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Columbia Place (former site of The Pilot School) - Garden of Eden Road  

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3/16/2012 Update:

Dear friends,

I just received this email from the Land Use Dept. notifying of a Planning Board Hearing Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road (2009-0201-S/Z) Tuesday April 3 @ 7 pm.
I have appended and attached additional information.
I invite you to attend the Planning Board Hearing and to place your comments on the record.
I have posted information on Planning Board hearings at http://www.bobweiner.com/PlanningBoardHearings.asp

Best wishes to all. Bob

Bob Weiner, your County Councilman
“Making County Government Work for Us”
Robert S. Weiner
Council District 2, New Castle County, DE
www.bobweiner.com
Louis Hinkle, aide to Councilman Weiner 302-395-8362

D  E  P  A  R  T  M  E  N  T     O  F     L  A  N  D     U  S  E

P  L  A  N  N  I  N  G         B  O  A  R  D  
P  U  B  L  I  C       H  E  A  R  I  N  G       A  G  E  N  D  A

 

The DEPARTMENT OF LAND USE AND PLANNING BOARD of New Castle County will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Gilliam Building, 77 Reads Way, New Castle, DE, beginning at 7 p.m. to consider the following applications.  The order in which the applications are listed is subject to change.

 

2009-0201-S/Z.  South side Garden of Eden Road, west of Concord Pike (US 202) and east of Taunton Drive.  This is a revised Land Development Preliminary Plan, Rezoning and TAC review for Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road to supersede a previously approved preliminary plan associated with Ord. 09-090 that was adopted by County Council in February 2010 and which rezoned the property from S to ST.  The purpose of the revised plan is to make minor alterations to improve the overall design and open space layout and reduce impervious cover without increasing the number of dwelling units or GFA.  Former Section 40.31.114 of the New Castle County Code (which applies to former process plans) requires that all subsequent land development plans to previously approved or recorded rezoning plans be in strict accordance and strict conformance with the development on the approved preliminary plan that was relied upon by County Council when it granted the rezoning. Ord. 12-019 will approve the revised plan to supersede the plan associated with Ord. 09-090. ST (Suburban Transition) zoning dist. CD 2.

1/7/2010 Update:

Dear civic leaders and concerned residents,

The Columbia Place application was scheduled to be considered by the NCC Land Use Committee on Tuesday January 19 at 3 PM. Final County Council consent vote was scheduled for Tuesday January 26 at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the ground floor of the City/County Building.

The applicant failed to contact the New Castle County Council Clerk of Council and my office in time to accommodate the News Journal Legal Notice publishing deadline. As a consequence, the Pilot School site/ Columbia Place Plan public hearing schedule has been delayed.

The new date for the New Castle County Land Use Committee meeting in Tuesday February 2 at 3 PM in the New Castle County Council 8th floor conference room in the City/County Building, 8th and French Streets in Wilmington. This is when the application will be discussed. The meeting is open to the public but public comment is limited.

The new date for the vote by County Council vote is at County Council’s General Meeting on Tuesday February  9 at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the 1st floor of the City/County Building. The public is invited to attend. Comments are limited to 3 minutes per speaker.

The Planning Board recommendation of record has been corrected to reflect “no recommendation” instead of a positive recommendation. The County Land Use Department has recommended in favor of the applicant’s plan. Attached for your review is the Department of Land Use Revised Preliminary Plan Report for Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road 2009-0201-S dated 12/22/09. The Preliminary Plan, for a 149 unit age-restricted condominium community has been found “acceptable” to proceed to NCC Council for Record Plan approval. Certain items, which are stipulated in the attached letter, still need to be addressed to be deemed code compliant.

 

A Message from Bob Weiner, your County Councilman

12/24/09:

Dear community leaders and interested residents,

Attached for your review is the Department of Land Use Revised Preliminary Plan Report for Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road 2009-0201-S dated 12/22/09. The Preliminary Plan, for a 149 unit age-restricted condominium community has been found “acceptable” to proceed to NCC Council for Record Plan approval. Certain items, which are stipulated in the attached letter, still need to be addressed to be deemed code compliant.

