Residents sighed in unison during the Oct. 30 Freeport Board of Trustees meeting. They were relieved to hear the Board of Trustees’ decision to deny the application to rezone properties located on the southwest corner of South Bayview and South Southside avenues from business to a residential apartment district. Freeporter and owner of O’Connor Bros Fuel Oil Co Inc., Robert O’Connor requested rezoning of the property during the public hearing on Oct. 16.
O’Connor’s plans were to construct new apartments designed for empty nesters and young couples. O’Connor says his intentions with the project were to address the shortage of rental properties in the region and in developing the property he is able to provide such need to the community. Each unit would have rented starting at $2500 a month.
Residents pushed back and voiced their opposition to the project adding the development of apartment complex would worsen already congested traffic in the region. Residents also felt the developer didn’t properly conduct a realistic traffic study of the region as the developers presented a two-year-old traffic study of the neighborhood that they conducted in December 2015. By the end of the meeting, residents applauded in approval of the Board’s decision and relived the properties would not have apartments built. O’Connor was not present during the Oct. 30 meeting and his represented didn’t comment on the denial of the application.