About Us

Founded in 1962, the Civic League For New Castle County is an organization comprised of community civic associations, umbrella civic groups, good government groups, businesses, and interested individuals. The League provides a forum for education about, discussion of, and action on issues relating to the impact of government on the quality of life in New Castle County

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

2018 Sussex County Comprehensive Plan Adopted


Sussex County adopts comprehensive plan
Sussex County has a blueprint to build its future.

County Council on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, adopted the County’s 2018 comprehensive plan update, the culmination of more than two years’ worth of work, with scores of public meetings, workshops, and outreach that attracted hundreds of comments, suggestions, and ideas from residents, business owners, government officials and others on how Sussex County should move forward as a growing community in the decades ahead.

The 280-page plan, which will guide County officials in various levels of decision-making, has yielded more than 100 strategies focused on everything from land use, conservation, and housing to transportation, utilities, and economic development, all of which will be considered for implementation during the lifespan of the plan. The strategies could take form as new ordinances or policies that County officials will weigh in the weeks and months to come.

“This is a momentous occasion for the County as we look forward to the future, one that will bring significant challenges but tremendous opportunity in the decade ahead,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “I am very proud of the work by the County Council, the Planning & Zoning Commission, our staff, the consultant, and frankly from the public during this two-year journey. It has been a community effort in the truest sense, and what we are left with is a vision I hope everyone is proud of.”

Some of the key strategies in the adopted plan include:

· Ways to preserve, promote and strengthen agriculture’s presence in the county, including through a possible agribusiness district that would add certain permitted ag-related support uses to low-density areas;
·   Several initiatives to review and potentially overhaul the County’s land use code, specifically measures that would focus on wetland protection, forestry preservation, and water quality;
·  Forming a County-level transportation committee, which would work with State officials to better monitor, coordinate and prioritize road projects;
·   The establishment of economic development zones to focus job creation and private investment in and around targeted communities;
·    Stimulating the construction of workforce/affordable housing through a review of existing impediments to such housing, and incentives, including the possibility of a community development fund.

Council’s vote to approve the document is the first major update of the County’s comprehensive plan since the last version was adopted in 2008. Delaware law mandates that all counties and municipalities have a comprehensive plan in place. Counties and municipalities must review and update those plans for State certification every 10 years, while providing yearly updates on the progress of implementation. The adopted plan now moves to the State for certification.

A comprehensive plan, among other things, serves as the standard for how development occurs and how land use is governed in a community over a long-term period. Such plans are used by local governments to not only establish land-use policies and identify growth areas, but also to give consideration to various other community concerns, such as affordable housing availability, agriculture preservation, open space protection, historic preservation, economic development and transportation mobility.

County Council President Michael H. Vincent said Sussex County will be a stronger community a generation from now because of the efforts of so many people today, especially an engaged citizenry that crowded meetings, pored over documents, and wrote letters and emails to express their ideas. “This was a marathon process, for sure, but it was an important process nevertheless. And I think we’re all better for it, and certainly Sussex County will be a better place today for all of us, and tomorrow for our children and their children,” Mr. Vincent said.

For more information on the Sussex County comprehensive plan, visit www.sussexplan.com.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Pike Creek Golf Course Plan And Deed Restriction Public Hearing, 7PM Tuesday - NCC Planning Board



From the Citizens for the Preservation of Pike Creek Valley:
Developer The Onix Group has proposed a plan to build 224 housing units on the former Three Little Bakers golf course property. Currently, the Pike Creek deed restrictions would only allow approximately 60 housing units to be built on that property. In order for The Onix Group to have their plan approved, New Castle County Council would have to vote to amend the Pike Creek deed restrictions. If the deed restrictions are not amended, The Onix Group would be limited to building approximately 60 housing units on the former Three Little Bakers property.
The New Castle County Planning Board is holding a Public Hearing on December 4th to consider the development proposal for the former Three Little Bakers golf course property. The developer is submitting a plan to build 224 units on the property, and the Planning Board must vote to lift the current deed restrictions - limiting to 60 units - in order for the plan to be approved. The Planning Board accepts public comment from residents, and a show of solidarity from attending residents will send a message that we do not want these deed restrictions to be lifted.  
The Public Hearing will be held on:
Tuesday, December 4th at 7pm
Multi-Purpose Room, Gilliam Building
77 Reads Way
New Castle, DE 19720
From the Pike Creek Valley Civic League:

Terraces at Pike Creek revised Plans
Pike Creek Recreational LLC / Onix submitted a revision to their 2010 Plan. Since it was not a "new" Plan there was no public notice.

