Court Decision Paves Way For Storage Facility, Denied By Zoners, In North End

Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe has ruled against the city, ordering the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve a special permit to locate a storage facility at the former Stop & Shop on Madison Avenue that was opposed by many North End residents.

“The matter is remanded to the Bridgeport Planning and Zoning Commission,” Radcliffe ruled. “The commission is directed to approve the requested special permit subject to reasonable site-specific conditions based upon the existing record.”

Neighbors and city officials, including Mayor Joe Ganim, had urged the developer Hugh Scott to build senior housing and a senior center on the property but the sides could not reach common ground. Scott maintained he would beautify the site and that the storage facility would have minimal impact on the neighborhood.

A lawsuit following the P&Z denial of the storage facility declared “The appellant met all of the requirements of the regulations for the approval of the application and the issuance of a special permit.”

Radcliffe agreed. See full decision here

Excerpt from decision:



  1. Eminent domain
    This is where the Mayor should come in!
    A taking of property must be accompanied by payment of “just compensation” to the [former] owner. In theory, this is supposed to put the owner in the same position pecuniarily that he would have been in had his property not been taken. But in practice courts[where?] have limited compensation to the property’s fair market value, considering its highest and best use.

  2. It always seemed that the Dewhirst property (as it had been known prior the Stop and Shop development debacle of the G1 era), having served that neighborhood as a de facto neighborhood park under the benevolent auspices of the Dewhirst family patriarch (albeit, even in the midst of the low-key dairy operation) should have continued serving the increasingly overdeveloped neighborhood even after the Dewhirst era…

    The wise and prudent thing would have been for the G1 administration to purchase the property and rezone it as parkland… But this Park City has seen fit, in the modern era, to cede our parkland to the state for the state and development interests for what can only be perceived as nefarious reasons (from a Bridgeport-area point) even as we have ignored the need to acquire more open space for a population encouraged to grow by state workforce housing incentives that are foisted upon an increasingly overdeveloped (overpopulated) small (area) city…

    The right thing to do with this property would be to prevail upon Bridgeport “friend,” Ned Lamont, to help move some state money to purchase the defunct Stop and Shop property from Hugh Scott — under “eminent domain,” if necessary — and create a community center with recreational facilities on that site. This would go a long way to righting a past wrong to that neighborhood even as it makes life a little more livable in an increasingly overcrowded/overstressed Bridgeport.


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