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4/2/2014
Del. Supreme Court upholds Chancery Court decision on Barley Mill Plaza Community News

NCCo. Councilman Bob Weiner claims original rezoning vote was motivated by union pressure.

Weiner said that the Supreme Court decision is a victory for the public despite the fact that it means Stoltz can now build a King of Prussia-style mall in the heart of Greenville.

“More lawsuits will likely be filed by Stoltz to decouple the County’s staged phasing requirement,” Weiner said. “If successful, Stoltz will be able to cherry-pick out the commercial strip shopping center and build nothing else. My assumption is that Stoltz will sell off the other components.”

Del. Supreme Court upholds Chancery Court decision on Barley Mill Plaza

NCCo. Councilman Bob Weiner claims original rezoning vote was motivated by union pressure

By Wm. Shawn Weigel shawn.weigel@doverpost.com Posted Apr. 2, 2014 @ 8:49 am Hockessin Community News

The future of the proposed Barley Mill Plaza development remains unknown in the wake of last week’s decision from the Delaware Supreme Court.

On Friday, March 25, 2014 the five-member court unanimously upheld an April 2013 decision by Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock III, rendering a rezoning of a 37-acre portion of the development invalid.

Glasscock found that a vote from New Castle County Councilman Bob Weiner, 2nd District, was “arbitrary and capricious” because Weiner was illegally denied access to a traffic study prior to the rezoning vote in December 2012.

In last week’s decision, Chief Justice Leo Strine said that the traffic study was not important to Weiner for personal reasons; rather, the information was “objectively relevant to any reasonable legislator voting on the rezoning.”

Strine said the decision was made without the court exploring whether or not the study was legally mandated by county statutes, or whether the Unified Development Code required a Traffic Impact Study prior to council’s vote.

They also offered no opinion on whether or not Glasscock’s analysis of the statutes was correct.

“Instead, we rest our affirmance solely on the same narrow ground on which the Court of Chancery itself premised its invalidation of the Council’s rezoning vote, and leave open the important questions of whether (county code or the UDC) requires a transportation analysis to be provided to the Council before its discretionary vote,” Strine said.

Save Our County representative Joe Kelly said he found the 5-0 “very gratifying,” adding that if his organization had not prevailed, the rezoning would have set a bad precedent for future rezoning efforts.

“Traffic congestion would have been unbearable, seriously impairing our quality of life,” Kelly said. “Moreover, the government would have lacked power to compel the developer to pay for the massive infrastructure costs that would have necessarily resulted.”

Weiner said that the Supreme Court decision is a victory for the public despite the fact that it means Stoltz can now build a King of Prussia-style mall in the heart of Greenville.

“More lawsuits will likely be filed by Stoltz to decouple the County’s staged phasing requirement,” Weiner said. “If successful, Stoltz will be able to cherry-pick out the commercial strip shopping center and build nothing else. My assumption is that Stoltz will sell off the other components.”

Attempts to reach a representative from Stoltz Real Estate or Barley Mill, LLC, were unsuccessful.

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