Susan Fixary 10-06-17

P&Z Recommends Opting Out of a State Mandate on Temporary Homes for Disabled

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First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and the Planning & Zoning Commission are recommending that Darien opt out of a new state mandate that allows temporary structures for disabled people to live in on land where their friends or family are living. The P&Z Commission voted unanimously, with four of six members present, to opt-out of the mandate, as allowed by the state law that just put it into effect on Oct. 1. Opting out would take effect if the Representative Town Meeting also votes for it. The unusual state statute allows cities and towns to opt out of the provisions, which went into effect Oct.

No Roof Left Behind image for thumbnail 08-07-17

Know a Deserving Homeowner Who Needs a Free Roof? Nearby Business Accepting Nominations Now

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If you know a deserving homeowner in Fairfield County who could use a free roof and wouldn’t mind participating in a public contest to get it, send in your nomination to Prizio Roofing & Siding Co. in New Canaan. The area business is participating in the No Roof Left Behind campaign, where area roofers hold public voting campaigns to see which homeowner will get a free roof in a certain area — in this case, Fairfield County. Anyone can participate and nominate a friend, neighbor or family member in need of a new roof. From the submissions, four finalists will be chosen for an online public voting campaign.

Memorial Service National Homeless Day 912-22-16

Memorial Service for Area Homeless Held in Church of a Religion Started by a Homeless Man

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In recognition of National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, approximately 100 members of the community gathered together at the First Congregational Church of Stamford last night to remember those who died homeless in Stamford this year. The nondenominational memorial service began outdoors in the cold, on the longest night of the year. 

Leaders from Pacific House, Inspirica, Laurel House and Optimus Healthcare lit candles for Shante Kippings, Ebony Jordon, Kerri Burke, Douglas Tate, Melvin Murphy and Anthony Cromedy, each of whom died without a place to call home. Four currently homeless men: Gary Butler, James Blakeley, Norberto Ramirez and David Dukes, shared their stories. “I’m 68 years old and I never thought I was going to live in the streets.  I couldn’t find a place and started feeling lonely, depressed, like nobody wants you.” said Ramirez. “At Pacific House shelter I found life.  People really care for you there and now I’m living with hope; it seems like I could still go and be someone.  There are a lot of people that don’t have a home.  Thank you to everyone that supports this place.”
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— an announcement from Pacific House
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“This is a powerful service,” said the Rev. Mark Lingle, Rector at St.

Dave Brubeck https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dave_Brubeck_2005_in_Ludwigshafen_2_fcm.jpg

Renters Rebate Program Available for Senior Citizens and Those with Disabilities

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Darien senior citizens and/or disabled people who are renters may be eligible for a rent rebate from the State of Connecticut for the year 2015. The program begins April 1, 2016 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2016 at the Darien Human Services Dept. Eligibility requirements: One-year residency in Connecticut, age 65 as of Dec. 31, 2015 or receives Social Security Disability.

Corbin Post Road Rendering 4-7-16

Developer’s Hopes for Corbin/Post Road Redevelopment Described to Packed Room

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Although he didn’t announce any changes in the plans to transform the Corbin Drive/Post Road/I-95 block of commercial buildings, the chief developer of the project gave out more details to a packed Community Room at Darien Library on Wednesday night, and answered a lot of questions from the audience. Some information that’s new or hasn’t been emphasized before about the project:

Developers are trying to work with the U.S. Postal Service to keep the Post Office on the block and even hope to keep the delivery postal employees based there, although the post office may need more space than the area that’s been discussed. The Bank of America building has not been bought by the owners of the rest of the site. A late-night email to the CEO of L.L. Bean started the ball rolling in discussions with that retailer to bring that store to town. That L.L. Bean store may include a bicycle shop.

Darien Town Hall trees

Lawyers’ Skirmish on Zone Postpones Public Comment on Town Hall Houses Redevelopment

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Almost two dozen neighbors of Old Town Hall Houses turned out at Tuesday’s public hearing, some of them in order to speak about the proposed redevelopment of the site, but a discussion about changing zoning pushed off all but a few public comments until Tuesday of next week. A lawyer hired by several of the neighbors, Amy Zabetakis, argued that the proposal to change the zoning to a municipal zone would be appropriate because the housing development was more of a private use for residents, not for the public at large. Bruce Hill, an attorney for the Darien Housing Authority, which owns the property at 719 Post Road and wants to redevelop it, said the municipal zone was created for public purposes, that housing authorities are created for public purposes and the purpose of providing affordable housing for seniors and the disabled was an obvious public purpose. Neighbors have objected to the size of the structure that the housing authority proposes to replace the current buildings. In addition to the proposed new building taking up more space on the property, neighbors say the height of 39 feet is too high, and additional housing units could increase traffic on nearby Academy Street and Highland Avenue.

Jayme Stevenson 3-1-16

Stevenson to Legislature: Housing Law Discriminates Against Elderly, Developmentally Disabled

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First Selectman Jayme Stevenson says the state’s 8-30g fair housing law should stop discriminating against elderly housing, and it should promote housing for developmentally disabled adults. In a statement Stevenson submitted to the state Legislature’s Housing Committee and released Tuesday, Stevenson says that the formula towns have to meet to be judged as providing enough affordable housing discounts housing offered to the elderly, and it

Towns that are deemed by the state as not meeting the criteria (as Darien currently is) are subject to having developers get approval for affordable housing proposals from the state rather than town land-use boards.  

Here’s the text of her statement to the General Assembly’s Housing Committee on House Bill 5363:

Senator Winfield, Representative Butler, Senator Hwang and Representative Kupchick,

Thank you the opportunity to provide testimony regarding House Bill 5363: An Act Concerning The Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure. I am writing today in opposition to the proposed changes as they do not address fundamental inequities within CT Statute 8-30g. According to information obtained on the State of Connecticut Department of Aging website, Connecticut has “one of the country’s oldest populations” and our “population of those 60 and older is growing more quickly than other groups”.