New Castle County Council unanimously approved the proposal for a deed restriction amendment on the Rockwood Apartments off Del. Route 40 to allow for aesthetically pleasing peaked roof structures and the rezoning of the Walker Farm in Hockessin to allow for development of 47 townhomes and single family homes.
New Castle County Councilman Bill Bell (D-Middletown) sponsored the ordinance for Rockwood Apartments while Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick (R-Hockessin) sponsored the ordinance for Walker Farm.
Land use attorney Shawn Tucker, of the Drinker Biddle & Reath law firm, represented both development projects.
Bell said the applicant for Rockwood Apartments, Queensbury Village Inc./Pettinaro Construction, made a presentation to the 7 & 40 Alliance, the umbrella civic group based in Bear, and there was no opposition to the lifting of the deed restriction for Rockwood Apartments.
In addition, the revised deed restriction would actually bring the property up to current code and bring it more in character with the area, Bell said. And there would be no increase in density of the development.
Council passed that resolution 13-0.
As for the Walker Farm, the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association and Charter Oaks did not oppose the rezoning of the farm at this point given the extensive scrutiny and vetting of the project, Kilpatrick said. The developer had made concessions as a result of those discussions, she said.
Councilman John Cartier (D-Holly Oak) said he was pleased to see the historic barn structure preserved on the Walker Farm.
"It's great to see a developer use an existing, historic building," he said.
Bell commended Kilpatrick for bringing the community and the developer together on this project.
"Getting the support of GHADA is very important in Hockessin," he said.
Kilpatrick said she appreciated the sentiment but she said she did nothing special.
"We have a strong community that understands we need a balance in development," she said. "There has to be a balance to keep the community thriving."
Council also voted for this measure 13-0, with most citing the favorable recommendation made by the NCCo Department of Land Use and the Planning Board.