Meeting held over proposed apartment construction in Freeport

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A meeting was held Monday night at Freeport Village Hall over a rezoning proposal that would clear the way for the construction of a new apartment building.

"Any apartments - no matter who it's for - will be disturbing to the residential idea of the property," said resident Ann-Marie Farrell at the standing-room only meeting. 

Residents like Farrell say apartments would cause congestion and bring disturbance to the area.

"Why do we need to ruin a classic neighborhood in Freeport with nice houses, where people have lived all their lives?" Farrell asked.

The property owner, O'Connor Enterprises, wants to rezone the property on the 300 block of South Bayview Avenue for residences. The project would build two two-story buildings with 24 apartment units, with rent starting at $2,500 per month. 

Builders argue that it wouldn't be detrimental to quality of life, hurt property values and would increase tax revenue for the Village of Freeport. But residents at Monday night's meeting don't buy it.

"The rezoning may be presented as a good thing because it increases the tax base or alleviates the need for affordable housing, but we all know the reason - to enrich the owner," said resident Barry Clark.

Farrell and other residents against the proposal say they're just trying to maintain the beauty of the neighborhood.

"It's a really nice part of Freeport they're attempting to destroy," she said.

Monday's meeting was the the first public hearing on the project. By law, the village has to host two more.

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