With comments ~
- As way of background: The County took the developer to court to determine if the existing deed restrictions are enforceable, and the Court decided that they are. The County has been in Chancery Court, Superior Court and the State Supreme Court. The lower court opined, and the Supreme Court affirmed, that the deed restrictions call for 130 acres of the golf course land to remain as mandatory OPEN SPACE. It must remain open in quantity, quality, configuration, and contiguity. The balance of the golf course land is in a “court stay” until the developer completes the process of working with the community and taking any proposed plan through the County land use process. 
Last year the Onix group did their public presentation at Dickinson HS - the "sales pitch" if you will on what they propose to do to the former TLB property Whatever they proposed has to to be approved by the New Castle County Council first. The meeting was a joke - not a public forum or discussion, just a sales pitch. The result of that was the meeting the citizens held in February to ask questions, express concerns, etc. Onix was not happy with that meeting, nor were they present, and asked that the project get put on hold until after the November election cycle since they didn't want what happened to the golf course to be a political issue (never mind the fate of the course lies in County Council's vote - a political body!). 
Fast forward to now. This is the SAME presentation, SAME proposal Onix gave the public last year. It is what they want to do to the property - BUT in order for them to move forward, they have to get the County to lift the existing deed restrictions on the property. The proposal first goes to the Planning Board for a recommendation (December meeting) and then to County Council for a vote.
We are simply trying to gather the VOICE of the community to let Planning Board and County Council know that the neighbors are not in favor of lifting the deed restrictions to allow 224 housing units to be built.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Civic League For New Castle County Monthly Meeting - 7PM Tuesday, November 20th In Christiana

7 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 20th
Christiana Presbyterian Church
15 N. Old Baltimore Pike, Christiana, DE 19702

Dan Blevins, Principal Planner, will be presenting the WILMAPCO 2050 RTP Update  
Click HERE to learn more about the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.


Concord Pike Visioning Workshop - 6PM Wednesday, November 14th At Concord High School

From the Wilmington Area Planning Council‎ ~

Concord Pike Visioning Workshop

6 - 8:30 p.m. tonight
2501 Ebright Rd., Wilmington, DE 19810
You are invited to a Community Visioning Workshop! 
New Castle County Department of Land Use, DelDOT, and WILMAPCO have been working on a Master Plan for the Concord Pike Corridor, encompassing an area between the City of Wilmington and the Pennsylvania state line. 
The Master Plan will provide a 20-year vision that identifies cohesive land use and transportation strategies to ensure that Concord Pike will continue to be a safe, accessible, and economically thriving place for all.  
Your input will help guide the future of the corridor. 
Please join us for a Public Visioning Workshop on Wednesday, November 14 from 6 to 8:30pm, at Concord High School, cafeteria2501 Ebright Road, Wilmington. 
Workshop Agenda:Sign-in: 6pmPresentation: 6:15pmRoundtable Discussion: 7pmReport out and Next Steps: 7:45pm 
To learn more or sign up for project updates, please visit www.wilmapco.org/202

Civic League for NCC is participating in focus groups for input into the plan.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Please Vote On Tuesday! Plus, Civic League Survey Questions For County Council Candidates



CLNCC submitted these eight questions for the NCC Council District 2 Candidate Forum hosted by CCOBH and EB 100 civic umbrella groups: 
  • Traffic impact from land development is controlled by UDC requirements for concurrency and adequate facility. Do you agree that level of service and traffic impact studies are fair measures in limiting development and why?
  • Comprehensive planning is currently done in silos across the state separating unincorporated county lands from municipalities. Is this a sensible practice?
  • School capacity is currently prohibited from consideration during the county land use application process. Do you support an effort to reverse this situation?
  • Do you agree that growth of residential development is mostly responsible for increasing costs of county services and raising of property taxes?
  • What can the county do to raise revenue other than increasing taxes?
  • Affordable housing is a challenge in our county. Do you believe we are meeting our targets? Is NCC working directly with municipalities to meet goals?
  • In a recent NCC survey, residents along the Route 9 corridor were asked if they would like to relocate given the opportunity. Do you support NCC taxpayers funding buyouts and relocation of entire communities?
  • Do you believe residential communities should be paying to maintain their own storm water facilities or should the county continue its amnesty program? 

The forum moderators got in a few of the questions asked, but not all (Click HERE to view the forum). 

I also sent the Survey to council candidates Dave Carter and Dawn Lentz who are vying for the NCC Council 6th District seat. Ms. Lentz answered. Read her responses below.

