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CUT DOWN, BUILDER TRIES NEW TREE PLAN

The health of the tulip poplar at center, above, has been a pivotal issue in the dispute. Below, the developer’s latest tree plan. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ethics issue, arcane rules about tree removal and the opposition of neighbors have turned a three-house subdivision in Fair Haven that once appeared problem-free into a movable battle of wits and passions.

On Wednesday night, Buttonwood Investors returns to the planning board for yet another go-round over its Woodland Drive property.

This time, however, it has a new plan for dealing with trees.

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OFFICIAL’S OWN TREE REMOVAL PERMIT AXED

lilleston-homeThe home of Elizabeth Lilleston, Fair Haven’s code enforcement officer. Below, her husband, Richard, looks at one of two trees that were to be removed from their Woodland Drive property. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

lilleston-home1

A permit issued by Fair Haven’s code enforcement officer allowing her to remove two trees from her own property has been yanked by the mayor following an outcry from neighbors.

Amid complaints of questionable ethics, and after  an inquiry by redbankgreen Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Mike Halfacre rescinded the permit that tree-law enforcer Elizabeth Lilleston issued on her Woodland Drive home, which she and her husband sold to a developer earlier this month.

“That can’t happen,” Halfacre said within minutes of hearing about the permit. “Everyone has to know it can’t happen that way.”

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