37 condos proposed
Valley Road eyed for senior housing
The planning commission has OK’d local builder Dan Kandra’s plan to build 37 new condominiums across the street from the existing Briarcreek development off Valley Road.
The project now goes to city council for consideration.
The new neighborhood will be known as Briarcreek North and is slated to be built on 16.4 acres of land currently in unincorporated New Castle County.
On Tuesday night, Alan Hill of Hillcrest Associates, a Pennsylvania-based architecture and engineering firm, presented the project to the planning commission on behalf of the Kandra Group. He said Kandra wants the land annexed into the city of Newark and rezoned to RS (single-family detached residential).
The 37 homes will be built in groups of three and four in the same style of Briarcreek. Buyers must be 55 or older, and no more than two unrelated tenants are allowed per unit, just like in Briarcreek.
Rick Longo, owner of Hillcrest Associates, said a variety of materials will be used on the facade of each home that will carry around the entire unit.
“There’s no bad views in this community,” Longo said.
Several Briarcreek resi- dents spoke in favor of the project on Tuesday and praised the quality of Kandra’s construction as well as his dedication as a builder.
Beth McFarland said her home in Briarcreek will look right onto the new development.
“I am thrilled Dan will be the builder because I know what I’m going to see. I know I’m going to see quality homes and the very best,” she said. “In short, I just trust him.”
Diane Thomas thinks Newark needs more communities for older residents. She said people often drive through her neighborhood and ask if any homes are going up for sale.
“There was so much demand for these homes [when they were built] that we actu- ally had a bidding war,” she said.
Other people at the meeting, however, weren’t as convinced.
Jean White, who doesn’t live near the proposed development, thought Briarcreek North was too dense and suggested Kandra eliminate a few units.
Kevin McCullough, who lives behind the proposed site, said if each of the 37 homes has two cars, that could mean 74 vehicles traveling in and out of the neighborhood.
“I don’t think we need that traffic on Valley Road every day,” he said.
He added that he has several mature trees on his property that he hopes will not be affected during construction. Besides that, he said he doesn’t think it’s a good place to build.
“There’s a reason why it hasn’t sold in so long,” McCullough said. “It’s just a wet area.”
The planning commission unanimously voted in favor of the annexation and rezoning, and narrowly approved the project as a whole, 3 to 2. Commissioners Willard Hurd and Jeremy Firestone were the opposing votes.
Briarcreek North now moves to council with a positive recommendation. A date for the vote has not been announced.
The plan is one of two Kandra Group projects due to be considered by council. The first, a controversial proposal for 14 rental townhouses on Barksdale Road, is scheduled for a vote Aug. 22.
An artist’s rendering shows homes planned for Briarcreek North off Valley Road.