MIDDLETOWN — An ordinance amendment that would have allowed Rural Area parcels of 6 to 16 acres to be subdivided into 2-acre lots was unanimously denied by Town Council on Monday night.
The application to amend town code was submitted by Tess Klimm of Dominion Real Estate Associates on behalf of a Middletown family that wants to subdivide and sell several properties it owns on Veterans Road that are zoned Rural Area. The three properties are 12.36 acres, 8 acres and 7.97 acres, according to Middletown Planning and Zoning Administrator Eric Bittner. Middletown resident Marky Monk owns two of the three properties and shares ownership with the third.
Existing town code requires that properties between 7 and 10 acres that are subdivided preserve 40% of the original parcel for rural land. The proposed ordinance amendment would have removed the requirement.
During a public hearing on the matter before Town Council’s vote, some residents expressed concerns about the proposal. In a written statement, Mark Davis said there was insufficient notification of the proposed change and that residents needed a better explanation about what it would entail. Other residents worried their properties might be negatively impacted by the proposed amendment.
Town Council also was wary of the proposal. At a budget work session earlier this month, several council members said if the parcels were subdivided into smaller lots, it could lead to more houses being developed, which might be undesirable as there are already numerous homes being developed or planned for development in the town.
Klimm told council the ordinance amendment would have minimal impact, saying that it would add — at most — seven additional lots on Veterans Road. But council wasn’t convinced and voted against it.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV said the town’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year is being developed and that the town is “looking good” financially, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The town’s budget will be further discussed at upcoming council meetings.
Attending the meeting at the Town Office at 7875 Church St. were Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV and council members Carolyn Aliff, Jeff Pennington, Shayla Rickard, Stephanie Mitchell and Scott Fink. Carole Snyder Jones was absent.