The Board of Selectmen opted not to re-appoint a controversial Darien Housing Authority Commissioner Monday night upon the expiration of her term.
The board interviewed and appointed Democratic Town Committee member Peter Bigelow unanimously Monday night to fill Pierret’s slot. His term expires in June 2017.
Commissioner Jan Pierret was appointed last fall to replace former chairman Jenny Schwartz when she resigned before the end of her term. Pierret’s appointment was objected to by Schwartz at the time due to Pierret’s vocal opposition to the redevelopment of the Allen O’Neill homes, managed by the Darien Housing Authority, on Noroton Avenue.
The redevelopment, now called “The Heights at Darien,” will double the current 53 units to 106 townhouse style units.
Pierret is one of several neighbors who have objected to various aspects of the project, citing traffic, intensity and privacy concerns. Since she’s been appointed to the commission, the current development partners recently accused Pierret of attempting to undermine the building project.
The redevelopment received approval for $2.47 million of 9% low income tax credits from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority last year and kicked off in March.
In a recent letter from Westport attorney David Greenberg to town counsel Ed Schmidt, Greenberg outlines various examples of Pierret’s obstructive behavior as observed by McClutchy and development partner Arthur Anderson.
One example was that despite her voiced commitment to the project on the night of her appointment, Pierret had continued to voice opposition to it and wore a white armband at the recent groundbreaking ceremony to signify her protest, as per her own statements to attendees, according to Greenberg.
Pierret told The Times she wore the arm band as a sign of solidarity with the neighbors, and not in protest of the project.
At the time the letter was sent, Pierret told The Darien Times she was “disappointed” with how the situation was handled and said she would have preferred the developers had addressed their concerns with her directly.
“I have not opposed the project during my tenure at the DHA and do not believe I have done anything that has obstructed the progress of the redevelopment,” she said in a statement.
See this week’s print edition of The Darien Times for more on this story.