Madison Wharf District Debate

A judge ruled against the Madison Beach Hotel in Connecticut and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission by striking down a decision to create the West Wharf District on the town’s shoreline, which cleared the way for concerts and other events. 


A document filed Sept. 22 in New Haven Superior Court by Judge Howard Zoarski said the commission’s actions were “arbitrary, unreasonable, illegal and in abuse of its discretion,” by creating the district, the New Haven Register said.

The hotel was located in a residential zone before the commission’s approval to create the new district June 19, 2014. The hotel has since used the area for events including a summer concert series, the paper said.

That decision is overturned with the court siding with the Madison Beach Preservation Association, which opposes the zoning change. Association member Emile Geisenheimer said neighborhood concerns regarding the hotel remain, as there is a pending lawsuit against the town to enforce 24 variance conditions restricting operations at the hotel, established in 2008, the Register reported.

Geisenheimer said the hotel hasn’t held up its end of the agreement and planning and zoning officials do not enforce it.

Conditions included restrictions on outdoor lighting at night, the number of people allowed to attend a banquet, the location where certain activities can take place, amplification, parking and other restrictions.

“We are very happy that the court saw the injustice in the action of the town of Madison Planning and Zoning Commission and has invalidated its illegal action,” Geisenheimer said.

Madison First Selectman Fillmore McPherson remains supportive zoning commission’s actions.

“We are disappointed in the decision and we are reviewing with the counsel whether or not to move forward with the appeal,” McPherson told the Register Sept. 24.