Civic League for New Castle County Survey:
  • Traffic impact from land development is controlled by UDC requirements for concurrency and adequate facility. Do you agree that level of service and traffic impact studies are fair measures in limiting development and why? - I'm very concerned about the development and lack of forethought into the traffic congestion that seems to be happening in lower NCC. It appears as if infrastructure is an after thought. How can our district (district 6) be able to handle the massive amounts of new residents when we build houses faster than roads?
  • Comprehensive planning is currently done in silos across the state separating unincorporated county lands from municipalities. Is this a sensible practice?-I am having difficulty understanding this ambiguous nomenclature. Please clarify?
  • School capacity is currently prohibited from consideration during the county land use application process. Do you support an effort to reverse this situation?-I support any efforts to make life better for our citizens and our environment. Our children are very important to me,  as well as our wildlife; it's integral to our future to know that we leave a better Delaware for future generations.
  • Do you agree that growth of residential development is mostly responsible for increasing costs of county services and raising of property taxes?  - I'm not knowledgeable enough to clearly assign the blame of our property taxes being increased on new homes being built. That being said, the county needs property tax to fund our schools, police, and infrastructure, etc. In theory, new homes should ease taxpayers burden right? Why then, is it increasing? If elected, this would be high priority on my list of things I'd like to help correct.
  • What can the county do to raise revenue other than increasing taxes?-This is a question I've spent quite a bit of time considering. How do we continue to fund the services we need while easing individual financial burdens? I'm a member of the Green party. We don't take corporate donations. We're the little guy. We have to get creative when it comes to raising funds. Every year, there are dozens of fairs and festivals. Why not invest more into these fun activities? The revenue from charging a nominal parking fee, vendor fees, plot rentals from businesses, etc. could ease the strain on individuals. How much revenue does firefly pull in yearly? Why not create our own music festival, complete with camping at one of New Castle's parks? 4 fairs/festivals a year could definitely help.
  • Affordable housing is a challenge in our county. Do you believe we are meeting our targets? Is NCC working directly with municipalities to meet goals? - I feel that affordable housing in New Castle County can be obtained by the diligent. What I would like to see is more options opening up for homeless shelters that would educate residents to become financially independent. I am not aware whether or not New Castle county is working with municipalities to meet goals.
  • In a recent NCC survey, residents along the Route 9 corridor were asked if they would like to relocate given the opportunity. Do you support NCC taxpayers funding buyouts and relocation of entire communities?- I am unaware of this survey, but it does raise questions in my mind. Without knowing why the survey was sent, I don't know that I would support relocating entire communities.
  • Do you believe residential communities should be paying to maintain their own storm water facilities or should the county continue to amnesty program? - Part of the green party platform is decentralization, as it pertains to our government. Applying a similar principle to this question, I think it may be a better option for communities to oversee their own storm water facilities. In a more hands-on perspective, and also as it may ease individual tax burdens.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Please Consider Attending A Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (CZCPA) Work Group Meeting This Month


DNREC Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (CZCPA) Regulatory Advisory Committee 
Remaining October Work Group Meetings: 

·         Risk Evaluation and Financial Assurance, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, DNREC’s Grantham Lane Office, West Wing Conference Room, 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Offsets, 9 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, Oct. 23, Blackbird DNERR, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend, DE 19734.

·         Economic Effect, 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, New Castle County Government Center, Executive Office Conference Room, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Environmental Impact: 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, location TBD.

·         Risk Evaluation and Financial Assurance, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, DNREC’s Grantham Lane Office, West Wing Conference Room, 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720.


From DNREC:
Upcoming monthly CZCPA RAC meetings, each starting at 9 a.m., are scheduled for the following dates and locations, locations and times: 
All RAC meetings and related CZCPA Work Group meetings are open to the public. Information about future meetings also can be found on the Coastal Zone Conversion Permits webpage. 
For more information, the public can sign up for the Coastal Zone Conservation Permit Act listserv by sending a blank email to join-dnrec_coastal_zone@lists.state.de.us

And Bill Dunn writes:
I have attended the 2nd, 3rd and 4th meetings of the [CZCPA] RAC.  I have MANY issues with what is going on, but the single most concerning is that there is no one on the committee who has identified themselves as having a technical background or education in Process Engineering.  The only person I have discovered, and I haven't looked to deeply, is Robert Whetzel (B.S. Chem Eng) from Richards, Layton and Finger.
What I have emphasized at the meetings, is that the Community and Environmental representatives on the RAC have little, if any, technical background to competently argue for responsible regulations or question specifics presented by consultants that come before the RAC.  
The last 15 years of my career at Dupont I worked in the Engineering division and spent time at, at least, a dozen sites discussing the possible benefit of new instrumentation or participated in the installation of new instrumentation.  In my role, I needed to have a basic understanding of the process we were discussing/modifying at a very minimum, which was far less than any number of people I was working with.  In comparison to the members of the RAC, I have a PhD in Civil/Chemical/Process Engineering. 
The only person appointed to the RAC with an adequate background was Eugene McCoy who regrettably pass away recently.  McCoy was replaced with Larry Lambert who has no technical background.  
At the last meeting they received presentations on Sea-Level Rise and Bulk Transfer. Both presentations seemed to me, to be very obtuse and non-specific.  
During the Bulk Transfer presentation and discussion, they kept referring to "grain transfer".  To the best of my knowledge, if you keep the oxygen level down in the transfer line (i.e. explosion potential), it's a pretty benign situation.  What was not discussed was, RCRA reporting (accounting for pound in/out and produced any compound that has a CAS#), Continuous Monitoring, VOC transfer (LNG, ethanol, methanol, crude oil, etc.) or quantities of materials.  
And what I have seen after attending 3 of the 4 work group meetings - where they are laying the groundwork for what they'll present to the RAC, - there are few if any people appointed to these work groups who have a technical background.
WE MUST have more people attend these meetings. I have been pretty much the only person from the public in attendance to observe how Delaware is developing the regulations that will govern how these coastal properties will be used.
P.S.  After I spoke at the last meeting, Judge Holland (the Chair) came over and introduced himself and ask, "Why aren't you on the RAC?".  I answered, 'Because I worked in the industry and I'm too controversial.'  Maybe I should have said, too much of a contrarian?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DNREC Public Hearing On Sediment And Stormwater Regulations, 6PM Tomorrow In Dover

