The people who live on Allen O'Neill Drive aren't happy with the RTM's vote last week abandoning the road to the Darien Housing Agency. Residents like Leonard Gerardi, who has lived there since he was in first grade, say the community is being knocked down to make way for an affordable housing condominium complex.
"This was an ideal happy little community," says Gerardi, who graduated from high school last year. "Now the place I call home is being knocked down for ... I don't even know what."
The feeling of not knowing was echoed by Susan Geddes, head of the neighborhood association. "They'll tell you one thing, and then they'll tell you another," she said. Geddes added that a lot of the neighbors are quite upset about the plans. "They're very outspoken. And it's not just here. Many of the neighbors on Fairfield Avenue, Elm Street, Noroton Avenue, West Avenue are all upset."
Gerardi is angry about the lack of information the town has provided to the residents. "They don't tell us what's going to happen, which is messed up on their part," he said. "It's unfair that a lot of hardworking people have lived here so long and now they're going to straight up kick us out."
Now that the town has turned the road over to the Darien Housing Authority to develop, it is unknown when the residents will be forced to move. "There's no timeline, they're still waiting on funding," Geddes said.
One thing's for sure, and that is that eventually Allen O'Neill Drive will be gone. "I wanted to be able to come back here 10 years from now and see where I grew up," Gerardi said. "Now I won't be able to."
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