Middletown Planning Board Denies Trinity Hall Proposal to Build in Chapel Hill

A 6-3 vote to deny the application came at 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

Opponents of Trinity Hall's proposal to build in Chapel Hill celebrate after the board's vote to deny the application around 1 a.m. Thursday.
Opponents of Trinity Hall's proposal to build in Chapel Hill celebrate after the board's vote to deny the application around 1 a.m. Thursday.
Trinity Hall's hopes to plant the region's first all-girls high school on a wooded parcel on Chapel Hill Road in Middletown were thwarted early Thursday by the Middletown Township Planning Board's 6-3 vote to deny the school's application for preliminary and final major site plan approval. 

The vote came at 1 a.m. at the conclusion of a marathon 6 1/2 hour meeting dedicated to public comment of more than 25 residents, mostly dominated by Chapel Hill homeowners who laid out arguments against the school's potential impact on roads, traffic, drainage, decibel levels, property values and their quality of life. 

The motion to deny the application was made by member Michael Ostrander, and seconded by member Gail Caroll. Members Greta Siwiec, Charles Heck, John Deus and Frank Wilton joined Ostrander and Caroll in voting "yes" to deny the application.

Voting against denying the application were members John Kardel, Carl Rathjen and Mark Davis. 

Shrieks of celebration, hugs and handshakes broke out among opponents of Trinity Hall's plan at the announcement of the board's vote. Several of the observers had endured six months of planning board meetings from the courtroom's hard wooden pews and worried about the outcome. "I'm jumping with joy," said a beaming David Robinson, a Chapel Hill Road resident. "The residents did their due diligence. This was not a fit, and it was very dangerous for residents," he said, referring to his potential traffic impacts on the country roads. 

On the other side of the room, Trinity Hall supporters appeared stunned and saddened by the vote. Beth Koerwer said her daughter is one girls in the inaugural "leadership class" at Trinity Hall, which is temporarily situated on the Croydon Hall campus in Leonardo. Already, 30 students had contributed 500 volunteer hours of service to their community, she said.  "I think the school would have been an amazing asset to Middletown," she said, shaking her head. She lamented the Planning Board's decision. "They missed the boat," she said.

Thomas Scarano June 12, 2014 at 09:25 AM
what is this property zoned for
Rachelle Brown June 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM
google it.
Thomas Scarano June 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Zoned for 19 homes. I guess a developer should build out the homes. The residents will probably oppose that as well
Bernie June 12, 2014 at 11:28 PM
Middle town residents Hate progress ?? We are here , don't let anyone come into our Domain attidude.
Paul Sully June 13, 2014 at 06:58 AM
You want progress, go back to north Jersey where it been a mess. Take that committeeman from Bergen Cty with you.


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