Judge denies booze appeal
BRIDGEPORT - A judge has refused an immediate appeal of the city’s new liquor store zoning regulation that benefits a recently elected city councilman.
But while Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe denied a temporary restraining order against the new regulation requested by a dozen local package stores, he left the door open for further appeals.
“I find that as to the success on the merits that the appeal is credible, that the appeal is certainly far from frivolous,” Radcliffe said.
Joel Green, who represents the liquor store owners, said they plan to move forward with their appeal.
“We look forward to having our appeal heard and decided on the merits,” Green said.
In July the city’s planning and zoning commission, over opposition from liquor store owners, the superintendent of schools and city church leaders, passed an amendment reducing the required 1,500-foot distance between liquor stores and schools, day-care facilities, hospitals and houses of worship to 750 feet.
The change in the zoning regulations benefits City Councilman Michael DeFilippo, who with the support of Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa, sought to open a liquor store on Brooklawn Avenue. DeFilippo’s initial application to open the store had been rejected because it fell within the 1,500-foot rule.
Green challenged the new zoning amendment claiming zoning officials did not follow proper procedures in approving the revisions.