This week’s spotlight comment comes from Jen Gallagher, posted under an article about the proposed Fair Haven ordinance that would have required property owners who are denied tree-removal permits by the borough arborist to notify their neighbors when an appeal is filed with to the town council.

We’re not taking sides on the issue. We like the comment primarily because Gallagher puts her name on it and attempts to put the proposed ordinance in context:

Reading all these comments from both sides of the dais have gotten a little out of control.
I have worked in the architectural field designing homes for over 25 years. Has anyone heard of Frank Lloyd Wright? He actually built his homes around trees! Here’s a quote I like that he said:
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
Frank Lloyd Wright”

Over the last years we have seen builders come through Fair Haven, clear the lot and build a “McMansion”. The tree ordinance was put in place to try to prevent this from happening. Is the existing tree ordinance accurate? We on Poplar Ave feel the existing tree ordinance needs tweaking and modifications are needed to make it work more effectively.

The idea behind the “notification” was worth exploring and developing between Poplar Ave, the residents of Fair Haven and Mayor / Council. Notification did not have to be in the form of notifying your neighbors within 200’ of an appeal. Notification can mean many things. As I suggested at the meeting and was suggested by the Planning Board, notification can be a billboard as they have in NH on a site displaying what the proposed intent is for the developing site. Let’s face it, whether its trees or a new home – people want to know what’s going to happen to a vacant lot! A sign on the site would inform all what’s about to take place. Notification could also come in the form of a simple flyer in one’s mailbox. Notification could be on a side section on our website! There are lots of ways to notify our residents and we wanted to encourage Mayor & Council to explore some ideas. That’s it!!!!

Councilman Marchese actually had a decent suggestion regarding amending the tree ordinance and that was worth exploring. “Marchese suggested an alternative plan in which property owners who have five or more trees on their land and want to remove more than half of them must hire a landscape architect or arborist to provide expert advice. The existing tree ordinance doesn’t require any expert opinion, he said.”

My daughter Zoë raised her hand several times to speak on Monday night but alas she was over shadowed by the adults, columns and emotions. She wanted to say how everyone keeps saying that everything worked as it should have worked at 46 Poplar! Zoë wanted to say that “No! the process worked at 46 Poplar but that doesn’t make the tree ordinance right.”!

Bottom line is, we, the residents of Poplar Ave only wanted improve our town and work on existing ordinances to make them more efficient for everyone.

I am not afraid to hide behind a computer name and therefore will supply my name!