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, August 19, 2014

3rd District NCC Council And 22nd State Rep.Candidates' Debate Set For 6:30 Sept. 2nd In Hockessin!

Update: State House candidates will begin at 6:30 and New Castle County candidates at 7:40PM.

Hockessin Community News Editor Ben Mace Will Moderate The Debate For 3rd Council And 22nd House Races 6:30PM Tuesday

The Civic League for New Castle County, the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association, along with the Pike Creek Valley Civic League, are hosting a candidates' debate on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at Hockessin Memorial Hall at 6:30 p.m. 
This year, there are two races that are of interest to residents the greater Hockessin and Pike Creek areas of New Castle County.
These are the County Council 3rd District with Incumbent Janet Kilpatrick (R) and primary challenger Michael Protack (R).
We also have the State Representative 22nd District with Incumbent Joe Miro (R) and primary challenger, Michael Smith (R) of which the winner will face John MacKenzie (D) and Steve Newton (L) in the November General Election.
For the 22nd representative race, we are inviting the declared and filed candidates for the Democrat and Libertarian Parties to participate alongside the Republican primary candidates.
The Civic League for New Castle County (CLNCC) and the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association (GHADA), along with the Pike Creek Valley Civic League (PCVCL) are sponsoring and hosting a debate on Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m. to take place at the Hockessin Memorial Fire Hall located in downtown Hockessin on Lancaster Pike and Yorklyn Road.
We will have prepared questions available for the candidates and will be taking questions submitted in writing, from the floor, time permitting that evening that are submitted to the moderator panel.
The debate will be moderated by the Hockessin Community News editor Ben Mace. The basic format will be as follows:
6:30 - 7:35 p.m.: 22nd State Representative District
  • Opening Comments/Statement - 3 minutes each
  • Question and Answer Session - 40-45 minutes
  • Candidate's Closing Statement - 3 minutes each
 7:40 - 8:30 p.m.: 3rd County Council District
  • Opening Comments/Statement - 3 minutes each
  • Question and Answer Session - 30-35 minutes
  • Candidate's Closing Statement - 3 minutes each 
There will be strict adherence to time limits so as to keep things moving along smoothly and to afford all candidates equal time to speak and address questions. We believe in civility and courtesy and in having a productive, educational and informative debates.

Save the date!
September 2, 2014

6:30 - 7:12PM
3rd Council District
Janet Kilpatrick (R incumbent)
Mike Protack (R)
And 7:15 - 8:20PM
22nd Representative District
 Joe Miro (R incumbent)
Michael Smith (R)
John MacKenzie (D)
Steve Newton (L)

Also plan to come to the

Civic League for New Castle County 
2014 Candidates Forum

September 16, 2014 6:30-9:00 pm.

Paul J. Sweeney Public Safety Building 3601 N. DuPont Highway New Castle, DE 19720

Monday, August 11, 2014

Toll Brothers' Appeal Of County-Denied Traffic Impact Study Is Set For 6PM Thursday - NCC Board Of Adjustment


A friend called and warned that this Toll Brothers appeal Thursday is a very big deal for the future of control over development in New Castle County.

From the August 2014 New Castle County Council Third District newsletter ~

Former Hercules/Delaware National Golf Course property to go before the New Castle County Board of Adjustment
In 2010, a land use application was submitted to develop the remaining portion of the former Hercules/Delaware National Golf Course on Lancaster Pike. According the New Castle County Code, applicants have three years to record a plan or it expires. While the applicant was proceeding through the land use process, they were unable to obtain approval of their Traffic Impact Study by the Land Use Department. As such, their plan expired as Traffic Impact Study approval is required to proceed to record plan stage and without it, the three year timeframe, and all allowing timeframe extensions, were exhausted. 
The applicant has decided to appeal the Land Use Department's decision that the application has expired and that the Traffic Impact Study is not acceptable to the County's Board of Adjustment. This hearing will take place Thursday August 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm in the County Building, 87 Reads Way, New Castle. The County will defend its position that the plan is expired and that the Traffic Impact Study is unacceptable at this hearing. This hearing is open to the public, should you wish to attend.
For some reason the newsletter (sent out by Janet Kilpatrick's aide) neglects to name the applicant. It's Toll Brothers. And county land use documents show that Toll is being represented by John Tracey of YCST and that Greg Pettinaro represents Delaware National's interests.

I found a lot of useful background information about the appeal on the Little Falls Village facebook site (note: the appeal was postponed from June 26th to this Thursday, August 14th).

