FH COUNCIL TAKES FLAK ON TWO ISSUES

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More than 50 residents filled the borough council chambers Monday night for a chance to be heard on two separate hot-button issues in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven officials got a double helping of discontent Monday night when a riled crowd pushed back on two issues residents say threaten the borough’s way of life: tree chopping and senior housing.

Following the recent decimation of trees on Poplar Avenue, neighbors laced into the council for not giving them notice that the 12 trees would be cut down and for allowing the property owner to take an ax to Fair Haven’s cherished scenery.

They disputed the effectiveness of the borough’s tree ordinance, yelled that the council was wrong to allow the trees to be cut down against the advice of the shade tree commission.

But an increasingly contentious plan to create an overlay district so a local developer might build age-restricted homes generated even more bile.

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FAIR HAVEN HOUSING PLAN DRAWS BACKLASH

senior-housing1Developer Kevin Hughes, right, watches Fair Haven’s council meeting as neighbors voiced complaints over his proposal to add age-restricted housing in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s facing kind of a conundrum, says Mayor Mike Halfacre, of the Fair Haven council’s role in weighing an informal proposal for age-restricted housing in the borough.

On the one hand, the council has been asked to create an overlay district to allow higher densities in a neighborhood just off River Road, a move that might in turn fill a longtime need in town for more housing for the borough’s senior population.

But doing so carries the potential of leaving a bad taste in the mouths of neighbors.

Even though the proposal from builder Kevin Hughes is in what Halfacre called “step A, minus one,” some neighbors are already hoping to derail it. At a Tuesday morning meeting specifically relocated to the borough’s youth and senior center in order to accommodate the older population, area residents obliged with a solid half-hour of bristling to the council.

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