Sunday, October 13, 2019


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New Hanover Supervisors Hear Presentation on Town Center Project
Written by Candace Perry Correspondent

        A 208-acre development of homes and retail may be coming soon to Swamp Pike in New Hanover Township.

        Ben Goldthorp, representing American Real Estate Development, presented the latest plans for the project at the New Hanover Board of Supervisors' work session Dec. 29.

        The development was formerly a TH Properties' project, and was revitalized by Goldthorp's firm in 2012.  He noted that the previous plan was not "in the best interests of the municipality."

        Goldthorp stated that he wanted to recap the project for new members of the board, and said that he had been working with the township planning commission with the aim of resubmitting plans for the Town Center by the end of January.

        Located near the intersection of Swamp Pike and Charlotte Street (Route 663), the proposed Town Center plan consists of approximately 700 residential units, including single-family detached homes, twin homes, variations on town houses and "residential above retail" dwellings. The development is also slated to feature a supermarket, restaurants and a free-standing retail store.

        The density of the development has been – and remains – a concern to township officials.

        "This development, in my view, has a huge impact on the community and the region," Supervisor Chuck Garner said. "I see an awfully high density on Swamp Pike."

        He noted that other municipalities in the region were better able to handle the density. There have been previous concerns voiced by Douglass Township supervisors regarding increased traffic, and the possible impact on the school district with a new influx of students.

        Goldthorp replied, "We are complying with the spirit of the code."

        The development would also include a park and an extensive trail network that provides a north-south connection to the New Hanover Community Park.

        Goldthorp said that the development will be built in phases, with an estimated 75 homes per year. The retail units would be part of phase two.

        Sergeant William Moyer of the New Hanover Police Department asked, "Is this going to turn into rental world USA?"

        Township Solicitor Andrew Bellwoar said, "I don't think the township could insert itself and say I couldn't rent [as an owner]." There will be no restrictions indicating that the homes need to be owner occupied.

        The board followed the work session with its regular meeting.

        In public works news, Township Manager Jamie Gwynn praised the department for its hard work during recent winter weather.

        "I want to shout them out a kudos," he said, for early morning efforts to make sure roads were passable.

        In budget news, the supervisors adopted their 2017 annual budget with no additional taxes. The township millage has remained steady at 1.68 mills for 12 years.  The budget numbers stand at $10,180,578 on the revenue side and $10,339,760 on the expense side.

        Supervisor Garner noted his disapproval of the disparity of the numbers.

        "We are actually spending more than we are bringing in. That's a trend we cannot continue," he said. "I will be looking that our growth will not erode our resources."





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