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Proposed senior citizen housing complex in Town of Eden generates strong views on both sides

A proposed complex of apartments and townhouses generated strong views on both sides during the May 25 meeting of the Eden Town Board.

The proposal pits senior citizens who would like to sell their homes and move into the complex against neighbors who fear increased noise and reduced privacy.

Kimberly M. Bingman, of FOP Holdings in the Town of Boston, is proposing the complex, which would feature housing for senior citizens at 8081 N. Main St., near the ShurFine grocery and gas station.

Bingman plans to develop five of the 11 acres on the property, which is zoned hamlet-residential.

FOP Holdings owns the Oakwood Luxury Apartments on Boston State Road in the Town of Boston and apartments in East Aurora, Salamanca and Jamestown.

One neighbor said he worries about losing his peaceful way of life.

“We moved to Eden for the openness,” Larry Hawkins, of North Main Street, said during the public hearing. “If we wanted to have apartments, we’d move to Hamburg.”

His wife, Patricia Hawkins, raised a similar concern.

“We will no longer see our beloved wildlife,” she said.

Other neighbors fear that headlights from increased traffic would shine into their homes and that the complex would lead to drainage problems.

On the other side of the issue, senior citizens said they want to be able to remain in the community. If the complex is not built, some may decide to sell their homes and move elsewhere.

“We don’t want to go to Hamburg,” said Doris W. Ursitti, of Highland Drive. “We want to stay here and stay involved with our church.”

Another resident hoping to remain here said he may move if no new senior citizen housing is constructed.

“I’ve lived in this town all my life,” said Thomas N. Lewis, of New Jerusalem Road.

Officials are awaiting the results of the State Environmental Quality Review before voting on the proposal.

“We want to have all our information before we make a decision,” Supervisor Missy Hartman said.