I anticipate that the Columbia Place application will be on the NCC Land Use Committee agenda on Tuesday January 19 at 3 PM on the 8th floor of the City/County Building. Final County Council consent vote is currently scheduled for Tuesday January 26 at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the ground floor of the City/County Building.

 .  “The Department is currently in the process of enhancing the computer system to provide the most up-to-date, project-specific information possible.  Redevelopment plans such as this do not include a Preliminary Plan review; they proceed directly to final Record Plan stage after the Exploratory Review.” 

Columbia Place is a redevelopment plan, but it includes a rezoning so the Planning Board recommendation and subsequent Council vote amount to a preliminary plan phase.  The next step in the approval process for Columbia Place is for Council to vote on the rezoning.

 UDC 40.31.114 Record Plan Submission

C. Council consent.

  1. For major plans, the record plan shall be forwarded to County Council for its consent. Upon receipt of the plan, County Council shall schedule the matter for its next public hearing, and may take one (1) of the following actions:

  a.     Adopt a resolution approving the record major plan; or 
              b.     Table and refer the plan back to the Department, no more than twice, with specific questions relating to technical compliance with this Chapter, State or Federal constitutional requirements, or any other statute or ordinance for which compliance is required. Upon receipt of a Department recommendation reaffirming approval of the plan, County Council shall adopt the resolution of approval, unless a second referral is made because of additional questions or concerns. Upon receipt of the Department's recommendation reaffirming approval of the plan after review of any additional concerns raised by County Council, Council shall adopt the resolution of approval.

 

11/6/09:

The New Castle County Board of Adjustment granted the requested 6 ½ foot height variance to the Reybold Group at last night’s Board of Adjustment Hearing. The Board approved variance # 2009-0523 by a vote of 4-0.

As per my standard practice, I have posted extensive documentation regarding the Pilot School application above. You will also find more detailed explanation of the applicable procedural and substantive law.

The New Castle County Planning Board/Land Use Department Business Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday November 17 at 9 AM at the County Government Center in the main conference room on the 1st floor. 87 Reads Way in New Castle. The Land Use Department will present its recommendation to the citizen Planning Board. The Planning Board will then discuss and vote as to what its recommendation should be to New Castle County Council. New Castle County Council gives great deference to the Land Use Department and Planning Board’s separate written recommendations. Both recommendations will be available to the public to review.

Members of the public do have the opportunity to speak at Planning Board business meetings.  Comments from the Public is the last agenda item before adjournment(see attached minutes from the 09/15/09 business meeting for reference).  However, during the Board's discussion of a particular application, no further comments are permitted - either from the public or the applicant.  Additional comments during the Board's discussion would amount to new testimony where the official record has already been closed. 

Redevelopment plans are an exception to the “triennial” rule. Under “Review Process” Chapter 40.08.130B6d, all major development plans follow Article 31 procedures, except that a redevelopment plan may be acted upon by County Council at any time and is not subject to the triennial rezoning dates.

The 13 members of New Castle County Council will have the ultimate say as to whether or not the rezoning is passed when the body votes. County Council will discuss the Pilot School plan twice: first at our County Council Land Use Committee meeting and second at our County Council meeting when we will vote. Both meetings are advertised in the Saturday Legal Notices in the News Journal and notice is also posted. Both are open to the public to listen and to speak on the record. At this juncture the public record is closed. Occasionally the Planning Board Chairman may permit comments, but his practice is not consistent with the procedure. Should the Land Use Department recommend in favor of the applicant, a supermajority of 9 of the 13 members of County Council is required to vote against the application. Normally, only a simple majority is required in support of an application.

The Pilot School plan could be scheduled by the applicant [Reybold Group] on the County Council Land Use Committee meeting as early as the Tuesday Jan 5, 2010 [3 PM] meeting date. County Council meets as a “committee of the whole”. The Pilot School plan could be scheduled before the New Castle County Council as early as the Jan 12, 2010 [7 PM ] County Council meeting.

