Several of the subdivisions near Hockessin and Pike Creek within the northwest quadrant of Mill Creek Hundred have begun the quest to find a unified voice for modern development concerns that faced them collectively.
Nearly 40 community members from such developments as Bridleshire Farm, Lambeth Riding, Beech Hill, Yorktowne, Thistleberry Farms, Woodridge and several others met Wednesday night to begin the process of organizing an official replacement for the defunct Henderson Civic Union, which folded several years ago.
Bridleshire Farm resident Nate Schwartz organized the initial meeting with New Castle County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick (R-Hockessin), State Rep. Joe Miro (R-Foxfire) and State Sen. David Sokola (D-Beech Hill). The initial list of interested developments had grown from about 20 to 65, Schwartz said.
Woodridge resident Janice Schlueter eloquently summed up the reason to meet and organize Wednesday night at Hockessin Fire Co. Memorial Hall.
"I have never felt a part of neither Hockessin nor Pike Creek," Schlueter said.
Schlueter said she was an active participant in the Henderson Civic Union and regularly appeared before New Castle County Council regarding concerns with development near her neighborhood. But that group disbanded when developers ceased activity in this part of Mill Creek Hundred, she said.
However, the interest in CVS of purchasing Whiteman's Garage at the corner of Paper Mill Road and Corner Ketch Road in order to build one of its trademark stores as well as a medical building was the catalyst in reviving interest in forming a civic umbrella group again, Schwartz said.
Kilpatrick said this was the time to organize as developers cast their eyes to this area once again.
Indeed, Greater Hockessin Area Development Association Land Use Chairman Mark Blake said redevelopment was the new big thing. And it was important for the communities outside of GHADA and the Pike Creek Valley Civic League to organize and give themselves a stronger, collective voice, he said.
Blake and Pike Creek Valley Civic League President Jeff Peters were both on hand Wednesday night to provide advice to the fledgling civic umbrella group. Peters provided Schwartz with a copy of the PCVCL's constitution in order to give the new group something to work with in establishing its bylaws.
Schwartz listed CVS' interest in Whiteman's Garage as the No. 1 issue facing local residents, followed by a proposed bike park at Paper Mill Park and DelDOT's proposal to build a roundabout (a small type of traffic circle) at the intersection of North Star/Valley Road and Little Baltimore Road.
Kilpatrick and New Castle County Councilman Timothy Sheldon (D-Pike Creek) also spoke about their lengthy battle against the proposal to develop the Pike Creek Golf Course despite a deed restriction that called for the golf course to always remain. Sheldon warned would-be members of the fledgling civic group to not try to pursue a family business type deed restriction because that would be a difficult proposition to navigate in the judicial system of Delaware –America's corporation capital, he said.
Page 2 of 2 - With regard to the actual area that would comprise the new civic umbrella, North Star resident Penny Davis asked to see a map of what areas were already served by GHADA and PCVCL so that her civic association could decide what it wanted to do.
Schwartz said the initial map he drew up had North Star Road, Little Baltimore Road, Doe Run and Corner Ketch Road as the rough boundaries, with the understanding that communities abutting those roads would be considered part of the umbrella group as well.
The consensus among the group was to take things slow and allow the boundaries to be fluid initially.
There was no consensus as to what the new name of the civic umbrella group should be. One suggestion to bring back the old Henderson name was quickly nixed because that civic umbrella group was named after Henderson Road, which had since been changed to Brackenville Road.
Schwartz said the group should meet monthly to start similar to GHADA with but did not rule out quarterly meetings similar to the Pike Creek Valley Civic League in the future. He said he would send out an email for the next meeting date.