–shame on them also and for never contacting me and other Council to discuss and ask about our concerns, etc.
I let them know.
My first comment out was that there was no disrespect to the Zoning attorney, the developers, their Staff and to City Admin who are doing their jobs.
My job, which is a volunteer position, is to help with my Constituents concerns and work on what’s the best for my City. I’m all for development, having our tax base increase, but NOT at the expense of us with the bad behavior of the SHU Students and SHU Admin. It looked like the Zoning Commissioners were listening and I truly hope they deny this zone change–cause once it’s changed, ANYTHING CAN GO WRONG.
By the way, I asked several folks tonight if the abutting homeowners received a certified letter and none have. Someone missed a step! That calls for a re-do!!!



  1. This being a private development would add to the Grand list. I would be against this if Sacred Heart was owning it and not paying taxes. I am forward if it adds to the Grand list.

  2. I used to live at 4100, which I am sure it is a part of the deal. First, ABS is going to have to PAY as the owner’s childhood home is in the center and she would not want to see it torn down as her father built it. Once she passes, the property will sell so long as the price is right. I have also thought 20 million as it is a lot of land and a great location. This is going to be associated with SHU so I doubt it will make the grand list and it will wreck the neighborhood. SHU has deep pockets, why not try building this on the Fairfield side? Why not on the old GE lot which they already own? SHU takes a lot from Bridgeport and offers back very little.

    1. SHU develops very little on the Fairfield side simply because – are you ready for this? – the Fairfield Zoning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals THINK! and they are not beholden to their respective town committees to stay on those land use boards

  3. Amy Marie Vizzo-Paniccia has been on the Council for more than a few rodeos. She has seen things happen because of momentum that no one had the power to halt or because perhaps there was a blue moon month.
    To the extent that such building is private and subject to taxation it may be of interest to some. However, the devil is often found in the details of City transactions. To the extent that certain City services like Police face increased utilization, perhaps we can learn from what other communities like New Haven have done rather than just sit and complain.
    I have commented to the City Council for years about Open Accountable Transparent and Honest governance. Is it about time for a City scoreboard to show up with monthly numbers that reveal objective data and trends like the number of police calls within an area, for example? Nothing like having the facts at your command. Why not post them for all to see? Taxpayers are concerned. And perhaps a little disappointed in how difficult it is to secure timely, accurate and telling actual City results? Time will tell.

  4. SHU is one of the worst neighbors we have. They have bought off the mayor, the police chief and just about every other public official.The people that live in hard earned house are forced to listen to loud parties find booze bottles in their yards condums in the street and so on. Cops are called and they arrest no one, Fire Department knows many of these units are illegal as does zoning and does housing code. Do they do anything NO
    Our 2 council people attend meeting after meeting and nothing of substance gets done.Ladies when is enough enough.

  5. why does SHU need more off-campus housing in the North End???

    there are 2 apartment buildings – 1 on Eckert Street behind Hillview Market, the other across Madison Ave from Hillview Market – that are nothing BUT student housing.

    Nothing will be done about the illegal units until there are massive fires that kill much more than 86 students and destroy thousands of dollars in property.

    the 2 City Council members from the 134th don’t give a flying rat’s behind about the TAXPAYERS that reside in the 134th.

  6. Schools that own property in municipalities other than their official address should have to 100% property taxes + a special excise tax on out-of-state students residing within the borders of such towns… SHU is the prime example of why this should become state statute… SHU is a horrible, lying, parasitic bully-institution that is a horrible example of an institution that would identify itself as “Catholic.” Conscientious Catholics should disown this institution and demand that it cease to identify itself as a “Catholic.” This school, it’s lying, deceitful administration and BOD are not what the Catholic Church want representing it to the world… (It is interesting that the founder of SHU — the Diocese of Bridgeport — has made the former, automatic SHU-BOD chair, the Bishop, a non-voting, ex-officio position, as of former Bishop Lori… Rather “telling,” it would seem…)

    1. *** You may not like every vote or non votes by Ms.V.Paniccia while shes been on the council but just remember that 50% of the 20- Bpt. council members, are admin. rubber-stampers that go along with just about anything that the city’s administration puts forward in order to not make waves & get points for a DTC political indorsement come election time. Ms. V. Paniccia seems to me, as having a political back-bone when it comes to many council votes & decisions & is not one of the council rubber-stampers. ***

  7. One answer as to why things don’t get done at the political level is of course that many elected officials are compromised by their personal endeavors. If the media would follow Paul Harvey’s adage and tell “the rest of the story” we’d have a better picture of why certain issues never get handled for the good of the people. In this case we should know how many of our esteemed “leaders”- present and past rent out their properties to these kids and enjoy huge profits. Their personal business gets in the way every time. The interest of the citizens come last and only as long as it doesn’t interfere with their or their colleagues personal interests and business.

  8. Thank you, thank you for being there to speak on behalf of the north end residents against this insanity. These sacred heart kids are like squirrels in a garden, they’re cute to look at but detrimental and a serious pain in the azz.

    I love seeing young kids zooming down my quiet street in a New York or Mass licensed vehicle….I only want CT licensed cars with locally raised kids doing that! hahaha

  9. Exactly!! I think that the liquor store owner/councilman might even have one or more locations where he rents to students as well! Someone should confirm that, since being a “public servant” opens one up to being legally exposed to public scrutiny. All neighborhood residents have to do is ask the State liquor Authority to not grant his license based upon the fact that that kind of traffic and business is not wanted or needed in that particular RESIDENTIAL area. In fact the remonstrance clause asks for only a minimum of 10 residents from the entire city or town and not necessarily the particular neighborhood. Ernie and others should press that issue as it will eventually negatively affect their districts as well which is why he and others spoke out against it at all those zoning board hearings. More to come.

  10. I agree Lisa White the city could of had a Little League facility where games could be played as steps to Williamsport. It seems that was a bad idea and the dorm was a better choice. Look what that has done to the neighborhood and the property values? Do those who wanted the dorm have to live within the shadow or have to put up the rowdy students?

    There is enough land in Fairfield go build that dorm there.

  11. The Little League was proposed for 90 Acres Park. The first dorm was built on the former Dinan property that was proposed to be a funeral home and was fought – then sold to SHU where they were allowed under existing zoning to build the 10 story in your face dorm.

    Little League would probably have been sold to SHU by now if it had gone forward.

    This project is a privatized dorm and the developer should not be able to get more rooms by manipulating a zone intended to encourage dense housing to use mass transportation and walkable neighborhoods – which is not the case here. Zoning does provide for more dense use for college dorms that PC multifamily zone. Despite whatever good ole Chuck says there is no assurance that SHU won’t own the property some day. 57 units today – assuming 3 persons per unit – is 171 people – they are expecting to house almost 700 students – of which at least 75% will have cars to come to school form their out of state homes – zoning is requirement is .33 spaces per unit(cause the zone anticipates use of mass transit) to the most 1.5 spaces per unit. NOT AN APPROPRIATE ZONE CHANGE DENY DENY DENY

  12. On another SHU note. I applaud them for all the beautiful stone walls all along Park Avenue, continuously that compliment the iconic stone wall built by the CCC during the Great Depression


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