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Neighbors Rail Against Affordable Housing Proposal

Joan Carlo is one of the many residents in the neighborhood of the Stefanonis' proposed Hoyt Street affordable housing development who are against the idea. She, along with her neighbors, voiced her anger Tuesday night at the final public hearing for the project.

"I emphatically do not approve of this proposed application," said Carlo, who lives on the north side of the project, next to the proposed site of a transformer. "I am extremely concerned about the electromagnetic radiation that will be emanating from that transformer. It's extremely close to my children's swing set."

Other neighbors said the project would hurt their property values, as well as cause emotional stress. "The time and effort that we've put into this is only surpassed by the financial burden we've been subjected to," said Linda Nesdale. She said the neighbors have spent $25,000 in engineering and traffic studies because of the proposal. She questioned whether the effort was worth only five units of affordable housing. "It's not appropriate to burden so many neighbors to benefit so few."

Other concerns came from the Planning and Zoning Commission , which questioned a proposed traffic bypass of cars waiting to turn from Hoyt Street into the development. The road currently has a 10.5-foot lane, with a four-and-a half-foot shoulder. Under the proposal, the shoulder would be widened to 10.5 feet, but the amount of space between passing traffic and the sidewalk would be cut.

"There's about one foot between the side of the car and whoever's walking on the sidewalk. I find that hard to take," said Fred Conze, commission chairman.

"Anger and emotion is part of affordable housing," Margaret Stefanoni said in her closing remarks. "There's been a lot of fear, but it's not based in reality. This is the before. There's always the fear before, but I don't think it's warranted."

Do you think there's a need for affordable housing in Darien? Do you think the Stefanonis' proposals are good? Join the conversation below and on Facebook .

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