Board of Adjustment rejects Incyte variance for expanded office campus

Proposed expansion project at Incyte's headquarters.
The New Castle County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously last week to deny Incyte’s request for an expansion that would not meet code requirements. Incyte expand its corporate complex to house its entire area workforce. The drug company currently leases space in the area for some of its staff.

The group, Neighbors for Responsible Land Use, issued the following:

“We are obviously glad about the result.  The board discussed the matter at length. They specifically cited the many arguments neighbors raised. Our voices were heard. Assuming that Incyte nonetheless presses forward with its application for rezoning to construct yet another massive building on an inappropriate site, we will continue to oppose. We hope that the other layers of New Castle County government that consider the application will be as open-minded and attentive as its Board of Adjustment,”

The group, representing residents in the upscale Alapocas neighborhood just outside Wilmington, has been battling the fast-growing drug company over an expansion into their neighborhood.

The most recent expansion was also opposed by other civic groups that saw the proposal as damaging the area’s scenic qualities and environment.

Cited was growth in traffic, the loss of green space, and AstraZeneca’s downsizing that left vacant space for a time along Concord Pike in north Wilmington. That area is undergoing redevelopment.

Alapocas neighbors earlier lost a battle to stop Incyte from expanding by acquiring land and a building owned by Wilmington Friends School. Friends would combine its upper and lower school on one site.

Incytle could still expand operations and stay within county codes by reducing the project scope.

The rejection will raise concerns in some circles that it will be viewed as a return to the county’s reputation as a not-in-my-backyard stronghold, with economic development officials in nearby areas using the decision in pitches to lure businesses to their jurisdictions.

Opponents have argued that there Incyte has numerous options for expansion outside of Alapocas and does not need staff in one place.