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Reader Response: Cavaliers redevelopment plan is disheartening

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The Delaware Business Times has published a few letters online  regarding a story we published on June 22 about the long-awaited redevelopment of the Cavaliers Country Club. The New Castle County Council will meet Tuesday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m. to vote on the plan via Zoom.

I am Sandra Maher and I have lived on Addison Drive for over 40 years. I have, for all the years I have lived here, been active in representing our small community’s concerns. Often times, through the years, I have visited with my neighbors to discuss areas of concern and at times I have gathered petitions to present to various government committees.

Although there are many areas of concern (loss of open space, wildlife etc.), the two major areas are as follows:

  • Extreme traffic congestion.  Everyone driving on Churchman’s Road has experienced extreme traffic congestion, especially during rush hour. The Country Club development plans over 700 dwelling units. The sole entrance/exit for the development will be Country Club Drive. This street currently is the sole entrance/exit for the Cavalier Country Club Apartments and townhouses. That includes 750 apartments and 98 townhouses. If the development is approved Country Club Drive will be the sole entrance/exit for over 1548 dwelling units. Of additional importance – Churchman’s Road is a two-lane road intersecting with Country Club Drive. DELDOT has no plans to widen Churchman’s Road. The developer plans a two-lane road through the development. Their are some plans for a connector road through the Mall but there is no guarantee as to when that road will be built and certainly it will not be completed before the development.
  • The delivery of emergency services for all living on Addison Drive. Addison Drive is a narrow and short street connecting Churchman’s Road to the Cavalier Country Club. For well over forty years the homes on Addison Drive have had access to the Cavaliers Country Club parking lot as the turnaround for emergency vehicles, school buses, garbage trucks, delivery trucks etc. Without a turnaround none of these vehicles can exit our street unless they backed up the street and attempted to back out on to the busy and overloaded Churchman’s Road. Up until August 2018 Addison Drive had dedicated land for Addison Circle. The purpose of this land was to provide a turnaround for emergency vehicles and all other large vehicles if our street was ever closed. Cavaliers Country Club petitioned DELDOT to vacate this land in August 2018 so the circle could be used as building sites. I attended a public hearing at DELDOT on August 16, 2018. I presented 21 petitions signed by residents of Addison Drive. We requested DELDOT deny the request for the abandonment and vacation of Addison Circle. Our petition was denied even though the vast majority of residents requested otherwise. Over a month ago jersey barricades were installed at the end of Addison Drive thereby making a turnaround impossible. Now all large vehicles must back down the street to gain access to Churchman’s Road. Over three weeks ago a hook and ladder fire truck from Christiana Fire Co. had to back out.One of the fireman on board had to get out of the truck and stop traffic on Churchman’s so the truck could back out. It was a false alarm so it was not an issue. Who knows what would happen if such a delay occurred during an actual emergency. The developer has said we would be granted access through the development but has put in a restrictive and punitive clause for this use and can resend access. At this time, the residents of Addison Drive are in a precarious situation regarding the delivery of emergency and other vital services.

I have attended numerous public meetings and talked with several officials and representatives over the past five years. I believe I made my concerns/objections, and often times, those of my neighbors on Addison Drive known.

This entire experience has been very disheartening as it seems decisions regarding the development were made solely on the input from those with no objections to the plan.

Sandra Maher

Newark

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