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New Castle County Honored as a National Leader - Claymont Renaissance

Washington, D.C. -- New Castle County, Delaware was recently announced as one of 10 winners nationwide for the 2005-2006 Center for Sustainable Communities Award given by The National Association of Counties (NACo). The announcement was made during the organization’s recent Legislative Conference held in Washington, D.C.

The 10 communities honored were chosen by an expert panel of public and private sector leaders through a two-stage judging process. Honorees will receive their awards during the 2005-2006 Sustainable Communities Awards Presentation Ceremony and Reception on Thursday, April 27 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The event is part of National County Government week April 23-29. In addition, the Center will announce three Outstanding Practice recipients, each receiving a $5,000 award, and one Platinum Innovation community recipient who will receive $10,000 award in recognition of their accomplishments in sustainable community development.

“I commend everyone involved in developing this outstanding community partnership,” said NACo President Bill Hansell. “It is our hope that this national award will spotlight your community’s great achievement and inspire others across the country to explore similar strategies to develop vibrant, sustainable communities.”

New Castle County, Delaware and the Claymont Renaissance Development Corp. were recognized for their Claymont Hometown Overlay District initiative. In early 2000, a dedicated group of citizens from Claymont, a small unincorporated area of northern New Castle County, started meeting regularly to discuss their concerns about their community. This active group, which came to be known as the Claymont Renaissance, represented the Claymont Community Coalition, Historical Society, and Business Owners Association. As part of its community planning efforts and in response to the problems created for older neighborhoods by the UDC, the county adopted legislation initiating a new zoning overlay district, to be known as the Hometown Overlay.

“We are extremely proud of the hard work that earned New Castle County this honor,” says CRDC and Claymont Business Owners Association President Brett Saddler. “These awards recognize the most effective and innovative county-led partnerships with private sector, faith-based or community groups in developing economically prosperous, environmentally safe, and socially equitable communities.”

"Our selection as a Sustainable Community Award winner is a tribute to our county leaders, partners, and community," said Councilman Robert Weiner, a sponsor of the Claymont Hometown Overlay ordinance. "As chair of NACo's Sustainability Leadership Team and as the councilman who spearheaded the Claymont Renaissance six years ago, I am particularly pleased that my own county embodies the pillars of sustainable communities -- economic enhancement, environmental stewardship and social well being.”

NACo is a full-service organization that provides legislative, research, technical and public affairs assistance to county governments. Created in 1935, NACo continues to ensure that the nation’s 3,066 counties are heard and understood in the White House and Congress. For more information about NACo, please visit

pictured from left to right:
Donald Stapley, NACo 2nd Vice President, a County Commissioner from Maricopa County, Arizona, Rick Phillips, Claymont Renaissance member, Bob Weiner, New Castle County Councilman, Brett Saddler, President, Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation & Angelo Kyle, NACo Immediate Past President and a County Commissioner from Lake County, Illinois.

New Castle County received the prestigious Center for Sustainable Communities Award on April 27 in Washington, D.C. Additionally, New Castle County received one of four DISTINGUISHED HONORS from amongst the 10 national winners. This honor for finishing in the top four was accompanied by a $5000 award which was received on behalf of New Castle County by County Councilman Bob Weiner, Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation (CRDC) President Brett Saddler and Claymont Renaissance member Rick Phillips. Amongst the dignitaries were Governor Paris Glendening and Congressman James Oberstar. The handsome award and cash prize will be presented to the CRDC after being formally received by New Castle County.

Here is the New Castle County essay applying for the 2005 National Association of Counties Sustainable Communities Award. New Castle County finished in the top four counties in the country which resulted in both recognition and a cash prize. Cosponsors included The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, FANNIE MAE Foundation, Bank of America, National Association of Realtors, FREDDIE MAC, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Home Builders, Institute for Building Technology & Safety & The Nehemiah Corporation. The award was presented to New Castle County on 4/27/06.

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