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The developer -- Stoltz -- purchased the 97-acre Barley Mill Plaza site zoned as “Office Regional." To have any of it re-zoned as "Commercial Regional," certain criteria must be met. Although the Land Use Department under former County Executive Paul Clark recommended the re-zoning, the independent Planning Board overwhelmingly voted against it. Current County Executive Tom Gordon agrees with Save Our County that the re-zoning was inappropriate.
Impact on Traffic
Rezoning 37 acres (or 40 %) of the Barley Mill Plaza property as "Commercial Regional" would bring 24/7 traffic, trucks, deliveries, commercial lighting and noise to the heart of the Brandwine Valley and Delaware's only nationally recognized Scenic Byway. Traffic is already clogged at the Tyler McConnell Bridge, Barley Mill Road, The Lancaster Pike, and Rts 141 and 52.
Barley Mill Plaza was granted “Redevelopment Status” by the Land Use Department manager then in office. Stoltz has taken the position that there are no enforceable traffic standards applicable, likely leaving the public to pay for tens of millions of road improvements caused by the regional mall. Redevelopment status is normally reserved for vacant, abandoned or environmentally degraded properties, none of which describes the former DuPont office park, which was functioning when purchased by Stoltz.
There is no commercial development along the five-mile stretch of Rt. 141 from Faulkland Road to Fairfax as it passes through the heart of the Brandywine Valley and Delaware’s only nationally recognized Scenic Byway. The criteria for amending the zoning map require consideration of compatibility.
The Stoltz/CRG “agreement” -- which initiated SOC's opposition to the plans for Barley Mill Plaza -- was negotiated behind closed doors in a highly political environment. It also linked BMP "agreements" to concessions on three other development proposals that Stoltz placed before County Council. Stoltz held the community hostage over his primary interest in the commercial development of Barley Mill Plaza.
The Stoltz projects were long represented by then County Executive Paul Clark's wife, Pam Scott. And, the former Land Use Department manager who recommended rezoning was serving at the pleasure of the County Executive.
Current rush hour traffic along Rt.141
approaching the Barley Mill Plaza site.
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