Because of the upcoming holidays, I will ask the applicant to wait to schedule the Pilot School application until the County Council Land Use Committee meeting on Tuesday January 19, 2010 at 3 PM and until the New Castle County Council meeting on Tuesday Jan 26 [7pm] for final discussion and the vote. Each member of County Council will be polled and asked to state his or her reasons for his or her vote on the record.

As the sponsoring Councilperson, I could move to table the Ordinance a maximum of two times but only for the specific purpose of referring the application back to County Land Use Department to opine on specific inquires relating to code compliance. I would be pleased to move to table if there is such a specific question or questions.  

Bob Weiner, your County Councilman
“Making County Government Work for Us”
Robert S. Weiner
Council District 2, New Castle County, DE
www.bobweiner.com
Louis Hinkle, aide to Councilman Weiner 302-395-8362

 

  Neighbors blast plan for Pilot School site
MEMOS AT RANDOM
A well-programmed presentation by residents of Edenridge and Tavistock sought to convince the Planning Board that a proposal to build an age-restricted community in their back yards is a perversion of efforts to renew blighted areas.
At issue at a board hearing on Nov. 3 was a plan by Reybold Group to build a 149-unit community of mixed housing types on the 15-acre site of Pilot School on Garden of Eden Road. The plan was filed under the county redevelopment ordinance. The school intends to relocate to a site on nearby Woodlawn Road. Summarizing the opposition's positions, Nancy Hannigan said the school is a "vibrant functioning" entity, not a problem property the law was intended to rehabilitate. Moreover, she and others argued that it would be the first time that redevelopment of a residential site has been proposed. The rub is that the ordinance provides a significant density bonus as an incentive to developers. The residents said 60 units would be more in keeping with the 'character' of the neighborhood.
Kathy Craven, director of the highly-rated private elementary school for children with developmental needs, said sale of the present property to a developer who can make a profit on it is necessary in order to replace an educationally outmoded 45-year-old building. Reybold executive Jerome Heisler said the density the firm seeks is what makes the project viable in the current real estate market. Building to such standards "is what the [county] comprehensive plan tells us to do," he said. Both proponents said they are mindful of community interests and that the new neighborhood will not adversely affect them. Craven said the school rejected alternate bids for the property which would have resulted in putting a strip shopping center or Brandywine School District's replacement bus depot there.

Among those testifying in opposition to the project were state Senator Michael Katz, Representative Dennis Williams and county Councilman Robert Weiner. No one from the general public supported the proposal.

 

10/16/09:

PILOT SCHOOL REZONING

Notice from Councilman Weiner: Nov. 3 Land Use Dept/Planning Board Major Land Development Exploratory Plan Review of Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road

I am emailing you a notice of the Land Use Dept/Planning Board scheduled public hearing review of the Major Land Development Preliminary Plan, Redevelopment,  Rezoning and TAC Review for Columbia Place at Garden of Eden Road.  This plan, Application  2009-0201-S/Z,  is on the south side Garden of Eden Road, west of Concord Pike and east of Taunton Drive proposes to redevelop the property with 150 age restricted dwelling units on 15.4 acres with 6.43 acres of open space.  Ordinance 09-090 proposes rezoning 15.4 acres from S (Suburban) to ST (Suburban Transition). 

The  plan review is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Gilliam Building, 77 Reads Way, New Castle, DE

At the public hearing, the Department of Land Use and Planning Board will hear testimony regarding the major land development  preliminary plan.  The purpose of the hearing is to provide the public and other interested parties with an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments with respect to compliance to the Unified Development Code (UDC) and to identify potential impacts on adjoining lands and the community.  I wanted to alert you so that you have time to prepare questions that you may have about this project.  If you have additional questions, you can contact my office at 302-395-8362 or contact the Department of Land Use General Managers office at 302-395-5510.

See http://www.bobweiner.com/PlanningBoardHearings.asp  for procedures and directions.  

