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Tempers Flare at Hearing on Darien Senior Housing

Emotions ran high again at the final public hearing on Christopher and Margaret Stefanoni's proposed affordable senior housing development on Tokeneke Road , with neighbors insisting that the development would create a potentially dangerous traffic situation.

"Every resident in the neighborhood is put at risk by having this type of project," said Barry Seeman, a resident of the nearby Pheasant Run. Big concerns addressed at the Planning and Zoning Commission's hearing Tuesday included the speed of vehicles coming down the hill on Tokeneke Road and whether they might hit cars exiting the development, as well as the diminished sight line when cars would leave the development and Pheasant Run.

Seeman also submitted studies that concluded that driving ability in seniors is highly diminished, which would heighten the traffic dangers. "This is a potential life-or-death situation," he said.

Chris Krediet, a Tokeneke Road resident, said the intersection was a dangerous one. "You can't make a few tweaks to the proposal and make it a safe development. This is a bad idea," he said.

Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission took issue with the fact that the Connecticut Department of Transportation granted approval for the Stefanonis to proceed with the project before the town had reached a decision.

Commission member Joseph Spain said that no matter what DOT approval was in place, it was still the town's decision on whether to approve the project. "They are not controlling this. It is up to us to make the decision based on the reality we perceive," he said.

Margaret Stefanoni said there is a need in Darien for affordable housing and that some of the concerns brought up were attempts to keep affordable housing out of town. "If people believed driving fast prevented affordable housing, Darien would turn into a speedway."

What do you think of the Stefanonis' proposed developments? Do you think they will get approved? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook .

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