(Chadds Ford Live image)
DNREC to hold public hearing Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Dover on proposed revisions to sediment and stormwater regulations
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will conduct a public hearing on proposed revisions to Delaware’s Sediment and Stormwater Regulations at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the DNREC Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

The revisions address the October 2015 Delaware Superior Court decision in Baker v. DNREC, legislative changes to the regulations, and recommendations of the Sediment and Stormwater Regulatory Advisory Committee.

The proposed regulation revisions can be found in the September 2018 Delaware Register of Regulations.

The proposed revisions may also be viewed in person at DNREC’s Richardson and Robbins Building.

For more information, or to make an appointment to see the proposed regulation revisions at DNREC’s Dover offices, please contact Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program, at 302-739-9921 or email Elaine.Webb@state.de.us. 

Interested parties may present statements and testimony, either verbally or in writing, on the proposed regulation changes at the Oct. 10 public hearing.

Comments may also be submitted in writing by Oct. 25. Written statements and comments on the proposed regulation revisions should be addressed to: Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or submitted by email to Elaine.Webb@state.de.us.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory Advisory Committee Meeting - 9AM Tuesday, October 9th In New Castle


Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory Advisory Committee to meet Tuesday, Oct. 9 in New Castle

The fifth meeting of the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) will be held at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Buena Vista Conference Center, Buck Library,661 South Dupont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720

More information about the Oct. 9. RAC meeting, including the agenda, can be found on the state public meeting calendar athttps://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/60646

The four CZCPA work groups – Economic Effect, Environmental Impact, Risk Evaluation and Financial Assurance, and Offsets – also each meet bi-weekly to provide the CZCPA RAC with support on technical subject areas. Work group meetings scheduled in October are:

·         Offsets, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9, Buena Vista Conference Center (Buck Library), 661 South Dupont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Economic Effect, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9, Buena Vista Conference Center, Dining Room, 661 South Dupont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Risk Evaluation and Financial Assurance, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, DNREC’s Grantham Lane Office, West Wing Conference Room, 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Offsets, 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, Blackbird DNERR, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend, DE 19734.

·         Economic Effect, 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, New Castle County Government Center, Executive Office Conference Room, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720.

·         Environmental Impact, 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 24, American Birding Association, 93 Clinton Street, Delaware City, DE 19706.

·         Risk Evaluation and Financial Assurance, 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, DNREC’s Grantham Lane Office, West Wing Conference Room, 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720.

Upcoming monthly CZCPA RAC meetings, each starting at 9 a.m., are scheduled for the following dates and locations, locations and times:



All RAC meetings and related CZCPA Work Group meetings are open to the public. Information about future meetings also can be found on the Coastal Zone Conversion Permits webpage

For more information, the public can sign up for the Coastal Zone Conservation Permit Act listserv by sending a blank email to join-dnrec_coastal_zone@lists.state.de.us.

Updated: CCOBH and EB 100 Are Hosting A NCC Council District 2 Candidate Forum, 7PM Next Wednesday In Talleyville


Update:
CLICK HERE to watch Wednesday night's CCOBH - EB 100 NCC Council Candidate Forum (on facebook).  


From CCOBH and EB 100 ~

NCC Council District 2 Candidate Forum

7 - 10 p.m. Wednesday, October 17th
3919 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803
Please join CCOBH and EB 100 for a NCC Council District 2 Candidate Forum, 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, October 17th at the Talleyville Fire Hall with Brandywine Hundred-area candidates Robert S. Weiner and Dee Durham.  

Come out next Wednesday night and get to know your New Castle County Council candidates!