May 2019 Update

Dear Neighbor,

Here is my latest District 3 City of Newark update.


Dickinson Dorm Development Project

The development of the Dickinson Dorm property is on the agenda for the next Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday, May 7th at 7 pm. [EDITED: Please note the 321 Hillside Road Project No. 18-06-04, scheduled for review by the Planning Commission at the May 7, 2019 meeting, has been postponed until the June 4, 2019 Planning Commission meeting at the applicant’s request.]

The Planning Commussion will review a Comprehensive Development Plan amendment and major subdivision with site plan approval for the property at 321 Hillside Road, location of the former University of Delaware John Dickinson Residence Hall Complex. The plan proposes demolition of the existing dormitories on the site, subdivision of the parcel into two lots, one of which will be maintained as open space, and construction of ten 4-story buildings containing 189 apartment units. (Action) [Revised April 26, 2019.]  The developers are asking for changes to height requirements, parking (189 spaces versus the 378 required) and density.

You can find more detailed information about this project and others on the city’s website.


NCC Budget Community Town Hall

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer is hosting a Community Town Hall on Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newark Free Library.

County Executive Matthew Meyer will summarize his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.

In addition, this will be an opportunity for residents to learn and ask questions about the proposed changes to credits municipalities receive from New Castle County for services municipalities provide.

If adopted during the NCC 2020 budget, these changes will increase County taxes for those living in municipalities in NCC–including Newark.

Here’s a link to a recent News Journal article about these credits.

Learn more about the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 New Castle County budget at https://nccde.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1632


Main Street Updates and Downtown Parking

Don’t forget that you can stay up-to-date on DelDOT’s Main Street construction project at mainstreetimprovements.com.

There was a special City Council meeting on Monday, April 29th at which City staff presented a variety of parking suggestions. The suggestions included adding temporary parking and to install multi-space parking kiosks among other recommendations.

You can see the presentation here.

Some of the Key Takeaways

  • Council did not support the idea of adding parking on Delaware Ave. Delaware Ave already has significant challenges with vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists competing for limited space.
  • Council requested additional info on adding metered parking on Lovett, Center and Haines Streets.
  • The expansion of Lot 1 (Main St Galleria) will be happening soon–before the most critical need between October 2019 to June 2020 when construction will be underway between Chapel Street and South College Avenue.
  • The University of Delaware has a Nights and Weekends monthly parking pass available to the public for certain lots after 5pm on weekdays and on the weekends. UD also has a construction worker pass to help keep those vehicles out of the downtown public lots. I also made a request of UD to allow nights and weekends public parking in their Academy Street lot.
  • The City presented a plan to introduce multi-space kiosk style parking. The idea is to replace the single-space meters in Lot 6 (Barnes and Noble) and use them for any temporary parking that is added. After that, the meters on Main St and the other City lots would be replaced as well. The response from Council was positive to move to multi-space kiosk meters. Staff will be coming back to Council with a proposal to purchase before June.  The benefits of the multi-space kiosks include allowing the city to use dynamic rates (e.g. different parking zones, varying rates per time of day, etc.), improved data collection about downtown parking, less ongoing maintenance and replacement costs from our current meters, improved functionality and customer experience (e.g. customers could pay by phone app or even pay to extend their time at any kiosk).
  • The current single-use meters have not been a success. They have higher maintenance and replacement costs than anticipated and will need to be replaced in the next few years.
  • The Green Mansion hotel project that was recently approved by Council (for which I did not support the project’s Special Use permit to build a hotel) is going to acerbate the parking shortage during the height of construction.

Stay tuned for more news on the parking front. Staff will be coming back at the May 13th Council meeting with additional information.

You can read more about the parking meeting in the Newark Post’s article.


Newark Futures Workshop


Strengthening Newark’s Nonprofit Sector

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Star Tower

Hosted by the UD Community Engagement Initiative, Institute for Public Administration, and The Newark Partnership, the workshop will provide a platform for nonprofits in Newark to come together and discuss assets, challenges, resources. Participants will have the opportunity to weigh in on how The Newark Partnership can best work to strengthen the nonprofit sector in Newark.

The workshop will immediately follow the celebratory reception for The Newark Partnership (TNP). Please indicate on your workshop RSVP that you will join TNP’s governing board and affiliates as we celebrate its new beginning with the local community.

Launch will occur from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with the workshop to immediately follow at 6:30 p.m.

