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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Public Advocate David Bonar Is The Guest Speaker For CLNCC's September Monthly Meeting

Join the Civic League for New Castle County in welcoming Delaware's Public Advocate, David Bonar, as guest speaker at our next monthly meeting!

The CLNCC will meet September 17th at 7PM at the Cranston Heights Fire Company on the Kirkwood Highway, Prices Corner (next to Sears) in the Chiefs' 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Access to the meeting room is at the back of the Fire House, away from Kirkwood Hwy.

 Delaware Division of the Public Advocate Outreach
The Division of the Public Advocate is the Delaware agency that advocates on behalf of consumers on utility issues.
The Division of the Public Advocate is reaching out to consumers to provide information about electricity issues and rates, and ways consumers can save money on electric bills.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Catch Chuck Mulholland's Interview With WDEL's Al Mascitti On Workforce Housing Accountability


 (Chuck Mulholland - News Journal image)
Some background ~ 

Penrose Hollins' 2007 Workforce Housing Ordinance 07-150
2011 DREC Sellers Disclosure Form
Delaware Way's WFH posts

Chuck Mulholland's Update on Workforce Housing in the Civic League for New Castle County's June 2013 newsletter.

Kavips' 2008 post: A Tale of Two Meetings
Here's the sign in the front yard of Chuck's Vance Neck Road home ~ 

And here's Chuck's July 2013 WDEL interview on Workforce Housing ~

WFH PODCAST: Al Mascitti Civic activist Chuck Mulholland on problems with New Castle County's "workforce housing" ordinance (7/17)

This is a fascinating interview. Chuck doesn't hold anything back, accusing the county and developers of Hypocrisy, Trickery and Deceit. Mascitti agrees saying "the complete botch that is the county's so-called WFH that was a stalking horse all the way through." Make pretend that housing for the public sector is soooooo expensive and set up special circumstances so developers could evade zoning rules.

Yup. That sums it up. Development attorneys like Pam Scott authored the WFH code for their benefit and NCC Council didn't even blink. WFH was sold as the end-all be-all for affordable housing but the evidence clearly shows that it isn't what has happened. 

The Gordon administration's investigation of WFH has found that only one Workforce Housing unit has actually been sold. EVER. In addition none have even been advertised as Workforce Housing projects. EVER.

How did this happen? Chuck points to contradictory language in WFH code for income levels.

In writing WFH plan contracts, NCC Community Services' selection of moderate and low income (UDC sec. 40.07.312) instead of low and or very low incomes (UDC sec. 40.07.321) reveals what appears to have been a level of discrimination against the very low income and low income households. 

Chuck writes "the language contained in the individual plan contracts (UDC sec. 40.07.341) for Bayberry North, the Ponds of Odessa, and High Hook, for instance, calls for only moderate income dwellings to be constructed". The selection of that section of the code for the creation of these plans is not supported by "the wording of UDC sec. 40.07.311A - compliance with all provisions of this Division - which would not permit such exclusion." 

Plus, the wording of UDC sec. 40.07.311B - that Any plan submitted pursuant to this division only shall be considered vested at the time of application - precludes any variance from the original Ordinance #07-150 as written, adopted and signed.

So there you have it. Currently, NCC has WFH plans with vastly increased density granted WITHOUT ANY AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO SHOW FOR IT.

Meanwhile, New Castle County was unable to answer Chuck's FOIA (below). The Department of Community Services could not justify how they contracted Master Workforce Housing Agreements that gave density bonuses for moderate income-only priced housing for those WFH plans vested under code allowing density bonuses only for low and very low income-priced housing.

It is difficult not to conclude that the county's Community Services Department under Coons (presumably by then department manager, Anne Farley) improperly approved contracts for WFH developments to allow for moderate-only priced housing when the code these plans were vested under allow for only low and very low WFH pricing. And it's Tom Gordon's mess to clean up.
The unanswered FOIA ~
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information request, contracts and agreements signed under 40.07.341
To: ccasey@nccde.orgSLGuy@nccde.org
New Castle County Department of Community Services
via email

RE: Freedom of Information request, contracts and agreements signed under 40.07.341 for the following projects / developments:

Regarding the following New Castle County Department of Land Use Projects numbered and titled as follows:
application 2007-0421Marra Landing, agreement 20100128-004683 as filed with the Recorder of Deeds, signed by New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Rick Gregory on 01/27/10, with page 1 , paragraphs 5 & 6, reading, in part, low and moderate income households;

application 2008-0804, Goldsborough Farm, agreement 20100804-0040615 as filed with the Recorded of Deeds, signed by New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Rick Gregory on 07/29/10, with page 1, paragraphs 5 & 6  reading, in part, low and moderate income households;

application 2007-0438 , High Hook, agreement 20111024-0064361 as filed with the Recorder of Deeds, signed by New Castle County Executive Paul G. Clark on 10/10/11, with page 1, paragraphs 5 & 6  reading, in part,  moderate income households;

application 208-0917 , Ponds of Odessa, agreement 20110728-0042210 as filed with the Recorder of Deeds, signed by New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Gregg Wilson on 07/28/11, with page 1, paragraphs 5 & 6  reading, in part,  moderate income households;

application 2008-0829 , Village of Bayberry North, agreement 20091228-0081362 as filed with the Recorder of Deeds, signed by  New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Rick Gregory on 12/28/09, paragraphs 4 & 5  reading, in part,  moderate income households.
Given that each of these agreements lists the ordinance ( substitute 1 for Ordinance 07-150, adopted by New Castle County Council on 2/26/08 ) under which these agreements and applications were made to and by New Castle County Department of Land Use and the Department of Community Services, I am seeking the legal basis for the income levels cited and listed in these above  agreements, given the wording of 40.07.321 A & B as contained in Ordinance 07-150,ie low and or very low income households, and also the wording of 40.07.311 B, ie applications vested..
I also note that the term moderate income households does not appear in any density bonus section in Ordinance 07-150, and does not appear in an approved New Castle County Workforce Housing Ordinance until February 2009, as listed in Ordinance 08-121, and thus not appearing to apply to any of the above listed plans.

I have read the New Castle County FOIA policy and file this request by email to the Department Community Services of New Castle County.

Chuck Mulholland

President, Southern New Castle County Alliance

Vance Neck Rd

Middletown, DE 19709


Chuck's index for the WDEL interview with Al Mascitti ~

The above link is for the original ordinance that has created what David Grimaldi described as major problems.
Depending on what you wish to discuss I would reference the ordinance, and what has happened thereafter.
I will reference Unified Development Code sections
                      40.07.311 A , B and C; 
                      40.07.321 A 1 and 2;
                      40.07.332 and 333;
and the Delaware Seller's Disclosure form for new construction -namely section II, line 13
David Grimaldi, NCC CAO, has promised that NCC’s workforce housing program will be among the first items the new Land Use General Manager will be asked to review.

And I am happy to report that State Senator Bruce Ennis is continuing to working hard to make sure Delaware gives full disclosure to home buyers of any unit under a Master Workforce Housing Agreement and that NCC's affordable housing policy is actually producing what it's selling to the public.


And as always, if you like our work at CLNCC and want to support it and see it continue,please consider joining! Individuals, businesses and civic associations are all welcome. 
See HERE for [Membership Form - PDF]