Don Rush

Voters in Delaware City yesterday decided to annex some 325 acres of land for a residential and retail development.

The project surrounds the old Fort DuPont built in 1899.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the development includes a 150-slip marina, a restaurant and hotel as well as 500 residential units.

City officials say the annexation will increase tax revenues and would nearly double the size of the city population.

There have been concerns about the strain on the town’s finances along with a need for more police and code enforcement officers.

creative commons

A major housing project on Warrington Road in Rehoboth has come back to Sussex County for a public hearing last night.

The plans for the Arbor-Lyn development includes 60 single-family homes, 82 town houses and 60 condominiums.

The major revision request call for a reduction in zoning from high density to medium density residential district.

But, it has drawn sharp opposition from neighboring developments which are concerned about traffic congestion and the minimum 20 foot buffer between developments.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County council members have approved giving DuPont Co. $7.5 million over five years in an effort to keep the company from leaving the state.
News outlets report that council members unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that will create a new economic development fund. The fund will allow the county to allocate money to retain or create jobs or improve its tax base. The money comes from tax reserves.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on millions of dollars in tax incentives for DuPont following its planned merger with Dow Chemical.

Senate Executive Committee members spoke glowingly of the legislation Wednesday before releasing it for Thursday's floor vote.

The bill eliminates a $5 million aggregate cap on research and development tax credits and makes the credits refundable.

The bill also restores a never-used new jobs tax credit aimed at getting companies to establish corporate headquarters in Delaware.

Davis, Bowen & Friedel

A compromise was reached for a scaled down Gills Neck Village Center from 215,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet. But, John Mateyko with the Lewwes Partnership for Managing Growth says the fight is not over yet.

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The battle over a major shopping center known as the Gills Neck Village Center near Lewes has finally come to an end.

The developer has agreed to cut the proposed project from 215-thousand square feet down to 75-thousand square feet.

In addition it will forego a zoning request for intense for intense commercial use and instead accept a B 1 rezoning for 8 acres.  

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this will also mean that the developer will not place a YMCA and a community theater next to the shopping center.

creative commons

Time may be running out for 15 developments in Sussex County.

They have until July 1st to demonstrate that they have begun major work at the site.

Otherwise their land use permits will expire.

This would affect nearly 16-hundred homes.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the County Council issued extensions this week for these projects -- many of which -- were begun in the mid-2-thousands just before the Great Recession decimated the housing market.

The council denied extension for five projects.

Sussex County Government

Sam Wilson has returned to the Sussex County Council this week after a two month absence.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he suffered a stroke in October last year and spoke stiffly while wearing a brace on his first appearance at a council meeting.

He will serve as the council’s vice president -- a position he had last year.

While he was gone the council put off a number of votes on land-use applications.

Council president Michael Vincent said that the panel would resume its usual review of the applications.

creative commons

Middletown is set to get a major development with 113 single-family homes and around 110-thousand square feet of commercial and office acreage.

The project called Boyds Corner Farm will be located just southwest of DuPont Highway and Boyds Corner Road.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that construction will begin sometime in January.

Charles Owensby a partner in the development told the paper that he hoped 50-thousand square feet of retail space will be used by a supermarket.

Newark Country Club website

A battle over restricting the expansion of the Newark Country Club has now moved to the courts.

The club is asking the court to block a measure would that restrict future development on its property.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the county club charges the city did not issue the required legal notification for rezoning the club’s property.

The paper says that lawsuit claims a vote to create the ordinance was not advertised on the agenda for a special meeting.

Noble's Pond Website

The small town of Cheswold in Delaware is bracing for a stormy meeting tonight over an annexation plan that has angered Kent County residents.

One parcel includes Noble’s Pond retirement community.

The residents there are objecting to a separate piece of farmland that has been rezoned for a number of uses including town homes and commercial retail.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that residents say they were never told about the annexation plans.

creative commons

The town of Newark has been stalling the approval a residential development complete with parking garage on the parking lot behind the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Building in the downtown area.

That’s according to a lawsuit against the city by the owners of the building who say that they have been struggling with the city since August of 2011 over the parking lot requirements.

The city says that the waiver it gave to the developers for the parking lot connected to the Restaurant does not apply to the planned 12-unit, four-story apartment building.

Don Rush

The developer that brought downtown Salisbury Headquarters Live and the Brick Room is looking at buying up two of the city’s parking lots in the area.

Devreco is a local developer and has put out a bid for lots 1 and 11 which stand between Circle Avenue and Downtown Plaza.

Currently they offer two hour parking.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they handed in a proposal and are now negotiating with the city on issues ranging from the purchase price to when construction must begin.

Developers of the Middletown Sports Complex acceded to worries by local residents who were concerned about night time lights and traffic congestion.

The new plan will not include lights for the fields for traveling teams and tournament play.

In addition, the developer eliminated a third entrance directly across from the housing development known as The Estates at Saint Anne’s.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the changes in the 170-acre facility were done in response to the concerns expressed by local residents.

creative commons

The Delaware Sports Complex which has some nearby residents concerned is set to come up before a council meeting in Middletown.

During today’s meeting the council will look at a conditional use permit request along with preliminary approval of the development plan.