Questions? Email thenewarkpartnership@gmail.com


Upcoming Meetings

Newark Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee Meeting – May 6, 2019, 4:00 PM @ Council Chamber

County Town Hall Meetings hosted by County Executive Matthew Meyer – May 6, 2019, 6:30 PM

New Castle County residents are invited to join County Executive Matt Meyer and county leaders for a series of Community Town Halls this spring. During each Town Hall, County Executive Meyer will summarize his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget and engage with residents about the local services they receive.

Landscape Screening and Treatment Ordinance Review Committee – May 7, 2019, 1:00 PM @ City Municipal Building – Library, Second Floor

Planning Commission Meeting – May 7, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chamber

Newark Transportation Improvement District Committee Meeting – May 8, 2019, 1:30 PM @ Council Chamber

City Council Meeting – May 13, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Conservation Advisory Commission Meeting – May 14, 2019, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Board of Adjustment Meeting – May 16, 2019, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Green Building Code Work Group Meeting – May 21, 2019, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM @ Council Chamber

City Council Meeting – May 28, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers.Please note this meeting will be on Tuesday, May 28 due to the Memorial Day holiday.


Upcoming Events

 Spring Concert Series – Jay Smar

May 9, 2019, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Academy Building Lawn

Spring Concert Series – John Hadfield

May 16, 2019, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Academy Building Lawn
National Day of Outdoor Play Photo Contest

May 18, 2019, All Day @ City of Newark Parks

The City of Newark Parks and Recreation Department wants to see how many families and friends enjoy our parks, in celebration of the National Park Trust 9th Annual Kids to Parks Day! Hashtag your photo #NewarkParksRec for a chance to win a Parks and Recreation gift card. We will accept entries until 11:59 PM on Sunday May 19. We will announce our winner (and share our top 5 favorite pictures) via social media, on Monday May 20. Happy Adventuring!

Newark Memorial Day Ceremony & Parade

May 19, 2019, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ University of Delaware

Join the City of Newark at 1:00 PM, at Memorial Hall on the University of DE Green, for a ceremony honoring veterans of wars from all branches of the military. Following the ceremony, the Memorial Day Parade will begin at 2:00 PM.

Spring Concert Series – The Jimmies

May 23, 2019, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Academy Building Lawn
Spring Concert Series – Mike Barry

May 30, 2019, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Academy Building Lawn


UDon’t Need It?


UDon’t Need It is back for its 12th year. This environment-friendly program helps reduce waste and redirects reusable items to the community, while also saving the City local landfill fees.

Anyone is able to drop off goods. Students must present a valid student ID card and landlords must show proof of owning a Newark rental property. Residents can pay $10 per regular pick-up truck or car load of refuse, and $20 for truck or trailer.

Plus, shop for goods on two $10 SALE DAYS ON MAY 31 AND JUNE 6!

For a list of dates and times, and what items are accepted head over to the UDNI page: newarkde.gov/UDNI


As always, please reach out with any questions, comments or concerns.

With warm regards,

Jen Wallace

April 2019 Update

Dear Neighbor,

Here is a quick City Council update.


City of Newark City Council Election

Don’t forget to vote in the City Council election on April 9th. Voters in District 3 have the opportunity to vote for the office of Mayor. The polls are open from 7 am – 8 pm and the District 3 polling location is: Aetna Fire Station #7, 7 Thorn Lane.

The following candidates have filed for the office of Mayor for a three-year term:

  • Catherine Ciferni
  • George J. (Jerry) Clifton
  • Brandon Joseph Farzad
  • Kasai Guthrie

Click here for info on how to request an absentee ballot.


Christina School District Referendum

There is Christina School District referendum planned for April 30th. Polls are open from  7 am – 8 pm and qualified voters can vote at any of these locations.

As a resident, I plan on supporting the referendum because I think that residents must support our public school system. Not only do I believe that we have a moral responsibility to make sure that all students have access to the best education possible, but the students coming out of our public schools are our future employees, entrepreneurs, professionals, parents and voters. It is in our best interest to make sure that all students receive a topnotch education. I also think it is critical for the future of Newark that we invest in our public schools.

I ask that if you aren’t sure whether you will be supporting the referendum or not, please take a look at the Christina School District’s referendum website. There you will find info on what this referendum will be funding and why the funding is needed. There’s also a tax calculator and info on tax relief for seniors to be found on the referendum website.

Christina officials will also be making a presentation before Newark City Council on April 22nd at 7pm. If you are unable to attend, there are other presentations planned throughout the area.


