Zoning Official Issues Work Stoppage For North End Housing Construction

Zoning Official Paul Boucher has temporarily revoked zoning approval for a proposed four-story, 177 unit housing development on property of the former Testo’s Restaurant in the North End, a signal that a pending opinion by the City Attorney’s Office may not go the contractors’ way.

Developers Amit Lakhotia and John Gudes recently received a demolition permit to raze the structure, but Boucher’s order prevents anything else from moving forward.

A city legal opinion is expected to be released in the coming days about the zoning validity of the project.

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Dozens of neighbors as well as City Council representatives of the district oppose the plan arguing the potential density is not compliant with the makeup of the neighborhood.

The developers say they will seek relief in state court if the city rules against the plan.

Statement from Mayor Joe Ganim

“A few weeks ago, residents in the lower North End that live in the neighborhood of Madison Ave. and Westfield Ave. wrote a letter to my office requesting that the City of Bridgeport review the project which proposes the construction of a 4-story structure with 177 residential units. Councilmembers Jeanette Herron and Aikeem Boyd also subsequently reached out to my office asking for a full review of the project.

Among the concerns and questions raised by the residents and Council members from the area were that the project was not submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a vote, there was no public hearing on the matter, and that the project was being allowed to proceed under the regulations of the old zoning code rather than the new regulations which took effect on January 1, 2022.

Upon notice of these concerns, I immediately requested that the City Attorney, in collaboration with the Office of Planning and Economic Development, conduct a full review of the project, including whether the Zoning Approval issued by the Zoning Department in October 2022—and any permits related to that approval—were validly issued. It is clear that the investigation to date by the City Attorney’s Office has raised some areas of concern and calls into question that initial Zoning approval.

I stand with the residents of this neighborhood and share their concerns regarding the 4-story structure that has been proposed for that site. I am in full support of the temporary revocation of the Zoning Approval pending the full written opinion of the City Attorney on the matter. While I have publicly expressed the need to resolve these legal questions quickly for the benefit of the residents, the developers, and the City, I also respect the need for a thorough and accurate review of the matter. Temporary revocation of the Zoning Approval is the most appropriate course of action while we await a final legal opinion and action by the Zoning Official.

My office will work with the Office of Planning and Economic Development to monitor compliance with the temporary revocation of the Zoning Approval issued yesterday and will continue to provide information to the public as we await the final legal opinion.”

Zoning letter to developers:



  1. Coach T,
    Some day all of us may be able to rely on fair and equal treatment under the rule of law, but are we there already.?
    Representation of the rights of neighbors to speak to changes or new realities when parties to such dealings had meetings with City department heads and lawyers but notice to neighbors (better yet, warnings of potential) were absent from public notice.
    Blame the public? Or provide fair chance to let them deal with quality of life and financial effects not previously previewed or commented upon by short term and longer term members of a changing neighborhood. Blame a political leader who has only looked out for himself? Possibly. How much does he care for residents and taxpayers? What does he claim are his personal principles and values as a democratic leader, who has sponsored a Mayor who is increasingly comfortable in an autocratic mode?
    Can’t wait for the “legal commentary” due momentarily from Acting City Attorney Mark Anastasi. Can you? Time will tell.

  2. For many years there has been no rhyme or reason for the Bridgeport zoning regs on the books, much less for any rationale of their application. A cursory inspection of the Bridgeport landscape is all that is needed to evaluate the accuracy of that statement. Incinerator plants and garbage/incinerator-ash dumps allowed to be located in Seaside Park; mammoth power plants on extremely valuable waterfront locations; extremely-dense multi-family housing developments in the midst of extant single-family areas; large commercial/retail venues placed in the midst of extant single-family areas; commercial-industrial areas rezoned and used for residential and residential-type uses (e.g., schools). Reflections of Bridgeport development masterplans where the input from the citizenry was given zero regard by the “masterplanners”… And then we have the state and federal government to thank in their planning decisions where it is OK to obliterate major portion of the city’s downtown/tax base as well as the major portion of a magnificent city park/open space area…

    And lets not forget the Sacred Heart dorms and classroom facilities on Park Avenue and Madison Avenue (bait and switch office site…

    So; it should come as no surprise that a contraindicated, problematic development project has been inflicted on yet another neighborhood. History will probably note that Bridgeport was a place where people stayed until they were able to move someplace else and where developers with a plan to turn a fast buck had field day — until the whole place imploded and was re-zoned as parts of the surrounding towns from whence it had originally been created…

    1. @Jeff Kohut
      What makes you think that surrounding towns would want any part of Bridgeport?

      BTW>>>>Zoning has nothing to do with the movement of land from one municipality to another. Zoning is local to each town. Only the state can set and change municipal boundaries.

      When Terrible Timmy Herbst was First Selectman in Trumbull, he tried to shakedown the state regarding the proposed Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School scheduled to be built in Trumbull off of Old Town Rd.
      The state told Timmy to F*ck off (something many of us said from time to time) and took 48 acres of land from Trumbull and gave them to the City of Bridgeport.

      Hartford giveth and Harford can taketh away.

      Remember: nowhere is the US Constitution is any political subdivision of the country mentioned except states. Municipalities and counties (Parishes in Louisiana) are a creation of the individual states and exist solely at the pleasure of the state legislatures.

  3. Anybody whose don’t see this as a stalling tactic to allow Ganim to temporarily gain favor and votes in the north end, isn’t paying attention. This temporary ploy will like most likely be reversed September 13th.

    Don’t be fooled by election year shenanigans. Vote smart, Vote Gomes.

  4. JML: I just sit back and laugh and chuckle. Most will never be able to rely on “fair and equitable treatment” unless they are CONNECTED! 😂
    Hey, a super large Total Wine or a Bev Max liquor store would be wonderful there. It could generate about 7 to 10 million in sales and maybe more. Think of the added tax revenues!!
    AND IN OTHER NEWS….. 3 people were shot in Times Square the other day. That location is a GUN FREE ZONE and NYC has the strictest gun policy in the country. If these shooters are caught I suppose they will have their gun permits revoked and possibly never be able to legally purchase or carry a weapon again. 😂
    Qualified retired LEO’ s such as myself have a right by order of a Congressional act, to carry in 52 States. This privilege can help protect themselves or active Police involved in serious situations, and the general public when serious threatening situations arise. The problem is that even they, are not allowed to carry in “gun free zones”. So much for thoughts about the rule of law as it pertains to the average citizen. If anyone still thinks that Government is there for them ….. well……then…… you know! 😂 😂 😂
    Vote for it…get more if it!!! 🤣


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