Smith, of the county's Department of Land Use told a meeting of
the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association that a
'visioning process' through which residents and business people
in the area can determine the desired extent and direction of
redevelopment is about to get underway.
will thus join Centreville and Claymont as communities with
professionally guided master plans to preserve and enhance long
recognized but never specifically defined identities without
having to establish themselves as incorporated municipalities.
government has encouraged and supported the other efforts, but
Hockessin's is the first in which it has taken the lead. Smith,
a professional planner, has led the data assembling which has
led up to the public unveiling of the project before the
umbrella civic organization.
however, that the intention is not to impose anything but to
encourage a grsssroots effort with as extensive a degree of
community participation as possible. That began last summer with
establishment of a steering committee representing a spectrum of
local interests. That will be extended on Feb. 12 with a public
meeting to gather ideas from as many local people as wish to
is going to work, you have to have the community buy in," Smith
said. "There is a lot of history in Hockessin and you want to
preserve that heritage."
the other communities, a significant impetus is Delaware
Department of Transportation plan to improve safety and better
control traffic passing through the area. In Hockessin's case,
however, the logical 'village main street' is not the targeted
highway. Lancaster Pike, or state route 41, which was built many
years ago as a bypass, lies a couple of blocks east of the
original road, now identified as Old Lancaster Pike.
noted that the former will remain as the path to take traffic
through the area while the latter is used to bring traffic into
the 'village'. An important contribution to that, he added, is
inclusion of a traffic signal at the Valley Road intersection.
response to a question, he said DelDOT's safety enhancement
project will necessarily be coordinated with Pennsylvania's
transportation agency but that Delaware has no intention in the
foreseeable future to match the neighboring state's plans to
widen Route 41 into a four-land highway.
will be left to the 'visioning process' to determine how
extensive redevelopment along Old Lancaster Pike will be, Smith
said that it will include the key elements of such projects
going on in urban and suburban areas throughout the nation.
Those include 'adaptive reuse' of existing buildings, provision
for extensive pedestrian access, preservation of historic
structures which reflect the area's heritage, roadway
improvements which allow for vehicular traffic but 'calm' and
control its movement, and esthetic improvement through
landscaping, decorative lighting and the like.
for all those things in the likely core area between the county
library and the railroad tracks. In addition, he said, residents
of the Hockessin area "have enough disposable income to support
[commercial] growth" considered necessary to sustain