The city owns the 170-acre lot which is zoned for agricultural use.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that local residents say traffic congestion and noise during the evening would impact a nearby housing development of The Estates at Saint Anne’s on the southwest of the city.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - In an effort to better avoid conflicts of interest, Virginia Beach has revamped a disclosure form used to shed light on transactions involving developers, bankers and contractors.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the change comes in the wake of state and federal probes.

Applicants for a wide variety of items, including rezoning requests, must complete the disclosure. The updated document is now twice as long as the previous version and asks for more details.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at strengthening accountability within the Delaware Economic Development Office.

The legislation introduced this week conforms with the recommendation of a legislative review committee that the cabinet agency be required to develop a comprehensive state plan for economic development every five years, and to submit annual reports detailing its objectives and strategies. The office also would have to hold public meetings to accept input on its plan.

convergence communities

Sussex County could be seeing yet another development that would turn around 50 acres of land into 120 single-family homes along with 44 townhouses.

The property has been owned by the Protestant Episcopal Church of Delaware in Ocean View.

A hearing was held last night by the Planning and Zoning Commission to review the project.  

The project is located near the Ocean Way Estates and the Ocean View Beach Club.

WBOC reports that there was some concern last night by neighbors who fear the loss of the countryside flavor of the area.



Plans for the Overbook Town Center are back before Sussex County government officials.

The 114-acre commercial development proposal was withdrawn during the election season but resubmitted for a zoning change late last month.

Developer Louis De Bitonto told the Wilmington News Journal that the project had become tangled up in the upcoming political election.

TD Rehoboth’s plan would build a shopping center on the east side of Highway One north of Lewes.

It would be located on Cave Neck Road near Milton.

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Dewey Beach says it may give up its right to 3-thousand square feet of space in the Lighthouse Cove project.

Under a proposed amendment to the agreement with the developers the city would give it up in exchange for $360-thousand.

It was supposed to have been used for office space.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Town Manager Marc Appelbaum says the town wants to keep its police and town hall in the same building.   

The money would have to be paid in full by the end of June in 2017 or by the expiration of the building permit whichever comes first.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware business and political leaders are gathering for a summit to discuss economic development initiatives and efforts to help small businesses compete for state procurement contracts.

Gov. Jack Markell and state economic development director Alan Levin will be among the participants at Tuesday's 2014 Delaware Small Business Summit in Dover.

creative commons

Michael Horsey, a member of a family that owns a multi-million dollar business, has decided to ask the courts to place the firm into receivership to protect its assets.

The 54 year-old Horsey of Laurel has accused his parents and two younger brothers of forcing him out of David G. Horsey & Sons Incorporated real estate-development enterprise.

He claims that his family has manipulated the businesses to enrich themselves at his expense resulting, he said, in mismanagement of the company once valued at $84 million.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig took a tour through Wicomico County yesterday, and Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with him to focus on some local issues ranging from the wind farm in Somerset County and environmental issues to economic development in the region.

development plans

Delaware’s Chief Justice Leo Strine questioned the arguments by the owner of Barley Mill Plaza in Greenville that a lower court judge overreach in throwing out the project’s rezoning.

The lower court judge’s ruling voided the New Castle County’s 2011 vote to rezone nearly 40 percent of the 92-acre office park.

The owners argued that the lower court should not have gotten into the meeting records to figure out the reasoning of a key vote on the council.

Don Rush

How to preserve the rural nature of Wicomico County.

That was focus of the first day of a mediation roundtable yesterday organized by County Executive Rick Pollitt.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that until the county has a development tier map for the Maryland Department of Planning no housing subdivisions larger than seven lots can be legally built.

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The Salisbury City Council is providing more than $1 million in waivers for water and sewer connection fees for projects in the downtown area and the city’s Enterprise Zone.

They’re known as equivalent dwelling units which go for around $35-hundred.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the 300 credits will apply to properties in the Downtown Development District, the Central business district, the Riverfront Redevelopment Area and the Enterprise Zone.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Board of Public Works has postponed a decision on whether to grant permits for a Kent Island housing development in an environmentally sensitive area near the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said Wednesday he believes the board needs greater assurance that a proposed 131-acre park in the proposal will not be developed in the future.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Board of Public Works is scheduled to take up a tidal wetlands license application for a Kent Island housing development.

The board is set to consider the proposal at its Wednesday meeting.

It's the second time the matter has come before the board, which previously rejected the proposal due to environmental concerns.

The Maryland Court of Appeals concluded the board based its decision on factors outside the scope of its authority and sent the matter back to the board.

The lawsuit to overturn the development plans for the Barley Mill Plaza office complex will resume April 22nd.

The case has been delayed after documents surfaced that New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon charged showed a potential for wrongdoing connected to the development.

Chancery Court Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III imposed a delay without reviewing the documents adding it could turn into a criminal matter.

SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - The town of Smyrna is launching a week long study of the U.S. Route 13 commercial corridor in an effort to shape future development in the area.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that town officials, regional planners and local stakeholders will begin meeting Monday with the aim of producing a master plan that Smyrna planners would use to regulate growth along the corridor.