Dear Editor:

I have one simple question. What is the Township of Middletown's position on the proposed Trinity Hall development in Chapel Hill? When questioned on the issue in the past, the Township Committee told residents that the approval or denial of the proposed development’s application is solely the Township Planning Board’s decision.

On June 11, 2014, the Township Planning Board voted 6-3 to deny Trinity Hall's application. Shortly after the application was denied, Trinity Hall filed a law suit against Middletown Township seeking relief of the Planning Board’s decision. One would think that based on the previous statements made by the Township Committee, Middletown and the Township Attorney would vehemently defend the Township Planning Board’s decision. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. This past Friday upon the Superior Court of New Jersey’s ruling on Trinity Hall’s lawsuit, a letter that Middletown Township Attorney, Brian Nelson, wrote to the presiding judge was made public (attached). Based on this letter it appears Mr. Nelson contradicts the position of the Township Planning Board’s decision to deny the Trinity Hall application and it appears that he and the Township Committee side with Trinity Hall by recommending that the Court grant the school’s request to reverse the Planning Board’s decision and approve the application without remand to the Planning Board.

Is it not the responsibility of the township’s governing body to protect the interests of its residents above all else? After reading Mr. Nelson’s letter, all Middletown residents should be asking themselves who is our Township Attorney really working for and what is the Township Committee’s position on the proposed Trinity Hall development in Chapel Hill?  

Sincerely,

Jeffrey P. Yachmetz

Middletown, NJ