On December 27, 2011, Save Our County and several individual plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court challenging New Castle County Council's controversial rezoning of 37 acres of Barley Mill Plaza for a massive regional mall.
This significant step sought to return integrity and transparency to land use decisions in New Castle County, Delaware.
In June 2013, Delaware's Chancery Court reversed the County Council's CR rezoning, as SOC had hoped. In response the developer -- Stoltz -- appealed to Delaware's Supreme Court. SOC and New Castle County (in a significant change of direction under new County Executive Tom Gordon) cross-appealed to preseve the Chancery Court decision and to address an array of still-pending issues important to land use planning in NCCo.
On March 25, 2014, Delaware's Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Chancery Court's reversal of the rezoning.
The central issue is the failure by every responsible party to conduct an analysis of the traffic that a project of this magnitude -- one-half the size of I-95's Christiana Mall -- would have on surrounding neighborhoods and commuter routes. If you travel along Rte. 141, Lancaster Pike, Rte. 52 or across the Tyler-McConnell Bridge, you know the impact that this project would have.
SOC has never been opposed to reasonable development that is in keeping with the character of the community. Rather, we are deeply concerned about development that radically increases traffic, changes the character of the community, and departs from the permissible uses for which properties are currently zoned. We also support a regional traffic study preceding all large development approvals, and we insist that any burdens on the larger community and its residents be borne by the developer.
Save Our County is a volunteer citizens' organization of residents, neighborhoods, community groups, civic associations and commuters who are working to:
Prevent unreasonable and crippling traffic congestion
Preserve Delaware's only nationally recognized Scenic Byway
Prevent unnecessary commercial encroachment and sprawl
Ensure the taxpayer is not left to pay the bill for road improvements for builders
Advocate for fair and reasonable land use decisions, not politically-motivated, land use decisions.