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8/7/2013
Greenville rezoning (Carpenter's Row) debated by Planning Board - News Journal

Wilmington News Journal - Wednesday, August 7, 2013 
Written by Taylor, Adam 

The Mary Kaye Carpenter Trust wants to rezone part of its Wagoner's Row property in Greenville to build 12 single-family homes that will sell for about $1 million each.

Carpenter, the mother of former Philadelphia Phillies owner R.R.M. "Ruly" Carpenter, lived in one of the two houses on the property at Montchanin and Buck roads until she died last year. Ruly Carpenter, the property's trustee, now wants to subdivide the property.

Even though the current zoning for the 20-acre site allows for only six homes, the proposed rezoning would have less of an impact on the immediate area, Wendie Stabler, the attorney for the trust, said at a New Castle County Planning Board hearing Tuesday night.

"Our proposal would result in more open space and less traffic," Stabler said.

The trust wants the county to rezone 12 of the 20 acres to allow for the new plan. All 12 homes would be clustered on six acres of the site and the rest would remain open space.

The development also would be an age-restricted community for people who are at least 55 years old, which Stabler said means smaller houses, fewer cars and a minimal traffic impact.

Stabler said the 12 lots have buyers ready to sign contracts if the county approves the project. There is a waiting list in case any of those prospective owners change their minds, she said.

The majority of residents in the nearby Centennial community support the plan, according to homeowners' association President Christopher Donoho. They're backing it because the trust has agreed never to build more than 12 homes on the property, to limit the homes' heights to 35 feet and to build the homes farther back from roads than the code allows, he said.

"We all know that having no change is not realistic," Donoho said.

Not all neighbors are in favor of the project.

Elizabeth Snyder, who lives on Montchanin Road (Del. 100), which is part of Delaware's National Scenic Byway, said the plan would devalue her property and increase traffic congestion.

"People who would want to buy my house would not want to be next to that," Snyder said. "I don't think this plan is consistent with the long-term vision for the scenic byway."

Kennett Pike Association President John Danzeisen told the board his group is staying neutral regarding the project, but said, "Clustered housing, as a general matter, is a good way to preserve open space."

Montchan Homeowners' Association President Stephen Rahaim and resident Lois Dow said the rezoning would set a bad precedent for other undeveloped properties in the area.

The planning board could vote on the plan as soon as Sept. 17. 

Contact Adam Taylor at 324-2787 or ataylor@delawareonline.com.

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