Stoltz pact leaves rift in group - News Journal
At least two on Delaware Greenways board concerned by lack of vote
Bob Valihura, president of Citizens for Responsible Growth, said the majority of the Delaware Greenways board supports the new agreement.
Written by ADAM TAYLOR
An agreement signed last week designed to scale back development at Barley Mill Plaza and Greenville Center had designated a community group to enforce the pact without formal approval from the group's board.
Just days after the agreement was signed, at least two board members of Delaware Greenways are not happy about the matter. While the split on the Greenways board wouldn't kill the agreement, it could weaken one of its intended effects -- to help get county approval for the construction plans along the Del. 141 corridor by showing that the community approves of them.
"It greatly concerns me that some in the process would put Delaware Greenways' name in there without board approval first," Delaware Greenways board member Chris McEvilly said.
"Obviously this deal isn't as ironclad as we were all told."
The agreement was signed by Keith Stoltz, owner of Stoltz Real Estate Partners, and Bob Valihura, president of Citizens for Responsible Growth, which was created to fight the proposed development projects.
The agreement with Stoltz includes important concessions from the developer, Valihura said. Stoltz would scrap a 12-story residential tower at Greenville Center and scale back its building plans at Barley Mill Plaza from 2.8 million to 1.6 million square feet. The pact also places restrictions on items ranging from how high buildings can be to lighting and sign specifications.
The majority of the 23-member Greenways board supports the agreement, Valihura said. But if the board would vote against being the enforcer, another group could simply replace it, County Councilman Bob Weiner said, who is on the Greenways advisory board, and the pact would remain binding.
"In the end, Delaware Greenways may or may not be the party that enforces the agreement," Weiner said. "But that doesn't take away from the strength of the results of the negotiations."
Valihura, who is on the Delaware Greenways board as well, said McEvilly is the only board member opposed to the compromise agreement for the scaled-back Stoltz plans and that the lack of a board vote is a "nonissue."
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