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MIDDLETOWN ESTATE SPLIT GETS AN INTRO

hillendale-farm-31Arthur and Leslie Parent’s home at Hillandale Farm, as seen from Chapel Hill Road. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Objections to a plan to subdivide an historic estate in the Chapel Hill section of Middletown were not heard at Monday night’s zoning board meeting, but at least a couple of them were addressed.

The board limited each of its four scheduled hearings to an hour, thereby delaying any public outcry over Arthur and Leslie Parent’s plan to subdivide their 5.1-acre property on Chapel Hill Road. The time limit allowed only for an introduction and overview of plans for the parcel by a civil engineer.

The residents will get their chance, though, said Chairman James Hinckley.

“One thing that is guaranteed: the public will always have its right to be heard,” he said. “Sometime it takes more than one hearing.”

parent-plansParent plans to subdivide his Chapel Hill Road property to be able to build another home there someday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

That chance could come at the Parents’ next scheduled hearing on January 24.

Some neighbors object to the plan, saying it would set a precedent for the construction of another enormous house on the property and would result in a loss of the cherished trees. There’s already a 12,000-square-foot house on the property, though the Parents say they’ll cut it down to 10,584 SF if their plan is OKd.

If approved, the second lot would allow for a home as large as 5,000-square-feet, civil engineer Andrew Stockton said.

“It’s a fairly substantial size home that would be allowed to be  there,” he said.

But there are no current plans for construction on the property, said attorney Rick Brodsky. Nor is there any intention of changing the character of the property, which was the site of Hillandale Farm.

“We’re going through all of this in order to save the existing structure. It has architectural significance, it has historical significance,” Brodsky said. “The easy way out would be to start from scratch, which the Parents don’t want to do. Then you would have two new homes.”

Concerning the loss of trees, many of which line the 188-foot long driveway, which is shared by the Parents and a neighbor, Stockton said he will conduct a full inventory of trees on the property and write up a detailed plan how to preserve as many as possible if a new home is built.

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