November 10, 2021

Clarifying Neighborhood Opposition To Hun School Rezoning Request

To the Editor:

Town Topics’ coverage of the denial of Hun School’s application to rezone residential property to educational zoning [Hun School Rezoning Request is Defeated, Attorney Determines,” page 9, November 3] did not fully communicate why there was vocal neighborhood opposition. 

The property in question — the headmaster’s former private residence —currently serves as a buffer between the busy and heavily trafficked school campus and the quiet community that surrounds the school. While most previous discussion has focused on the school’s stated short-term plans to repurpose the residence for educational uses, the school confirmed that its master expansion plan includes replacing the private residence with a school building more than five times its size. One Councilmember warned that granting the rezoning at the present time would effectively eliminate any future opportunity for the Planning Board to have meaningful oversight or input on the design — and therefore neighborhood impact — of any new school buildings on the property.

Two Councilmembers abstained from voting because of the lack of clarity about whether a “yes” vote was a vote for a 14,000-square-foot as-of-right school building. Inexplicably, two other Councilmembers acknowledged the ambiguity in what they were being asked to vote on, yet voted to support the position of the school over the needs of the neighborhood.

Arthur Eisenbach
Russell Road