The effort to proactively organize development in New Castle County south of the C&D Canal is moving forward despite the pandemic. Planners unveiled the transportation element of the Southern New Castle County Master Plan last week.
The master plan is expected to guide development in the fast-growing communities south of the C&D canal over the next few decades. At this point, it’s been through years of public meetings.
Planners presented the final version of the transportation element at a virtual public meeting last Wednesday. It recommends intersection improvements along Rts. 13, 299 and 71. It also recommends a future study of gaps in walking and biking paths and the possibility of changes to bus routes.
“Not everything is answered in this single report, but the idea [is] beginning something that we can look at for the future dialog with the actual implementing agencies,” said Dan Blevins, principal planner at the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO).
Blevins says many residents requested more public transportation.
“The problem is there just isn't really density down there for it to make more operational sense to throw a lot more at it,” he said. “But in the end, yes, there are several short-term service changes that help circulation in the area, mainly around the town of Middletown.”
New Castle County land use officials hope to use the master plan to curb sprawl—and make clear which areas can expect sewer access, and which cannot. The plan has seen some pushback over concerns that increased density will not fit with the character of the area.
The public will get to comment on the final draft of the Southern New Castle Count Master plan at a virtual public workshop Sept. 23rd.