Facing a Lawsuit, Developer in Darien Opts for 8-30g Housing

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8-30g is a Connecticut affordable housing law that was enacted more than 30 years ago, then largely ignored. Until now. It was written to help people afford housing in Connecticut, one of the most expensive states in the nation.  Within Connecticut, no places are less affordable than the small, wealthy towns of Fairfield County. But that’s where affordable housing projects are going up. It’s happening because demand for housing is high, stock is low, and developers are earning profits even with the 8-30g requirement that 30 percent of the units in a project are rented at rates deemed affordable. To

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Darien Negotiating Purchase of 60-acre Great Island, Priced at $100 million

DARIEN — The town has begun negotiations to purchase Great Island, a 60-acre estate that has belonged to one family since 1905.  The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to approve a resolution to authorize First Selectman Monica McNally to negotiate the purchase of the property, currently listed for $100 million. The property was first listed in 2016 for $175 million and then relisted in 2019 for $120 million. The property’s monthly real estate taxes are $49,159, totalling $589,907 annually.  Before the vote, the board discussed the potential acquisition of a portion of the property in a 70-minute executive session.  McNally

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The Affordable Housing Debate Comes to a Head in Fairfield County

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DARIEN – After a year of opposition, the Darien Planning and Zoning Commission this week narrowly approved a project to convert an office building into a 60-unit apartment complex. People weren’t happy.  After the commission’s virtual meeting ended in a 3-2 vote to allow the project at 3 Parklands Drive, several people who were watching unmuted themselves to express their frustration. One threatened to sue the commission. Others used profanities. One insulted the head of the commission, who got up and left the meeting before it ended. In New Canaan, pushback against the planned conversion of a 10,000-square-foot single-family home

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After Failed Bid, Ochman Forgoes Seats on Darien Boards of Selectmen and Education

After losing her bid for first selectman of Darien, Tara Ochman, the Democratic nominee, has chosen to forgo her spots on the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education.  “I ran for First Selectman with a great team of candidates running for the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education, and I just thought that stepping aside would be the best way to honor the people most enthusiastic about those positions,” Ochman said.  While she does not yet know what is next, Ochman said she is not done giving back to Darien, and plans to take some time to

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Tara Ochman Makes a Case for Election as First Selectman of Darien

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Given longtime Republican First Selectman Jayme Stevenson’s decision not to run for another term, Democrat Tara Ochman is hoping to turn Darien blue. Stevenson ran for reelection without Democratic opposition in 2019, and garnered 90 percent of the vote against a petitioning candidate. In 2017, she beat out a Democratic challenger with more than 70 percent of the vote.  Ochman, a former chair of Darien’s Board of Education, will face off against Republican Monica McNally, a member of the Board of Selectmen and eight-year veteran of the Representative Town Meeting.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Ochman about her campaign and

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Monica McNally Makes her Case for Darien First Selectman

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With Darien’s longtime First Selectman Jayme Stevenson deciding not to run for another term in November, Monica McNally has jumped into the race as the Republican candidate. IN 2019, Stevenson ran for reelection without Democratic opposition, and garnered 90 percent of the vote against a petitioning candidate. In 2017, she beat out a Democratic challenger with more than 70 percent of the vote.  McNally, who received the Republican nomination in July, was appointed to the Board of Selectmen earlier this summer and is an eight-year veteran of the Representative Town Meeting. She will face off against Democrat Tara Ochman, a

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