The Darien Blight Review Board (BRB) has been chaired by RLG attorney George Reilly for the last two years.

The mission of the BRB is to ensure that identified properties do not attract trespassers or devalue Darien neighborhoods. The BRB is also tasked with being fair and considerate to property owners.

The BRB was created pursuant to a Town ordinance in 2016 and is made up of five members who each serve a two-year renewable term. The BRB meets each month except in August and is actively engaged in seeking remediation of blight conditions on about a dozen residential properties.

When the BRB meets, it is to “define, regulate, prohibit and abate housing blight in order to protect, preserve and promote public health, safety and welfare; and to maintain and preserve the beauty of neighborhoods and the general appearance of the Town.” Blight is found on a property that is and continues to be “in a state of disrepair or is becoming dilapidated.”

Typical blight conditions include: missing, broken windows or doors; collapsing walls or roof; seriously damaged, missing or loose siding, gutters, shingles or roofing; unrepaired fire or water damage; persistent and excessive amounts of garbage, trash or construction debris; inoperative or unregistered vehicles or mechanical equipment parked, kept or stored on premises; vacant buildings left unsecured; overgrown brush, grass or weeds covering a significant portion of the front yard; structures significantly covered with invasive non-ornamental weeds and/or vines; overrun by rodents. The board has jurisdiction over residential or commercial property with two or more such conditions.

A careful process is employed by the board to work with property owners and remediate blight concerns.  The process starts with a complaint being filed with the Town’s Blight Prevention Officer Henry Ference ( or using the Q Alert system on the Town’s website ( concerning a commercial or residential property.

Once a complaint is filed, the Blight Prevention Officer makes an initial inspection from the street and will contact the complainant (who can remain anonymous) and property owner. If the officer determines the condition does constitute blight and the property owner is not advancing toward resolution of the condition, the officer will advise the BRB accordingly. If the BRB agrees there are concerns about the condition of the property, the board will set a date for it to make a determination about whether the condition does indeed constitute blight, and the property owner will be invited to participate in that meeting.

If the BRB does find blight, it will provide a period of time for the property owner to remedy the condition. If the condition is not remedied in that period of time, fines will begin to accrue. Fines are typically $100 per day.

The Blight Prevention ordinance gives the board the ability to consider specific considerations for individual property owners and residents who may be disabled, elderly, or low-income. It is the BRB’s practice to be discreet about revealing addresses and names of property owners when discussing properties during meetings, although that information is publicly available. To encourage efficient clean-up, the Town often offers resources to assist in the remediation of blight conditions including dumpsters and workers to assist in the removal of overgrown landscaping and other tasks.

Each member of the BRB also is a representative of an additional Town agency. Attorney Reilly also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

George Reilly has been practicing matrimonial law in Fairfield County for more than thirty-five years. For more information, please contact him at 203-202-9686 x254.