From Little Falls Village ~
Toll Brothers, Inc. is appealing the January 7 Department of Land Use final decision disapproval letter, but we don't know what specifics they will offer until the public hearing. Presumably, they will offer specific changes to their plan to address the specific objections in the disapproval letter, but there were two pages of specifics in that letter ... that's a lot of detail to cover at a public hearing!
They have posted the NCC Land Use Department letter ~

This is the final decision from the Department of Land Use (DoLU) that is being ...appealed at a public hearing on June 26. Note that a DoLU procedure entitled the applicant to file an appeal within 20 working days from the date of this letter. Presumably they did, which resulted in the scheduling of the public hearing. Much of this letter is incomprehensible to lay persons, but after two pages of detailed specifics the conclusion is obvious ... without an acceptable Traffic Impact Study there will be “unacceptable level(s) of service ... on (m)any roadway segment(s) or intersection(s)” within the project’s “area of influence”. A number of roadways and intersections in our immediate area are described ... Little Falls Village residents will recognize them and their problems as we cope with them daily. Because of the inadequacy of the submitted TIS, the applicant's Record Plan submission expired and the applicant's $64,860.00 Record Plan review fee was refunded. See More
Also see ~
The four parcels of land include substantially all that remains of the former Hercules Country Club golf course that has not already been carved out for Little Falls Village, Centerville Point and other parcels such as the stone mansion fronting on Lancaster Pike. That includes the former fairways east of Penn Oak Drive, surrounding Little Falls Village west and south of Beaver Falls Place, across the Red Clay Creek and on both sides of Hercules Road ... over 200 acres covers a lot of ground ... pardon the pun!

The effects on Little Falls Village come from the deterioration of nearby roads and intersections and excessive traffic as described in the above letter rather than direct impact on our neighborhood. Our neighbors presumably understand and expect that Little Falls Village will eventually be surrounded by 'McMansions' similar to what Toll Brothers are building in "Greenville Overlook". They may be large, they may be garish and they certainly are inefficient and unjustifiable for all but the largest families, but most of all ... McMansions are expensive ... and it would be a good thing for property values in Little Falls Village to be immediately adjacent to more expensive properties.

So, if the issues of roads, intersections and traffic can be resolved without transferring the costs to the taxpayers, the effects on Little Falls Village are positive ... in the long-term. Until then, we must deal with inadequate roads and intersections, too much traffic and the temporary inconvenience of construction while McMansions are built around us.
Here are URL's for the tax parcels ... each links to a map view:

It seems unlikely that the applicant has a chance of overturning the disapproval. What new information could they present since their original application? It seems they are exhausting every option ... spending another $3,000 for a non-refundable application to the Board of Adjustment to appeal the disapproval:

Delaware National Development Plan

This is old information and obsolete information, but it is interesting information. This was the original proposal for the development of 200+ acres of land surrounding Little Falls Village and Centerville Point ... 260+ residences of various types. Residents of Little Falls Village may remember our battle in the early years of this decade to keep the developers from using our neighborhood as a "run through" which resulted in legislative action to maintain our integrity as a neighborhood. Nonetheless, 260+ residences will be an enormous impact on the surrounding roads and intersections ... especially Lancaster Pike at the intersection with Hercules Road and Centerville Road and Centerville Road at the intersection with Red Clay Drive, which is our only access ... not to mention surrounding our neighborhood with McMansions that we must tolerate for their positive impact on our resale values. This plan is what was rejected as inadequate and that rejection will be appealed at a public hearing on June 26 August 14.

And for good measure, here's a link to the 2006 lawsuit Toll filed against DelDOT in Chancery Court objecting to Bond Bill epilogue language instructing DelDOT to purchase Delaware National property to prevent development ~ COURT OF CHANCERY - Justia

And (Community News) Grace Lo Porto reported in 2010 ~
Dozens of residents living near Delaware National Golf Course expressed concern Tuesday over plans to build a 264-home community there.  The project, still in the early planning stages, would involve current owner Pettinaro selling the property to Toll Brothers Inc., who would build the community.  Toll Brothers is already building Greenville Overlook on an adjacent parcel that once was part of the golf course.  A major sticking point with residents is traffic.........Toll Brothers Division President Jeffrey Bartos spoke at length at the meeting. In response to traffic concerns, he said a Traffic Impact Study would be required before approval.  Asked if Toll Brothers would stop development if the study yielded unfavorable results, Bartos said no, the company would instead improve the intersections that had an unfavorable rating and continue with development.   
A second issue centered on the belief that toxic chemicals from the former Hercules Research Center have contaminated the site. According to Hale, there are rumors that Agent Orange was developed at the facility. The research facility was knocked down about two years ago; the area is now vacant, though still fenced in.  Dr. Randall Detra, Associate Professor of Science and Technology at Neumann University, also commented on the facility.  “I’ve seen vapor releases [from the facility] that kill large areas of vegetation and even two-story trees,” he said. “One thing about the [research] site is that they say it’s safe because there’s very little…people around, and that’s going to change if you start building.”   
Other community organizations, such as the Milltown Limestone Civic Alliance (MLCA), have expressed concerns about the pesticides that have been used on the property, and the high levels of chemicals like arsenic that resulted. Bartos has stated that Toll Brothers will be doing a cleanup of pesticide residue at the site similar to what was done at Greenville Overlook. Toll Brothers began a cleanup of contaminated soil there in last September and completed it in November.  Bartos said it was in the company’s best interest to make sure the site was completely safe.  “As a publicly-traded homebuilder, the cardinal rule is ‘Thou shalt not make mistakes,’” he said.

The Civic League For New Castle County Is Planning A Candidate Forum For September 16, 2014!

Keep an eye out for more information on the Civic League's September Candidate's Forum!

Unfortunately this will be after the September 9th primary, so we won't have a chance to hear from all of the area's candidates before then.

The forum is set for our regular third Tuesday monthly meeting at the Public Safety Building on Rte. 13.