by Wesley Ratko

Residents of Hillcrest Road and Meadowbrook Avenue, expecting to discuss their issues with the proposed subdivision of 179 Hillcrest Road, were angered Thursday night when representatives for the project failed to appear before the Land Use Planning and Zoning committee as planned.

Attorney Carl Primavera and land planner Richard Collier, Jr., who just last month presented their plan to subdivide the 100,000 square foot property, gave notice they would not attend the meeting only five minutes before it began, LUPZ co-chair Ned Mitinger said.

Without both parties present the committee could take no action, but welcomed comments from the neighbors who attended with their attorney Paul Toner. Most of those comments addressed neighbors’ surprise at the last minute no-show.

LUPZ co-chair Larry McEwen told the neighbors he had received emails from Primavera twice on Thursday leading up to the meeting, saying the lawyer remains interested in meeting with the neighbors to discuss their concerns.

That assurance did little to satisfy the neighbors, who accused Primavera of unfair tactics by canceling his appearance at the last minute.

“Talk about unfair,” one neighbor said. All agreed that Primavera never contacted them to arrange a meeting.

“Both parties have had an opportunity meet,” McEwen said, and he encouraged them to do so, saying everyone had something to gain.

“It’s their project,” one neighbor said, “shouldn’t they reach out to us?”

“It’s important that you both talk to each other,” said committee member Joyce Lenhardt.

Attorney Toner addressed the committee, saying: “If the applicant had changed his plans or he wants to revise his plans, we look forward to seeing them sooner rather than later so an intelligent review can be made.” Toner also agreed to reach out to Primavera and arrange a meeting between the neighbors and the applicants.

The applicants need a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to allow the subdivision – once created, both parcels could only access Hillcrest Avenue along a narrow strip of shared land, something the zoning code does not allow. Mitinger told the committee and the neighbors that the applicant’s received a continuance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment and that no new hearing has been scheduled.

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