The New Castle County Land Use Department and the New Castle County Planning Board, a 9-member public board, is responsible for reviewing proposed changes to zoning, subdivision regulations, deed restrictions and the Comprehensive Development Plan.  Deed restriction modifications refer only to those deed restrictions to which New Castle County is a party or a beneficiary.  This does not include community deed restrictions.  Following review and a public hearing, the County Land Use Department professional planners and the citizen Board each issue a recommendations on these proposals, which are provided to New Castle County County Council prior to its taking action. County Council must vote by a supermajority if the County Council vote is contrary to the Land Use Department recommendation.
The Planning Board is also tasked with rendering a final decision on subdivision variances and appeals of Land Use Department interpretations of subdivision regulations.  These also are discussed at these public hearings with testimony taken, before the Board acts to render a decision.

 

9/18/2009:

The Pilot School, 100 Garden of Eden Road, has proposed a rezoning to permit the construction of a retirement community. The community has its second opportunity to learn about this proposed Brandywine Hundred rezoning at the New Castle County Land Use Department/Planning Board Public Hearing on November 3, 2009 at 7 PM at the Gilliam Building. Public comment is welcome. Click here for procedures and directions. You can also view the Preliminary Plan.

The legal standards for zoning map amendment are set forth in Section 40.3.410 of the New Castle County Unified Development Code, commonly referred to as the “UDC”. The UDC can be accessed via the county’s website: http://www.nccde.org/CZO .

The Pilot School, at 100 Garden of Eden Road adjacent to the community of Tavistock just east of the Concord Pike, announced to the adjacent community in late spring of 2008 that it planned to build a new school on a new site. The new site is on Woodlawn Rd which extends west from Concord Pike between Kohl’s and the Red Lobster.

The Pilot School Board plans to sell the existing property to a developer (The Reybold Group) who intends to seek a rezoning of the Pilot School site on Garden of Eden Road from S to ST, to permit the building of an age-restricted mixed use community there.

According to Frank Maderich, Chairman of the community’s Pilot School Working Group, Pilot School and the developer has been working with the adjacent communities on implementing the plan for redeveloping the existing site. The boards of the Tavistock and Edenridge 3 civic associations appointed a Working Group to study and evaluate the plans and the options and make recommendations to their respective Boards.

Most of the Working Group members are from Tavistock and live adjacent to the Pilot School. This work is still underway and a number of options for the communities to consider are being developed. The Working Group has also met with the New Castle County Land Use Department and Councilman Bob Weiner to better understand the law and process the County applies in considering rezoning requests.

This preliminary plan is scheduled for review at a hearing of the Planning Board and the Department of Land Use on November 3, 2009.  This is when the public can make comments and recommendations.

After considering public testimony from the applicant and the community, the County Land Use Department will issue its preliminary recommendation at the next business meeting.  Afterwards, New Castle County Council will consider and vote upon the proposed rezoning.

Previously, the developer, the Reybold Group had filed an Exploratory Plan with the County Land Use Department which was evaluated by the County Land Use Department on July 7, 2009. After considering public testimony from the applicant and the community, the County Land Use Department issued its preliminary recommendation in support of the plan.

Parcel(s):

[0605100014 - 18 GARDEN OF EDEN RD \/][Details]

Project Type:

SUBDIVISION LAND DEVELOPMENT

Description:

South side of Garden of Eden Road, approximately 800 feet west of Route 202. Proposal to rezone 15.4 acres from S to ST and redevelop the site with 150 dwelling units. Age Restricted S Zoning, CD 2. Brandywine Hundred

Contact:

PILOT SCHOOL INC

Status:

Active

Plan Reviewer:

ANTONI SEKOWSKI

Engineering Reviewer:

ERIC LARAMORE

Next Stage:

Preliminary Plan

 #2009-0200-S) *South side of Garden of Eden Road, approximately 800 feet west of Route 202. Rezoning Plan to rezone 15.4 acres from S to ST and redevelop the site with 150 dwelling units and associated site improvements. 100 Garden of Eden Road. S Zoning. (App. #2009-0201-S)
Board Responsibilities
The New Castle County Planning Board is a 9-member public board, mandated by State law, that is responsible for reviewing proposed changes to zoning, subdivision regulations, deed restrictions and the Comprehensive Development Plan.  Deed Restriction Changes refer only to those deed restrictions to which New Castle County is a party or a beneficiary.  This does not include community deed restrictions.  Following review and a public hearing, the Board issues recommendations on these proposals which are provided to County Council prior to their taking action.

