Contact - Volunteer - Contribute - (302) 468-6024

Bob Weiner
Home About Bob Legislation & Essays 2nd District News Articles Calendar Photo & Video Gallery 2018 Campaign Contact Bob
Bob Weiner News  

7/9/2015
Plan to raze 1799 Forwood school on Silverside road met with traffic concerns

XERXES WILSON  THE NEWS JOURNAL  7/9/15

Plans to raze a 1799 schoolhouse and develop the property it sits on met objections from neighbors over traffic and the school’s fate on Wednesday. Concerns over congestion were countered by residents who felt the development is an improvement over the aging commercial options in the area.

Developer Joe Setting, of Montchaninbased Setting Properties Inc., wants to raze the former Forwood School near Silverside and Marsh roads to make way for Branmar Commons, a 37-townhomeand commercial project. About 100 local residents gathered at Brandywine Hundred Library to discuss the proposal with the developer.

Plans for the 12-acre site call for three-story townhomes and five buildings with 30,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, a bank, coffee shop and pharmacy. “Adding 37 townhomes is the potential for 70 more cars,” said Eileen Smith, a local resident. “Now you are going to have all those restaurants. The intersection at Marsh and Silverside is already shot.”

Larry Tarabicos, a land-use attorney representing Setting, said preliminary plans indicate the need for a traffic light at the development’s entrance off Silverside Road directly across from Branmar Plaza. He stressed that the project is still in its infancy, with traffic studies and county approval processes likely to take two years.

Tarabicos described the project as an upscale, village setting. The homes will be arranged with the businesses to encourage pedestrian activity – an improvement from the strip malls that sit nearby, he argued.

The project is planned for one of the last undeveloped parcels in Brandywine Hundred. Despite concerns over traffic, some argued the project is an improvement to the aging commercial offerings near the intersection of Marsh and Silverside Roads.

“Someone said we don’t need more restaurants. Yes, we do. We need to build up a presence and property values,” said Meredith Rosenthal, a local real estate agent. “If there is a way to make this work, we need to improve the look of north Wilmington.”

Others decried the plan to raze the old Forwood School and replace it with a smaller replica built from the school’s recovered stone.

The school was originally owned by the Forwoods, a prominent family of early Delaware settlers. The school was built shortly after the General Assembly in 1796 approved a school fund using marriage and tavern license fees for public education – one of the first in the nation.

The school was unique because it was public – before then, teaching often was done in churches, or neighbors hired a teacher. Forwood provided a resource to children of the modest farmers and craftsmen of Brandywine Hundred. The school building was the longestserving school building in the state hosting students from 1799 to 1939. “That school should stay. The [replica] looks like an outhouse in a park,” said Marian Timmons, who lives on Marsh Road. Setting said the building’s lack of foundation leaves it beyond salvaging. He said the replica would honor the property’s history.

James Hanby, a local history enthusiast whose family roots date to the earliest settlers in Brandywine Hundred, noted the property sat decaying for years without outcry.

“Everyone shows up for the meeting, but nobody pulls out their checkbook,” Hanby said. “If you want to get angry about losing the oldest school in the continental United States, then you need to get with County Council to create a historic preservation ordinance so this wouldn’t happen.”

Contact Xerxes Wilson at (302) 324-2787.

Back to the News Summary

Have news? Please contact me!

HOT TOPICS:
Important Safety Tips
File a Property Complaint
Report a Pothole to DelDOT
NCC Open Checkbook
Presentations to Council
Redevelopment
NCC Council Video
New Castle County Finances
NCC Public Safety
Stoltz Developments
Other Development Proposals
NCC Clearwater Disconnect Program
Brandywine 100 History
Anti-Graffiti Brigade
Talley Day Bark Park
Claymont
Search BobWeiner.com:

Latest News:
7/24/2018
  Councilman announces details of redevelopment at former AstraZeneca site
7/18/2018
  We are not developers: Under new ownership the DuPont Country Club will emphasize community
6/9/2018
  Bob Weiner Interview: Preserving & Repurposing Brandywine Hundred and Beaver Valley

New Castle County Comprehensive Plan
How to Attend a County Council Meeting
Info on Planning Board Public Hearings
Time Limits For Speakers And
Standards For Review Of Applications
Directions to Reads Way

 

 

Give Bob a "like" on Facebook:


   
Latest News:
7/24/2018
  Councilman announces details of redevelopment at former AstraZeneca site
7/18/2018
  We are not developers: Under new ownership the DuPont Country Club will emphasize community
6/9/2018
  Bob Weiner Interview: Preserving & Repurposing Brandywine Hundred and Beaver Valley
Upcoming events:
County Council meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings of each month
"We’re very excited that Bob has agreed to serve on Delaware Greenways’ Advisory Board. His passion, energy and commitment to open space and smart growth initiatives provide a great strategic fit for our organization."

Mark Chura
Executive Director of Delaware Greenways

Paid for by Friends of Bob Weiner - www.BobWeiner.com - (302) 468-6024 - Volunteer - Contribute
Friends of Bob Weiner is the political candidate committee that accepts contributions on behalf of New Castle County Councilman Robert S. Weiner.

Facebook Twitter Youtube