Tuesday, March 26, 2019


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Trotters’ Gait Development Gets Green Light from New Hanover Supervisors
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            After "spirited discussion" from both sides of the table, the Trotters' Gait development off Dotterer Road in New Hanover Township is set to proceed.

            The township Board of Supervisors approved the preliminary plan for the 13-acre development at their meeting on Thursday, April 5.

            The plan for 29 single-family homes was not without opposition and lingering questions, however.  Supervisor Ross Shook remained unconvinced that wetlands did not exist on the tract, though attorney Joe Clement stated that a soil scientist hired by his client, the Blue Bell-based developer Mikelen LLC, reported that no wetlands existed on the property.

            Shook asked if the scientist was "certified" which resulted in more of the aforementioned "spirited discussion" with attorney Clement. Clement stated that the developer would go directly to the Army Corps of Engineers, which would be the ultimate authority on wetland determination.  Township engineer David Leh agreed.

            Woodlands on the site also were questioned. Attorney Clement said there were no woodlands, but township planner Adam Supplee disagreed. The township zoning officer will need to issue a determination. If the zoning officer determines that woodlands are present, it could result in the reduction of the number of homes in the development.

            Clement also stated that the current owner of the property thought the tract would be sold years ago, and that he now feels he has a hardship due to the many changes the plan has had over the years.

            The cartway width in the development, previously a major sticking point, was widened to 32 feet at the request of the supervisors.

            Supervisor Shook made a motion to deny approval, but it failed for lack of a second. Supervisor Phil Agliano made a motion to approve, with Kurt Zebrowski seconding. The supervisors approved the preliminary plan with Shook voting no.

            Clement also represented Pacers' Gait development, a seven lot subdivision also on Dotterer Road, for its preliminary plan approval. Though far less complicated than Trotters' Gait, the township's consultants still had concerns about storm water management, and solicitor Andrew Bellwoar included a requirement for a homeowners' association to take responsibility for these issues in his prepared resolution.

            The supervisors approved the preliminary plan, with Shook voting no.

            In winter weather news, township manager Jamie Gwynn reported that the township had exceeded its salt budget of $50,000 by $25,000, resulting in the elimination of road work on Church Road this year. Gwynn also stated that the township will fix any mailboxes damaged by snow plows.

            The supervisors ratified snow emergency declarations for March 7 through March 8 and March 20 through March 22.

            Prior to the meeting the supervisors met in executive session to discuss personnel, litigation, and real estate, solicitor Bellwoar reported.





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