Brandywine Country Club redevelopment stalled

Posted 10/25/21

NCC Planning Board votes to deny entrance variance

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Brandywine Country Club redevelopment stalled

Posted

WILMINGTON — Developers of the former Brandywine Country Club site may have to head back to the drawing board following a series of votes last week by the New Castle County Planning Board.

The project proposes to build 41 single-family homes, 24 townhouses and a 300-unit apartment complex on the site of the former golf club between Shipley Road and U.S. 202, north of Wilmington.

“The Brandywine Country Club plan proposes a mixture of housing types distributed in a manner that is sensitive to the surrounding developments pattern and densities of surrounding developments and is designed consistent with the Suburban Transition ST zoning district,” said Conor Gibbons, New Castle County Planning Department planner.

On Tuesday, the planning board considered three ordinances relating to the project being developed by Shipley Road Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Capano Management.

The first was a variance to allow the project to have only one point of egress.

The entrance to the former golf club is on the 2800 block of Shipley Road. According to county planning officials, the developer does not plan to build an entrance to the new development on Shipley Road. The entrance and exit would be on U.S. 202.

But to follow that plan, with the current density of 365 total units, the county would require the developer to build a second entrance and exit on Shipley Road, unless the board approved a variance.

The total parcel is about 110 acres. The developer planned to only develop 67 acres and donate the difference of the land to the Brandywine School District. If the builder has to redesign to include a second entrance, that donation could be in jeopardy.

“We are kind of damned if we do and damned if we don’t,” said planning board chairwoman Karen Peterson.

At prior hearings, the board heard from many residents who objected to adding more traffic on Shipley Road, according to Ms. Peterson.

Ultimately, the board unanimously voted to deny the variance.

“I believe the density is too high,” Robert Snowden, planning board member, said on Tuesday.

The developer has three options It can reduce the number of dwellings down to just 300, which would allow it to have only one entrance; it can redesign the project to include an entrance on Shipley Road; or it could appeal the ruling to the New Castle County Council.

Usually, most of the planning board’s actions are recommendations to the council to enact, but rulings on variances are handled by the board in New Castle County and would have to follow an appeals process.

Although the board denied the variance, it did approve the second and third applications relating to the development.

The applications dealt with the needed zoning and deed restriction changes that the plan would require.

Business editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at landerson@iniusa.org. Follow @LandersonBIZBTBN Twitter.