The Planning Board is also tasked with rendering a final decision on subdivision variances and appeals of Land Use Department interpretations of subdivision regulations.  These, too, are discussed at a public hearing and testimony taken, before the Board acts to render a decision.

To review the Exploratory Sketch Plan, click here.

For an aerial photograph, click here.

 

The legal standards for zoning map amendment are set forth in Section 40.3.410 of the New Castle County Unified Development Code, commonly referred to as the “UDC”. The UDC can be accessed via the county’s website: http://www.nccde.org/CZO

The Pilot School, at 100 Garden of Eden Road adjacent to the community of Tavistock just east of the Concord Pike, announced to the adjacent community in late spring of 2008 that it planned to build a new school on a new site. The new site is on Woodlawn Rd which extends west from Concord Pike between Kohl’s and the Red Lobster.

The Pilot School Board plans to sell the existing property to a developer (The Reybold Group) who intends to seek a rezoning of the Pilot School site on Garden of Eden Road from S to ST, to permit the building of an age-restricted mixed use community there.

According to Frank Maderich, Chairman of the community’s Pilot School Working Group, Pilot School and the developer has been working with the adjacent communities on implementing the plan for redeveloping the existing site. The boards of the Tavistock and Edenridge 3 civic associations appointed a Working Group to study and evaluate the plans and the options and make recommendations to their respective Boards.

Most of the Working Group members are from Tavistock and live adjacent to the Pilot School. This work is still underway and a number of options for the communities to consider are being developed. The Working Group has also met with the New Castle County Land Use Department and Councilman Bob Weiner to better understand the law and process the County applies in considering rezoning requests.

This preliminary plan is scheduled for review at a hearing of the Planning Board and the Department of Land Use on November 3, 2009.  This is when the public can make comments and recommendations.

After considering public testimony from the applicant and the community, the County Land Use Department will issue its preliminary recommendation at the next business meeting.  Afterwards, New Castle County Council will consider and vote upon the proposed rezoning.

Previously, the developer, the Reybold Group had filed an Exploratory Plan with the County Land Use Department which was evaluated by the County Land Use Department on July 7, 2009. After considering public testimony from the applicant and the community, the County Land Use Department issued its preliminary recommendation in support of the plan.

Parcel(s):

[0605100014 - 18 GARDEN OF EDEN RD \/][Details]

Project Type:

SUBDIVISION LAND DEVELOPMENT

Description:

South side of Garden of Eden Road, approximately 800 feet west of Route 202. Proposal to rezone 15.4 acres from S to ST and redevelop the site with 150 dwelling units. Age Restricted S Zoning, CD 2. Brandywine Hundred

Contact:

PILOT SCHOOL INC

Status:

Active

Plan Reviewer:

ANTONI SEKOWSKI

Engineering Reviewer:

ERIC LARAMORE

Next Stage:

Preliminary Plan

 #2009-0200-S) *South side of Garden of Eden Road, approximately 800 feet west of Route 202. Rezoning Plan to rezone 15.4 acres from S to ST and redevelop the site with 150 dwelling units and associated site improvements. 100 Garden of Eden Road. S Zoning. (App. #2009-0201-S)
Board Responsibilities
The New Castle County Planning Board is a 9-member public board, mandated by State law, that is responsible for reviewing proposed changes to zoning, subdivision regulations, deed restrictions and the Comprehensive Development Plan.  Deed Restriction Changes refer only to those deed restrictions to which New Castle County is a party or a beneficiary.  This does not include community deed restrictions.  Following review and a public hearing, the Board issues recommendations on these proposals which are provided to County Council prior to their taking action.

The Planning Board is also tasked with rendering a final decision on subdivision variances and appeals of Land Use Department interpretations of subdivision regulations.  These, too, are discussed at a public hearing and testimony taken, before the Board acts to render a decision.

To review the Exploratory Sketch Plan, click here.

For an aerial photograph, click here.

 

 

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