1) The NCCo Department of Land Use presented a thorough review of the Stopyra Tract “Newark Town Center” rezoning request. Their finding was that the rezoning request did not meet the requirements of the NCCo Unified Development Code (UDC) with regard to Sec. 40.31.410 Standards for Zoning Map Amendment. This section of the UDC specifies several factors that must be considered including, but not limited to, consistency with the character of the neighborhood, consistency with zoning and use of nearby properties, suitability of the property for the uses for which it has been proposed and affect on nearby properties. As a result the Dept. of Land Use will make a negative recommendation to County Council on this rezoning request.
2) Following this presentation and recommendation, the NCCo nine-member Planning Board introduced a motion that also made a negative recommendation on the rezoning request. After a brief debate of issues including several of the above as well as traffic impact, the Planning Board voted 7-0-1-1 (For/Against/Abstain/Absent) to make a similar negative recommendation. As a result the Planning Board will make a negative recommendation to County Council on this rezoning request.
These two negative recommendations to County Council ensure that a “supermajority” vote of Council (9/13) will be required for passage of the Stopyra rezoning request (rather than a simple majority vote (7/13). While this is unlikely, stranger things have happened, and we will continue to monitor progress and keep you informed. Then it reaches County Council we hope to see you there!
Although these are welcome victories, this is not yet the end of the road. The developer still has the right to have this proposal debated and voted on by New Castle County Council. The date for that is uncertain at this point but would probably be late October.