DelDOT Updates 

896 SB Ramp Road Closure Scheduled

WHERE: Between 896 SB and 95 SB
WHEN:  All day starting 03/29/2019 at 07:00 hours and ending 04/06/2019 at 00:15 hours

DESCRIPTION: RAMP CLOSURES FOR STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&t=h&q=39.6470437300,-75.7427044500

Public Workshop: White Clay Creek Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge

WHERE: Council Chambers
WHEN: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4 PM – 7 PM

DelDOT, in conjunction with the City of Newark, invites the public to review and comment on the proposed White Clay Creek bicycle and pedestrian bridge located parallel to the west side of the existing Paper Mill Road bridge.

R 896 (S. College Ave.) and Chestnut Hill Road. 

After a number of serious crashes, Representative Kowalko, Senator Stephanie Hanson, and other area legislators raised questions about the safety of the intersection of SR 896 (S. College Ave.) and Chestnut Hill Road. DelDOT subsequently performed a study of the intersection and has suggested some modifications, including improving roadway lighting and modifying the eastbound-westbound signal phasing such that conflicting movements operate sequentially as opposed to simultaneously. DelDOT has established funding within the upcoming FY20 budget.


Main St. Construction Update

As you probably have already discovered, DelDOT’s work on Main St. began this week. DelDOT also debuted its website where you can find out just where the work is taking place on any given day plus other info.

mainstreetimprovements.com

I will make sure to keep you updated as work continues. And please don’t forget about our Main St. businesses during construction!


Upcoming Meetings

Newark Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee Meeting

April 4, 2019, 4:00 PM @ WILMAPCO

Conservation Advisory Commission Meeting

April 8, 2019, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Please note this meeting date has been changed due to the election on April 9th.

2019 City Election Day – Mayor and Districts 1 and 2

April 9, 2019, 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Election Board Meeting – April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers

City Council Organizational Meeting

April 18, 2019, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM @ Council Chamber

Board of Adjustment Meeting

April 18, 2019, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Please note the time change due to the City Council Organizational Meeting.

City Council Meeting

April 22, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Green Building Code Work Group Meeting

April 23, 2019, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM @ Council Chambers


Upcoming Community Events

Spring Community Clean Up
April 6, 2019, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Newark Municipal Building

Make a difference in the Newark Community by joining us to clean up local parks and roadways. This event is in conjunction with the Annual Christina River Watershed Clean Up. Individuals and volunteer groups are welcome. Trash bags and a snack will be provided. Volunteers who pre-register will get a free t-shirt!

Egg Hunt
April 13, 2019, 10:00 AM @ White Clay Creek State Park

Newark’s annual egg hunt will be held Saturday April 13 (rain date Sunday April 14) All children should bring a bag or basket to collect their goodies.

Earth Day Volunteer Day

April 27, 2019, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ George Wilson Center

Celebrate Earth Day by assisting the City of Newark Parks and Recreation Department with litter removal and special park maintenance projects.

Arbor Day Celebration
April 29, 2019, 10:00 AM @ West Park Elementary School

It has been over 130 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever. Join Newark Parks and Recreation for its Arbor Day Celebration at West Park Elementary School on Monday April 29th, at 10:00 AM.

UD Ag Day 2019 – Cultivating A Legacy
Saturday, April 27, 2019,10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Other Opportunities to Get Involved

Please consider supporting the Hope Dining Room’s fundraising campaign.

Hope Dining Room has  a  simple  mission,  feed  a  midday  hot  meal,  with  dignity,  to  those  in  need  in  the  Greater  Newark,  DE  area.   With  dignity,  means anyone  can  come  in ,  sit  down  at  a  table ,  and  receive  a  hot  meal,  no  questions  asked.


Please get in touch with any questions, comments or feedback.

With warm regards,
Jen Wallace

2nd March 2019 City Council Update

Dear Neighbor,

Here is a quick City Council update.

City Manager Update

City Council voted to approve the employment contract for Tom Coleman at the March 11th City Council meeting. Mr. Coleman is no longer Acting City Manager, but can now be called City Manager Coleman. I look forward to working with Mr. Coleman to serve the residents of Newark.

March 25th City Council Meeting

The agenda for the March 25th City Council agenda includes the following development projects.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note, if you support or oppose a certain project, send your comments to all City Council members or make sure to attend the public hearing and share your comments in person. You may also send your comments to the City Secretary and they will be shared with City Council and added to the public hearing record. rbensley@newark.de.us

Other Development Projects of Interest

All current development plans can be found at this link: https://newarkde.gov/1035/Development-Plan-Proposals

Main St. Construction Meeting FYI

City Manager Tom Coleman has requested a special City Council meeting for Monday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. for City Council to discuss the impact of the upcoming construction of Main Street.

