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7/13/2011
Controversial Redevelopment Ordinance Tabled; Weiner alternative redevelopment draft seeking Planning Board approval - News Journal

Ordinance to reform redevelopment tabled
July 13, 2011   Written by ADAM TAYLOR 

Two members of New Castle County Council tabled their proposed reform measure of a controversial redevelopment law Tuesday, drawing gratitude from residents and a councilman with a competing ordinance.

Councilmen Joe Reda and Dave Tackett withdrew their ordinance, which seeks to end "paper redevelopment" and create tougher traffic standards for developers.

"Paper redevelopment" is a description unhappy residents use for what they view as the county's overly generous granting of redevelopment status to builders. Redevelopment projects currently get waivers from tough traffic-impact studies and expensive impact fees.

The Reda-Tackett ordinance could be voted on as early as July 26, but Councilman Robert Weiner, who has a redevelopment-reform ordinance of his own, wants his colleagues to wait longer than that.

"We should take the best from each proposal to create the best law, Weiner said.

Reda and Tackett didn't respond to Weiner's request to delay the vote on their proposal until after July 26.

The county Planning Board is scheduled to discuss all the redevelopment-reform proposals on the table at its meeting next week, board Chairman Victor Singer said.

Lisa Snyder of Christiana told Reda and Tackett they did the right thing. "Thanks for tabling and going back to the drawing board," she said.

In other business, the council passed the following measures. All were passed unanimously and without opposition from residents at the meeting:

  • A plan for the Pilot School to build its new 75,000-square-foot school on Woodlawn Road in Brandywine Hundred.
  • A plan for the Appoquinimink School District to build a 571,000-square-foot "Odessa Campus," which would include an early childhood center, elementary school, middle school, high school and athletic fields.
  • The approval of 16 contracts worth a total of $2.1 million for youth programs, information-technology upgrades and conservation districts.
  • The approval of two-year contracts with four of the five largest municipal unions. The deals include a 2.5 percent salary-and-benefit giveback in exchange for a no-layoff guarantee and three furlough days. The deals will save the county a total of $1.7 million. Negotiations with the police union on a similar deal are ongoing, county Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Vince Meconi said.

Councilman Jea Street credited County Executive Paul Clark's administration for getting the deals with labor done.

"The budget was introduced in March and you have four of five contracts in hand in July," Street said. "That puts you on the honor roll in most systems."


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Latest News:
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  Councilman announces details of redevelopment at former AstraZeneca site
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  Bob Weiner Interview: Preserving & Repurposing Brandywine Hundred and Beaver Valley
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