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Misimpression in Greenville News ["Councilman Weiner's Greenville community meeting to focus on legal analysis of 3 Stoltz projects"]

Misimpression in Greenville News ["Councilman Weiner's Greenville community meeting to focus on legal analysis of 3 Stoltz projects"]   June 24, 2008

A note from Councilman Bob Weiner:

Certain statements attributed to Stoltz’ representative in today’s Greenville Community News article appended below are misleading. Stoltz representatives, with whom I have never spoken, claim that I said that my constituents “would not participate in any meeting with Councilman Tansey's constituents.” I had explained to Stoltz’ legal counsel that I preferred to hold my own meeting for my constituents since 2 of the 3 Stoltz projects are in my district and the 3rd project [Barley Mill Plaza] directly affects my constituents in Westover Hills and Westhaven. In fact, the Barley Mill Plaza project has arguably greater impact upon residents in the Second Council District whose properties border the proposal than those in any other Council district.

When the Stoltz organization made its presentation to KPA an attendee asked about the height of the buildings. The response was that there would be one 10 story building. This statement was at the very least misleading.

Here are some additional facts which were not presented by the Stoltz organization:

The Stoltz proposal appears to include 29 buildings for the Barley Mill Plaza site.
The number could increase or decrease slightly, depending on whether some of the multiuse buildings would be considered connected.  There is one 10-story structure, one 9-story structure, four 8-story structures, two 7-story structures, six 6-story structures, two 5-story structures, two 2-story structures and eleven 1-story structures.  Again, that number may vary slightly, because several of the buildings have multiple levels.  Please consult the plan for location and uses. 

The traffic on Route 141 could triple. The square footage is proposed to increase from 1 million to 3 million square feet.

I have organized a Greenville community wide meeting on Wednesday June 25, 2008 at 6 PM at Saint Joseph’s on the Brandywine Family Center because all Greenville residents deserve to be provided an unbiased legal analysis of the applicable law in relation to the pending Barley Mill Plaza project so that their comments on the record at the pending July 1 New Castle County Land Use Department Public Hearing will be relevant and focused. Greenville residents also deserve to be provided an unfiltered legal analysis of Stoltz’ other two projects: (1) a 12 story high rise proposal at Greenville Center, which was preliminarily rejected by New Castle County & (2) an additional development at the old Columbia Gas site [20 Montchanin Road], which would require amending the deed restrictions. There is no indication that Stoltz does not intend to proceed forward with both of these proposals.

The Stoltz organization previously made a presentation to the Kennett Pike Association a few months ago and told KPA that it would only attend if “Councilman Weiner was not present” according to Richard Beck, Acting KPA President. Accordingly, I agreed not to attend while Stoltz representatives were making a presentation. KPA was invited to leave the room after its presentation so that KPA board members could receive my legal analysis of the Stoltz proposal and the applicable legal standards. KPA board members and invited area civic leaders recognized the importance of receiving my candid legal analysis after Stoltz representatives departed. However, with the issuance of the County Land Use Department’s Exploratory Report this week and with the pendency of the July 1 public hearing, it became critically  important and time sensitive that the entire Greenville community receive a more detailed legal analysis, unfiltered by Stoltz representatives.

It is for this reason that I extended an invitation to Pam Scott, legal counsel to the Stoltz organization on June 3 to invite her client to attend my Greenville community meeting. I reiterated my invitation repeatedly over the next two weeks. I was never advised that Stoltz was already planning to attend another meeting the same evening. In fact, I was repeatedly advised in writing by Stoltz’ legal counsel that she was unable to determine the availability of her client to attend a meeting on the evening on June 25. Finally, after two weeks on June 16 Stoltz legal counsel responded:  “regardless of my availability on June 25th, such a meeting would depend upon the availability of other project team members”.

At this juncture, I responded that I was disappointed that the Stoltz organization was otherwise unavailable on the evening of June 25 and welcomed Stoltz’ legal counsel to attend my meeting even if her client could not attend. It was only after this two week exchange was I informed that Stoltz was available and would attend another meeting which Councilman Tansey was hosting the same night at 7 PM. It is apparent that the Stoltz organization did not want to attend a meeting where I would able to assure that the community received an unbiased and objective analysis.

It is disappointing that the Stoltz organization appears to want to avoid working constructively with me and continues its unsuccessful attempts to marginalize my involvement in protecting the residents of Greenville. I welcome the opportunity to place this chapter behind us to work constructively with the Stoltz organization.

Councilman Bob Weiner
Council District 2
New Castle County

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