Upcoming Meetings

City Council Meeting – March 25, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers (Download Meeting Agenda Here).

Green Building Code Work Group Meeting – March 26, 2019, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM @ Council ChamberCity Council Special Meeting (Parking Subcommittee Recommendations) – March 26, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers

City Council Special Meeting (Student Housing) – March 27, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers

Planning Commission Meeting – April 2, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chamber

City Council Meeting – CANCELLED – April 8, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Council Chambers             

Conservation Advisory Commission Meeting – April 8, 2019, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Council Chambers (Please note this meeting date has been changed due to the election on April 9th.)   

2019 City Election Day – Mayor and Districts 1 and 2 – April 9, 2019, 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM. For additional information, visit https://newarkde.gov/508/2019-City-Election-Information which will be updated as information becomes available.

Community Items of Interest

University of Delaware International Film Series – Sundays through May 5, 2019

City of Newark Parks & Rec Spring Clean Out Sale
This indoor/outdoor sale is scheduled to take place Saturday, March 30, from 8AM to 12PM. If you’d like to be a vendor, complete a registration form at newarkde.gov/play.

Cinderella – Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Ballet
Saturday March 30th, 2019 from 12:30PM and 4:00PM
Mitchell Hall, University of DelawareNewark Art & Food Truck Fest 2019 April 26 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Newark Arts Alliance, 276 E. Main Street Suite 102

Please get in touch with any questions, comments or feedback.

With warm regards,
Jen Wallace

March 2019 City Council Update

Dear Neighbor,

Here is a quick City Council update.

Green Mansion Development Project

The Green Mansion project will be presented to the Planning Commission tonight, Tuesday, March 5th at 7pm. If you are unable to attend, there will be another opportunity to share any comments you may have when the project is presented to City Council.

Here’s a link to tonight’s Planning Commission agenda which includes a link to the project documents.

March 11th City Council Meeting

The next City Council agenda for Monday, March 11th has been posted.

The agenda includes the following items of interest:

Here’s a link to the full agenda.

Main St. Construction Update

Last night, I attended the public information workshop for the Main Street Rehabilitation and Pedestrian Improvement project conducted by DelDOT.

If you were not able to attend the workshops but would like to view the graphics boards, they are available on the City’s website.

Green Wednesdays to Resume

In case you haven’t yet heard the news, tomorrow, Wednesday, March 6th, the city will resume weekly yard waste collection for residents. Spring is just right around the corner!

If you have questions regarding acceptable yard waste, please visit www.newarkde.gov or call Public Works at 302-366-7000.

Upcoming Meetings

Please get in touch with any questions, comments or feedback.

With warm regards,
Jen Wallace

2nd February 2019 Update

Dear Neighbor,

Here is my latest City Council update.


Election Workers Needed for City Election

There’s a City of Newark election on Tuesday, April 9th for Mayor and Council Districts 1 and 2. The City is looking for about 50 City residents who would like to work at the polling places. Workers must be available from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the day of the election as well as for a training scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14. Payment ranges from $140 to $175 for workers depending on the role to which they are assigned. Lunch is also provided. You must reside within the City limits to able to work at the polls for this election.

For more information, please contact the City Secretary’s Office at 302-366-7000 or citysecretary@newark.de.us.

Thank you to all who serve our community as poll workers!


Upcoming Meetings

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 25th at 7 pm.

There’s a presentation on the Newark Partnership planned, a number of reappointments to the City’s Board of Commissions, and a few contracts and bids to vote on.

In addition, there’s a proposal for a special use permit for an accessory used car lot on the lot next to the Shell Station on the corner of W Chestnut Hill Rd and 896. Here’s a link to the project info: https://newarkde.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11768/10A

Please get back to me if you have any questions or comments on this or any other any agenda items.

The full Council agenda can be seen here: https://newarkde.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5961


Stormwater Utility

Don’t forget you will be starting to see increases in your stormwater utility fees this month. With the Rodney and various other infrastructure projects passing via referendum last year, there was a corresponding increase to the stormwater utility fee passed with this year’s budget. If you have any questions about the stormwater utility increase and your bill, please contact Public Works at 366-7000.


Food Lion Grand Opening

If you haven’t yet heard the news, the Food Lion will soon be opening in the Fairfield Shopping Center. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th at 7:45 am and the store will open at 8 am. Good news for everyone looking for a little variety in food stores in the city.


As always, please get in touch with any questions, comments or feedback.

Warm Regards,
Jen Wallace