A decision of the Delaware Superior Court ruling rejected Pike Creek Recreational Services’ (PCRS) interpretation of New Castle County’s Unified Development Code and deed restrictions on the number of housing units allowed on the former Three Little Bakers’ property.
The developer proposed building more than 200 homes at the former 18-hole golf course west of Wilmington.
PCRS contended in the lawsuit that the deed restrictions gave it the right to construct up to an additional 454 units on the golf course lands even though the county’s code does not permit this level of density.
“We will not stop in our efforts to protect open space across our county,” said County Executive Matt Meyer. “All development in New Castle County must follow the law, including critical environmental protections and other protections for the health, safety and welfare of neighbors. We are happy to see the Court’s validation of our view.”
The development has the right to appeal the ruling.
A release stated that the developer might proceed to County Council with its request to lift the deed restriction that limits 130 acres to the development of a golf course. If that occurs, 224 units could be built. If not, approximately 60 units could be built on 47 acres, and this development would be required to retain 130 acres of open space.
Golf courses have been heading toward redevelopment, due to changing lifestyles and a lack of land for homes.
Plans have been filed for the redevelopment of the former Brandywine Country Club in north Wilmington, with site work now underway at the former Cavaliers Country Club adjacent to Christiana Mall. Also getting the green light is a home development at the former Hercules Country Club west of Wilmington.
All of the above golf course proposals have generated fierce opposition from open space advocates and neighbors. The council has few options in stopping development if projects meet Unified Development Code standards and deed restrictions.