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Comp Plan 07 Update Report Card
Fritz Griesinger

August 2011

We now have the Comp Plan 07 "update report card". Please scroll down till you find my two headings on this. One is Strategy and the other is Objectives. While I gave items in both of these headings a Grade F, my vantage point is the community and quality of life and community fabric versus development which encourages poor planning and land use.

Now that we have Mr. Culver's official "report card" for Comp Plan 07, one really has to search for any references as to improvements in quality of life or community fabric. Rather, his report card starts by extolling the Low and Moderate Income Workforce Housing Ordinance. By itself, it has generated enough dwelling units for at least 20 years in areas without regard to the required transportation and jobs components. Mr. Culver notes that no units have yet been built even though Land Use has been exceedingly generous with incentives (subsidies). County Council recognizes the problems but seems a bit timid to try and address the ordinance.
Quality of life? Community Fabric?

FLASH! News Journal Adam Taylor 8/8/11 reports County is being sued due to approval ignoring Comp Plan 07 and enabling ordinance. Similarly, he address Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) as a way for single family home owners in residential communities to turn them into multi family rental properties. There have already been problems with abuses that have negatively changed their community fabric and quality of life. The previous ordinance served well for homeowners who wanted to accommodate a granny flat, a boomerang youngster or family member.
Quality of Life?

Perhaps the most onerous ordinance is the Redevelopment Ordinance which was intended to replace derelict gas stations and eye sores with something more acceptable while preserving open space. There has been more outrage with unintended consequences than any ordinance in my 50 years as a community advocate.
Quality of life?? Community Fabric?

To sum up, Eric Ruth Posted on July 8, 2011 in the News Journal "We're No. 36! overall. "If you're looking for a great place to live, quality of life, you can't do much worse than Delaware according to CNBC study. Only Alabama and Louisiana have a worse quality of life, the poll said. Paradoxically, in other ways Delaware is a fine place to do business, the study says. We were ranked No. 1 in terms of "business friendliness " ...The state earned a relatively poor score on infrastructure & transportation (40). You get the picture!
Quality of life? Community Fabric?

You probably won't find much about that in the final version of Comp Plan 07 which the County passed unanimously. But wait, The Civic League for New Castle passed a unanimous resolution "Community Bill Of Rights" listing 12 basic items which many residents feel form the basis for quality of life and community fabric. The objective is to have this placed prominently at the beginning of Comp Plan 12.

While the 07 Plan lists many of these criteria in the Vision and What will Change in Section I, once again reality trumps fantasy.

 


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