bpthoodnews

Bridgeport, CT

#1 Oct 8, 2013
RIDGEPORT -- Millionaire developer Manuel Moutinho gets to keep his $400,000, taxpayer funded driveway -- at least for now.

Following a hearing Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe refused to order Stratford's zoning enforcement officer to raze the 1,000-foot-plus gravel driveway that runs across city-owned airport property to Moutinho's waterside mansion and the homes of two neighbors.

Sikorsky Memorial Airport is owned by Bridgeport but is in Stratford. The city hired Moutinho's Mark IV Construction in the spring to install the driveway.

John Kucej, who owns a unit in the adjoining Breakwater Key condominiums, asked the judge for the demolition order based on a July 2 ruling the judge had made in a zoning appeal filed by Breakwater. Radcliffe concluded Moutinho had not proved a hardship when he convinced the Stratford Zoning Board of Appeals last summer to allow the driveway to be built through a wetland behind the condominiums.

At some point between last summer and the driveway's completion in June, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch's administration quietly decided to take over the project as part of a $40 million runway safety upgrade the federal government wants completed by 2016. The city assumed Moutinho's permits and, despite Breakwater's then-pending zoning appeal, hired the controversial developer to install the driveway for $400,000.

Now the city is trying to reach a settlement with Breakwater Key that will keep the driveway in place -- something Kucej opposes.

Radcliffe pointed out Tuesday that the Breakwater zoning appeal was over and he has no standing to make any more rulings in that case. Besides, he continued, "The zoning enforcement officer is not a party to the case, so the court can't order him to do anything."

Instead, the judge suggested to Kucej, who is a lawyer, that he might make an application to the zoning enforcement officer to order a cease and desist order on the driveway which could then be enforced or appealed to the zoning appeals board.

Meanwhile, Richard Saxl, who represents the condominium association which had sued Stratford and Moutinho over the driveway, said progress is being made in negotiations with the Finch administration. Saxl said the association hopes to have a deal soon that would allow the driveway to remain but still provide some privacy for condominium residents.

Despite repeated invitations by the judge, city officials wouldn't join the case, so Radcliffe did not take the runway safety work into consideration when he issued his original ruling favoring Breakwater's appeal.

During a recess, numerous calls were made to the Bridgeport city attorney's office asking a representative to attend Tuesday's hearing. Eventually, Assistant City Attorney Russell Liskov showed up, apologized to the judge and said he had nothing to do with the driveway situation, but had been sent over by City Attorney Mark Anastasi to ask for a continuance.

"If he wants to say something, Mr. Anastasi can come here and say it himself," the judge retorted. "Why did Mr. Anastasi make the decision to put in the driveway when the appeal was pending?"

“'never'”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#2 Oct 9, 2013
......And there you have it folks; the cro-magnon makes an obviously crooked driveway deal with crooked city officials, and the plaintiffs have no recourse. The driveway goes during a pending appeal, and now that gets rewarded. This is 'Justice' 2013 style.
Ray D

New Haven, CT

#3 Oct 9, 2013
Show me a man who says he can live without bread
And I'll show you a man who's a liar in debt
There's no one alive who can't be purchased or enticed
There's no man alive who wouldn't sell for a price

Money talks and we're the living proof
There ain't no limit to what money can do
Money talks, money talks
Money can't breathe and money can't see
But when I pull out a fiver people listen to me

Money can't run and money can't walk
But when I write out a check I swear to God I hear money talk
Money talks and baby when you've been bought
You pay attention every time money talks
Money talks, money talks
sunny day

Naugatuck, CT

#4 Oct 9, 2013
Citizen44 wrote:
......And there you have it folks; the cro-magnon makes an obviously crooked driveway deal with crooked city officials, and the plaintiffs have no recourse. The driveway goes during a pending appeal, and now that gets rewarded. This is 'Justice' 2013 style.
There is something really bad behind the curtain on this . I don't think we will find out until "Teh one "is out.

“'never'”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#5 Oct 9, 2013
sunny day wrote:
<quoted text>There is something really bad behind the curtain on this . I don't think we will find out until "Teh one "is out.
I agree- remediation on the wetlands should have already been done- at the creep's expense. And all along, the driveway never needed to be moved. It can still be in the original location after the runway is extended.

Since: Sep 13

Stratford, CT

#6 Oct 9, 2013
I am total confuse over #5.
American Viagra Sam

Hartford, CT

#7 Oct 9, 2013
Someone got boned
LynneB

New Haven, CT

#8 Oct 10, 2013
Ray D wrote:
Show me a man who says he can live without bread
And I'll show you a man who's a liar in debt
There's no one alive who can't be purchased or enticed
There's no man alive who wouldn't sell for a price
Money talks and we're the living proof
There ain't no limit to what money can do
Money talks, money talks
Money can't breathe and money can't see
But when I pull out a fiver people listen to me
Money can't run and money can't walk
But when I write out a check I swear to God I hear money talk
Money talks and baby when you've been bought
You pay attention every time money talks
Money talks, money talks
That money talks, I'll not deny,
I heard it once,
it said "Good-bye!"

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#9 Apr 16, 2014
I agree with #8. Take care.
Tippy

Wallingford, CT

#10 Apr 16, 2014
I agree with #9. Who cares.

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