Developer offers 102 apartments after objection to first plan

The developer who scrapped plans for a 148-unit apartment complex in Middletown after community opposition in 2022 and 2023 is now proposing a scaled-down version on the same site.

Instead of building two four-story apartment towers near Lawrence Elementary School, D&V Development now wants to build one four-story building with 102 units — about a third fewer than originally planned.

The complex would include a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, the Wallingford-based developer said in a filing with the city’s Inland Wetlands Agency last month. That application will be processed on June 5.

Two years ago, the Wallingford-based company’s original proposal drew strong opposition from neighbors who warned it would endanger nearby wetlands and would be out of place in a community of single-family homes. One even suggested this would pose a safety risk to Lawrence students.

More than 500 people signed a petition on change.org that year urging Middletown officials to reject the plan, claiming, “If this project were approved, the natural wetlands would be destroyed, the already If the area’s frequent flooding were brought to a new level, there would be disastrous traffic congestion and decline in property values.”

The Inland Wetlands Agency appeared to protest that plan in 2022 because of the amount of land earmarked for development. D&V eventually withdrew the proposal so that it could make revisions. The company moved the proposed buildings to vacant land along Kaplan Drive, but the wetlands agency ultimately voted against the revised plan.

The latest version was published at the end of March. It consolidates the project into one building and reduces the size of the parking lot, which D&V says means much less land will be excavated near wetlands. Last year, the Inland Wetlands Agency took issue with the amount of land earmarked for development.

“We eliminated the northernmost building and redesigned the parking lot in that part of the site,” the D&V technical advisor told the local wetlands commission last month. “With this revision, we have eliminated more than 83% of the previously proposed development activity within the upland (wetlands) assessment area.”

Many neighbors focused their complaints two years ago on wetlands and environmental issues.

“Construction of this apartment complex would significantly offset nearby wildlife and increase current flooding concerns for Lawrence School and the nearby community,” Noah Blake told the commission in an email in 2022. has become an ongoing problem and concern over the years.”

But Blake and others have raised other concerns in 2022, even if the Wetlands Agency might not be able to take them into account.

“This complex would pose a threat to the safety of students and faculty at Lawrence School. This proposed apartment complex would overlook the Lawrence School, allowing outsiders and random adults to observe student activities on a daily basis. This complex would pose a tremendous threat to the safety of the school,” Blake wrote.

The site for the apartment complex is a vacant lot along Kaplan Drive, which runs through dozens of acres of woods from Mile Lane before ending in the Lawrence School parking lot. The property is not far from the Cromwell line.