Revised Ogletown Pond development project to preserve 80% of 182 acres
New Castle County is reviewing the newest version of the Ogletown Pond area development proposal of the Felician Sisters project east of Newark on Route 4.
The proposal now calls for the creation of 265 homes, including 60 low-income units, on about 182 acres.
Developers say the revised plan removes a group of homes as well as the initial interconnection between sub-developments - establishing a self-contained neighborhood.
“Really what we did is just reconfigured it all to be a neighborhood that was less spread out across width-wise and more vertical, so that we weren’t building behind the Todd Estate homes and keeping them closer to the center of our property,” Paralegal and Land Use Professional Sophia Tarabicos said.
Under the plan, a portion of the property will remain under ownership of Felician Sisters and developed into affordable housing units. The rest will be developed into market-rate housing. buildings currently on the site with the Felician Sisters property will remain.
The Our Lady of Grace orphanage on the site operated for about 85 years before closing a few years ago.
Tarabicos also notes that 80% of the property will remain open-space and a protected wildlife area.
A search is underway for a group interested – and capable of – preserving and maintaining the space. The Delaware Nature Society has expressed an interest, but nothing has been finalized.
But Angela Connolly of the grassroots group Save Ogletown Pond is not only concerned about the protection of the wetlands wildlife area. She says traffic remains a major safety issue.
“The Route 4 corridor is already a traffic nightmare. There have been pedestrian fatalities, numerous motor vehicle collisions. This is corridor that is used by cyclists, bicyclists, by pedestrians and it is already unsafe,” Connolly said.
Tarabicos added that a formal traffic study on surrounding intersections is underway, and should be completed in coming months. After completion of the study, County Council will review the proposal again, and vote on its implementation.