Paige Herman, a longtime resident of Fairfield Beach, thought Clam Jam was finally behind her when a permanent injunction was put in place that prohibited more than 250 students from gathering in the common areas of a condominium complex on Fairfield Beach Road from Sept. 1 through May 31 each year.
But Herman said Friday that she was sadly mistaken and that she and other plaintiffs in the nearly decade-old legal action fear college students who live in the condominium complex, known as Lantern Point, are trying to resurrect Clam Jam, a beach bash that drew thousands of college students to Fairfield Beach on the last Sunday in April before Herman and her neighbors went to court to stop it.
Herman said, in her opinion, more than 500 students gathered in Lantern Point's common areas May 1 in violation of the permanent injunction, which was part of a stipulation for judgment in January 2006 in the long-running battle between college students who want to party and permanent residents who want peace and quiet.
"This was, in my opinion, an attempt to resurrect Clam Jam," Herman said of the May 1 party at Lantern Point. "They put up a public notice on a tree at Veterans Park inviting people for free entertainment, free food and free drinks, and, in my opinion, the amount did exceed 250 people."
Herman, who lives on Fairfield Beach Road by Lantern Point, said she had the "same kind of behavior in my neighborhood and in my yard back when we had Clam Jam and it was a full-blown Clam Jam."
"It's upsetting for me and for the people who live in the neighborhood to see this activity taking place. There were not less than 14 people peeing in front of my home," Herman added.
A call to Michael O'Rourke, a Fairfield resident who was identified in court documents in 2006 as the president of the Lantern Point Association, wasn't returned Friday afternoon. Lawyers in the Trumbull firm representing the Lantern Point Association, Palmesi, Kaufman, Goldstein & Petrucelli, also did not return a call.
Joel Z. Green, the attorney for Herman and other Fairfield Beach residents, said a hearing on his clients' contention that the permanent injunction was violated May 1 was scheduled for a hearing in Bridgeport Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 30.
The hearing is on the plaintiffs' "application to show cause why defendant should not be found in contempt for failure to obey injunction."
The permanent injunction was part of a stipulation of judgment that the Lantern Point Association agreed to in January 2006 that, in addition to preventing more than 250 students in Lantern Point's common areas, also required the Lantern Point Association to hire a security guard to maintain order in the common areas in September, October, April and May and to grant Fairfield Police full and unlimited access to the common areas, which are private property, from Sept.1 through May 31 of each year.
Herman said a member of the Lantern Point Association had contacted police on May 1 to ask that the party be broken up, but she said she didn't think the Association took "took proactive steps to prevent it."
Police Chief Gary MacNamara has been invited to the Fairfield Beach Residents Association's annual meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 in Fairfield Public Library to talk about how police plan to handle student parties once Fairfield University and other universities are back in session. The majority of college students who rent housing at Fairfield Beach have been Fairfield U. students, and the university was the target of anger from permanent shoreline residents before the permanent injunction took effect.
"I don't need this kind of thing in my life right now. I thought it was over," Herman said.