By John Burton
MIDDLETOWN – Tomorrow evening’s township planning board meeting is expected be a full-house affair as two opposing groups of residents are encouraging attendance for the Trinity Hall school application.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at town hall, 1 Kings Highway.
Trinity Hall, a private all-girls school offering a Roman Catholic-based educational program, is seeking board approval to construct a multi-building campus on about 30 acres of a 64-acre undeveloped and largely wooded property on Chapel Hill Road.
The plan is being met with opposition from area residents who have expressed fears about what such a large project would mean for their neighborhood in terms of traffic congestion and the impact on the property they say is environmentally sensitive. The group has been waging a campaign through email and social media, collecting signatures on a petition and asking township residents who share the group’s concerns to attend tomorrow’s continuing application hearing. The have been placing signs on lawns and distributing T-shirts that express their points, including the school’s tax-exempt status. They also have retained a lawyer to combat the application.
Another group, Chapel Hill Neighborhood in Support of Trinity Hall, has begun a similar campaign, establishing a Facebook page, collecting signatures on its petition favoring the school project and asking like-minded individuals to attend the hearing.
The supporting group offered warnings in an email that the property could be developed as a large-scale residential development, possibly containing “Affordable Housing that would wipe out all the open space and develop the site in its entirety” if not used for the school.
The property previously received approval for 20 single-family homes.
Trinity Hall opened in September, operating at Croydon Hall on Leonardville Road in Leonardo, which it leases from the township.