Developers Chris and Margaret Stefanoni have submitted a petition to town hall regarding Darien's pending 8-30g moratorium application, setting the stage for a public hearing on the subject.
Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Ginsberg told Patch that the town received the document, dated May 24, late on Wednesday afternoon. It is signed by 50 people, twice as many as the 25 required to prompt a hearing in this case.
Ginsberg said he was not yet sure when the hearing would take place, but that he would have a better sense by Friday or Monday.
Darien is currently in the 20-day public comment stage of its application for an 8-30g moratorium. The town is seeking a four-year reprieve from provisions of the state affordable housing law, which permits certain developments to be built at a higher density than local laws dictate if less than 10 percent of a town's residential units are considered affordable.
That applies to Darien, but if the town can demonstrate significant progress in adding more affordable housing units—as determined by a complex tally of "housing unit-equivalent points"—it may win a moratorium, something long sought by officials.
Though the town announced its intention to do so last month, it will now have wait until after the hearing is held to submit the application.
The letter accompanying petition is just two paragraphs long.
"We are submitting a petition signed by at least 25 residents of the Town of Darien requesting a public hearing on the application for a state certificate of affordable housing completion, also known as a moratorium," it reads. "Thank you for the opportunity to have open government."
The Stefanonis have interacted with the town numerous times in the past on development issues, including an ultimately abandoned attempt to turn their Nearwater Lane property into 13 units of senior housing, four of them affordable. Though the plan won approval from the Environmental Protection Commission, the Darien Land Trust, which owns the neighboring land, strongly opposed the idea. It ultimately bought the lot.
The pair is currently challenging the town's rejection of another proposed development, a 16-unit senior housing complex at Leroy and West. In light of the potential moratorium, Chris Stefanoni recently told the Darien Times he would consider modifications outside 8-30g's strictures if the town was open to such a settlement.