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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Newark Town Center - Stopyra Tract Rezoning Update

From Delaware Way -

Read more about the plan and civic umbrella group, CAPPA, in the October 2010 Civic League for New Castle County Comments HERE.

And here's an oldie but goodie from 2007 when Newark was considering annexation of the property.

I was able to speak in front of the New Castle County Council's Land Use Committee about Frank Acierno's Stopyra tract plan Tuesday after waiting for more than three hours. I mentioned that John Kowalko had called me earlier in the day to say that he and other area legislators were opposed to this rezoning. I noted that in the developer's exhibit - scope of the traffic impact study aerial view (as depicted in the image above) - showed the actual character of the community as residential, low impact shopping, churches and open space. The developer's attorney, Rich Abbott, cajoled that the text of the Comprehensive Plan allowed them to extrapolate the site's character as commercial by showing a diagram of miles and miles of the Kirkwood Highway transit corridor clear to Elsmere. Community character is one of the five criteria that must be met for approval of a rezoing in NCC. Recommendation was denied by both the Department of Land Use and the NCC Planning Board - thus the 2/3 majority council vote threshold for approval.

The CAPPA group was asked to make only a brief presentation to Council because of the lengthy agenda and so they gave a five minute talk in anticipation of having more time next Tuesday night. One other person got up to discuss the negative consequences of the intense use of the site on the natural areas nearby.

Here's the presser from the Delaware State House ~

Legislators ask new castle county council
to vote against rezoning
Six Newark-area legislators sign letter requesting zoning remain as-is
for Stopyra tract off Kirkwood Highway
NEWARK – Citing traffic and environmental concerns, six Newark-area legislators sent a letter Wednesday to New Castle County Council urging councilmembers to vote against a rezoning request that would allow developers to build a 345,000-square-foot shopping center on a tract of farmland along Kirkwood Highway.
Reps. Paul Baumbach, John Kowalko, Joseph Miro, Edward S. Osienski and Michael Ramone and Sen. David Sokola signed the letter, which states that the rezoning request for the Stopyra property is “inappropriate for that area.”
Rep. Baumbach said building a shopping center on the site is not viable and would have negative implications on the surrounding areas. The Delaware Department of Transportation’s traffic impact study predicts a near 50-percent increase in traffic on Capitol Trail/Kirkwood Highway. Additionally, leveling the property’s hillside terrain could lead to dangerous run-off problems and flooding.
“The downside of developing the Stopyra tract as requested far outweigh the benefits,” said Rep. Baumbach, D-Newark. “We have to consider the implications for the area’s residents. A 50-percent increase in traffic is simply unfathomable on Kirkwood Highway – already the fifth-most-congested roadway in the state. This is why the parcel is zoned as it is, and why the current zoning should stand. What’s also concerning is that the massive engineering project required to level the hillside could lead to major issues with water runoff and flooding. We don’t believe those are risks worth taking.”
New Castle County Council is scheduled to vote on the rezoning request at its February 12 meeting.
Plus, (WDEL) Amy Cherry reports ~ Newark lawmakers say no to shopping center on Kirkwood Highway
The Newark Democrat tells developers to look elsewhere to plan. "We've got plenty of properly zoned property up and down Kirkwood Highway; we do not need more of it," he says.
And to proponents who say the project is good for economic development, [Paul] Baumbach says...."If we need economic development, then we should be redeveloping the dark areas, the non-used areas, the vacancies up and down, redo shopping centers."

February Monthly Meeting To Feature State Rep. Mike Ramone

7PM Meeting location: Community room, Paul Sweeney Public Safety Building, 3601 DuPont Highway , New Castle ( Minquadale) ( County Police Headquarters)

7:00 PM call to order, update comments
7:15 PM State Representative Michael Ramone (R), 21st District with comments on proposed legislation and various aspects of the 147th General Assembly. With his current committee assignments including:

House Capital Infrastructure
House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce
House Gaming & Parimutuels
House Housing & Community Affairs
House Revenue & Finance
House Telecommunication Internet & Technology
House Veterans Affairs
...there should be some informative dialogue.

At the conclusion of this segment there may be a presentation by the New Castle County Police on programs they have throughout the various communities. This request has not yet been confirmed.

8:45 PM Closing comments, reports, distribution of community contact information for League recruitment.

9:00 PM Adjournment

Prepared by
Chuck Mulholland
President, Civic League for New Castle County 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Upcoming New Castle County Land Use Meetings


Feb. 4th 7PM Delaware City Fire Hall, the Second Historic Fort DuPont Complex meeting Feb. 4 will feature concepts and ideas The second of three planned community meetings on the future of the Historic Fort DuPont Complex

Feb. 5th 3PM NCC Council Land Use Committee Public Hearing Frank Acierno's Newark Town Center (just outside the city limits on Possom Park Road. See: http://cappade.org/). 8th Floor, City/County Building.

Feb 5th 7PM Newark Planning Commission, the Newark Shopping Center Expansion was removed from the agenda and is tentatively scheduled for March.