State To Historic Commission: Do Your Job To Enforce Regulations

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Mary Dunne has notified the chair of the Bridgeport Historic District Commission that it cannot pass the buck in the enforcement of its regulations. Someone in the city, by state law, must step up such as the zoning office.

Dunne sent this recent letter to Stuart Sachs, the district commission chair, following a review of the commission’s work by retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez.

I am writing regarding an email correspondence I received from Attorney Carmen Lopez regarding an issue that recently came before the Bridgeport Historic District Commission. While addressing the commission to report a violation of the local historic district ordinance, Robert Halstead was informed that the Bridgeport Zoning Official, does not enforce any Historic District regulations because his job description exempts him from this responsibility.

Please be aware that CGS section 7-147h (a) states: “regulations and orders of the commission issued pursuant to said sections, or to any regulation or ordinance adopted said sections, shall be enforced by the zoning enforcement official or building inspector or by such other person as may be designated by ordinance, who may be authorized to inspect and examine any building, structure, place or premises, and to require in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist therein or thereon in violation of any provision of the regulations or orders made under the authority of said sections or of any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections.”

If the Zoning Official is exempt from this responsibility, someone must be designated in his stead. As a Certified Local Governent, Bridgeport needs to be mindful of its commitment and responsibilities regarding support of the Historic District Commission.

While our office does not have the authority to direct municipal actions under the statutes, please let me know if our office can assist in any way to ensure that an appropriate enforcement officer is designated.



  1. Okay, Stewart Sachs, the balls in your court. When can we expect remediation of this underperformance of the Commission? Will there be a meeting open to the public? Will there be reasonable public input? Will there be an explanation why no member of the Commission did their due diligence? Just as a courtesy to you, I suggest you don’t be so easily intimidated by members of the public who take time from their lives and schedules to show interest and support when nefarious actions by those responsible and generously paid by the taxpayers of Bridgeport don’t uphold local and state laws. An unqualified commissioner is worse than no commissioner.

        1. Andy, thank you for your “why.” I have immense admiration for Ron, but his comment had me so confused I thought I was commenting on the wrong issue. Ron, why? If you know something you feel is relevant I would look forward to an email so you can privately share with me.

          1. Lisa, C’MON NOW, I want Judge Lopez to kick the City ass so bad because that’s the only way this City will act, just look at how bold Stewart Sachs is, they all need to be dragged into court. The City is barking up the wrong tree, I have total confidence Judge Lopez to what’s right for the City.

    1. And to further continue the outrageous conduct of the Historic District Commission…

      They have scheduled a meeting to APPROVE this debacle on 584 Kossuth Street that Bob Halstead & Judge Lopez have been fighting against.

      The meeting is as follows:

      Tuesday, September 4, 2018

      45 Lyon Terrace

      Wheeler Room B

      6:00 P.M.

      New Business:

      Application #2018-16 of Myrna Silverio for the APPROVAL of changes made to the property located at the address of 584 Kossuth Street in the Pembroke Historic District


  2. The ball also should be in the Public Facilities Department Court. As I found out while investigating and researching with the help of Judge Lopez, there are definite regulations on getting a sidewalk permit and these were not followed.
    The contractor doing any sidewalk or driveway work, has to have a City-approved, bonded contractor. In this case they let it be a do-it-yourself job. No one inspected the work and it is woefully non Code complying.
    More serious is that the PF Office failed to verify that there was no pre-existing curb cut or driveway. No one came out to inspect, from that office to verify what the application said- to remove and replace an existing driveway. The applicant filed a fraudulent application or was told to put that in, as a loophole. No one checked or they purposely did not want to check.

  3. Here is the problem people are just not doing their jobs. Ganim hired a person to insure all commissions were full and up to date, well this has not been done in fact its a fucking joke.
    The dweebs on the council should take over from king ganim and his crew and appoint new people to all the boards and commissions. I am sure if this is taken to court Ganim will lose.This city is being run by a bunch of self centered dumb asses.
    Lets look at the Police Chief. The charter and civil service say a person in acting status should serve in the acting capacity of 120 days.. The police department has a load of captains and deputy chiefs who are qualified to serve as chief. Civil service is not doing their job the police commission is not doing their job I guess it is going to take a judge to save this city .
    You cant go to the papers as e only have the Post and you cant go to this forum so you are caught between a rock and a hard place

    1. Andy, you nailed at the end when you said,”You can’t go to the papers and you can’t go to this forum so you are caught between a rock and a hard place. These City commissions along with the entire City Council don’t what is really going on and the are scare to say or do anything because they like the position that they are in and they think they are important.

  4. *** Many times regardless of weather its an historical site community or not, city home owners feel the over all cost of all these city compliance permits, etc.. to do any type of home repairs are too damm expensive! Certified contractor, permit prices, inspections,permit release, etc…etc…! Its a bunch of added expenses & sometimes time consuming just for simple home repair projects. In an urban city like Bpt. where you have so many older homes in need of repairs, it should not be so expensive for these requirement city permits, & everything else that goes along with it. You would think the city would have some type of cost saving incentives for home owners to up keep their properties in general. Its good for the home owners, good for the community & city, no? ***WHAT SAY YOU?***

  5. For homeowners living in historic districts, there is a substantial subsidy available that 30% of costs can be gotten back from a program administered by the State, Mary Dunn’s Office Virtually, no one knows about it and they have not marketed it or advertised it in Bridgeport.

  6. *** That does not help home owners in general, nor historic site community home owners by not knowing. Over all prices in bpt. for permits & everything else that goes along with it is too damm expensive period! Thats part of the reason why many houses in the city look like there falling apart.***


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