NEW GARDEN—Change is coming to the southern part of Landenberg on its western edge. This week, the New Garden Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to change the zoning ordinance to the municipality’s Unified Development Ordinance.
These guidelines impact hundreds of acres of undeveloped land and establish specific new allowances and requirements for future development on Route 7 and Route 41. A public hearing was held prior to the vote. Due to a previous revision, the UD Ordinance no longer affects Toughkenamon.
Township Planner Tom Comitta discussed the changes to the ordinance and responded to concerns and questions previously raised by the public and some recommendations from the county.
Comitta said the plan called for “good functional development”.
The ordinance impacts the lands of Route 41 and Route 7 from the Delaware state line, in an area that also borders Kennett Township, northerly to Newark Road.
Although there are few historic buildings in New Garden, especially since many structures during the factory boom here in the 1800s burned down long ago, there are still many sites that remain around of the city and date from before the American Revolution.
For example, further south on Route 41, there is a messy barn that sits on wild, undeveloped land where Avondale and New Garden meet. And although the property has been for sale for years and may one day be preserved or developed, the original deed to the property was issued by the British Empire almost three centuries ago.
There was a general consensus that Route 41 south of Newark Road is attractive today. However, many people believe there is beauty in undeveloped land, where nature calls this space home and wildlife is free to roam.
In fact, two members of the public spoke at the hearing and asked that half of the 200 acres planned for development on Route 41 and Sunny Dell Road be preserved.
And so, the terrain on Route 41, south of Newark Road, and Route 7 in New Garden Township is destined to change.
Comitta told the audience ahead of the vote that with the changes proposed in this plan, “we are ready for a better outcome.”
Plus, “it’s something to celebrate,” Comitta said. “That’s really cool stuff.”
One change is that multi-family dwellings can now be built in the UD area of Route 41 and Route 7.
“We don’t approve of the development,” Comitta said. “We harness enthusiasm.”
After the hearing, the board of directors voted unanimously to approve JP Morgan Chase’s application for an extension to its White Clay Point development plan. In fact, several sketches were submitted for the site, covering 200 acres at the corner of Highway 41 and Sunny Dell Road. Currently, the developer is requesting 309 high-density homes off Sunny Dell Road. An environmental study has yet to be submitted by the developer to New Garden on one of the 200 acres that JP Morgan Chase plans to develop.
The public encouraged the council to contact Mount Cuba for an environmental survey of the land. The Brandywine Conservancy also offers similar support to help preserve nature from complete destruction in the event of a shave.
There is no information, at press time, on the types of endangered species that inhabit the 200 wooded acres at the corner of Highway 41 and Highway 7, also known as Limestone Road. , and can take people directly to Kennett Square or Hockessin, depending on which way one turns from the Route 41 exit ramp.
Charles Wilkinson, owner and chairman of Wilkinson Homes, developed a significant portion of Landenberg in New Garden, Franklin and London Britain in the 1990s until the property crash of 2007.
And while JP Morgan Chase may own the land, Wilkinson was described to the public as the “land developer” behind White Clay Point at the meeting, according to officials present. And rather this role is that of an adviser or a possible builder of contracts, it remains to be seen.
Daily local news filed a right-to-know request last week with New Garden officials requesting all documents related to JP Morgan Chase and White Clay Point.
Some Landenberg residents may recall the historic Lenape Triangle intersection at the end of Penn Green Road and Good Hope Road which was razed in the early 2000s by Wilkinson, and at the time with the approval from London officials in Britain. Previously, Wilkson had told the Avon Grove Sun that it was a “condition” for him to build Niven View.
For those interested in seeing the New Garden portion of Landenberg remain as unspoiled, there is an Open Space Review Committee which meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.