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1/25/2010
Process puts us on path to 'Stoltzville' - Community News - Letter to the Editor from Gina Pike

Community News
Posted Jan 25, 2010 @ 08:33 AM
Wilmington, Del. —

I attended the New Castle County Planning Board Hearing on Tuesday night, 1/5/10, regarding the Stoltz organization’s proposed development project at Greenville Center. I was extremely hopeful that the Stoltz people would consider and recognize the many concerns that our community has been voicing for months regarding their plan for Greenville Center. I was, in fact, energized by the numerous thoughtful, rational and articulate presentations that were made by citizens and agencies in opposition of the Stoltz project. It is clear that the residents of Greenville are not against development; however, they are against development that is neither reasonable nor responsible – they are against development that will exacerbate traffic and safety issues that already exist - they are against development that does not respect and attempt to maintain the character of their lovely community.

In the end, I left the meeting on Tuesday night feeling rather sad and hopeless. Pamela Scott, legal counsel for Stoltz, made closing remarks that were both disrespectful and harsh. Absolutely no attempt was made to answer specific questions that were raised and it was clearly not her intention to discuss the issues or recognize the concerns of the community. When asked about considering an alternative to the 12-story tower that the Stoltz plan proposes, Ms. Scott said, “It’s not their place to dictate how my client designs their property.” Well, if it isn’t our place to comment on, question and care about a plan that will change the way we live day to day and that has the potential to alter the beauty and character of our community, then how is it the place of an out-of-state developer to come into our community and dictate the views we will have, the traffic we will experience and safety we will enjoy? The greed of the Stoltz organization has blinded them to the very real concerns of the people who live in and around Greenville. The needs and wants of the potential owners of the proposed tower of condos come before the concerns of the people whose lives are centered in Greenville – some for generations.

The efforts of Councilman Bob Weiner, as well as countless area residents and neighborhood leaders, under the umbrella of Citizens for Responsible Growth, are to be applauded. Their dedication of time and resources has been enormous in their effort to research alternatives, inform residents and discuss options with the Stoltz organization. It is truly unfortunate that the Stoltz organization has no interest in the opinions of the residents of Greenville. Let’s take a hard look at the county’s development plan approval system and work towards a model that honors the rights of the residents of a community and that does not allow greedy developers to dictate how a community will grow and change. This really could be a ‘win-win’ situation for Greenville and Stoltz, but if Stoltz isn’t willing to discuss alternatives, and the county moves for approval of the current Greenville Center plan, I fear we will be living in Stoltzville.

- Gina Pike, Wilmington

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