As expected, the New Castle County Council approved a plan to build homes at the scenic former Delaware-Hercules County Club site west of Wilmington.
As DelawareOnline reported, the council had few options after a fund-raising effort to buy the land as open space from the Pettinaro interests fell through.
Minus deed restrictions, it is difficult, if not impossible to stop the redevelopment of golf courses that have fallen victim to changing lifestyles and the end of corporate subsidies for ’50s-style amenities.
Family member Ben duPont led an effort to buy the property and has since invested tens of millions of dollars in upgrades.
The battle continues over the former Three Little Bakers golf course property in Pike Creek. In the meantime, the former Brandywine Country Club plan is winding its way through the approval process.
It’s generally misunderstood by the public but had the council said no to the Hercules site, the county would have faced a prolonged, costly, and more than likely unsuccessful legal battle.
It does not help that demand for housing has been strong during the pandemic as interest rates remain low and lenders vie for business. The council is also dominated by labor interests that are more focused on jobs than the green crowd.
The days when the state could purchase golf course sites near Newark and in Kent County are no more as the state faces daunting budget challenges in the next couple of years.
In this instance, we will be likely to see a nice piece of hilly open space in a largely flat state go away.
Finally, there’s still time to vote if you haven’t done so already and you are a registered Democrat or Republican.
It will be interesting to see the results from some of the races, especially the GOP gubernatorial battle and the Democratic race for New Castle County Executive. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.