Blue Ball Properties Master Plan

Recreation/ Historic Preservation Committee

Meeting Report
Date: December 1, 1999
Location: Bellevue House, New Castle County, Delaware

  1. Introduction / Opening Comments
    Mark Chura of DNREC welcomed the attendees and explained the importance of the links between the Recreation/ Historic Preservation Committee and the Transportation Committee. He provided an overview of the past work that has been completed to date. It is expected that the Concept Plan will be completed by the December 15, 1999 meeting. It is important to emphasize that these are just concepts, not the final design.
  2. Presentation
    Mark explained that there are three levels of government involved in the AZ project: the state of Delaware, New Castle County and the City of Wilmington. He explained that there have been representatives from each of these groups at the meetings and that Mayor Jim Sills was here to present the city's viewpoint.

    Mayor Sills explained that his comments were intended to be supportive of the Astra Zeneca project, and he thanked the council-people and representatives who had been part of the Committees for their involvement. Mayor Sill went on to explain issue regarding the management of Rock Manor Golf Course, noting that it was acknowledged as an important part of the community, especially that it is reasonably priced, allowing a larger part of the community to utilize it. He noted the importance of making non-traditional sports facilities available (tennis, soccer, volleyball), and recommended that a certain degree of flexibility be built into the design.

    Mark Chura explained that the meeting schedule had changed, and that an extra meeting had been added so that the two committees could combine their respective information and create an overlay that will be presented on December 15, 1999 and January 5, 2000. He noted that the community has the choice not to meet, if they so decide. The deadline has changed from January 5, 1999 and the Policy Committee will meet on January 12, 2000 to decide if the community is ready to make a decision, although it is reminded that AZ has certain time constraints that they need to meet, as well.

    The Recreation and Historic preservation Technical Committee's Planning and Design Principles were reviewed:
    • Provide Conservation Areas with wildlife enhancement
    • Provide Stormwater Management east and west of Rt. 202
    • Provide Wetland Mitigation east and west of Rt. 202
    • Provide a Greenway Crossing of Rt. 202
    • Restore and re-use the historic Blue-Ball Barn
    • Design Park Roads that provide park access and accommodate local traffic.
    It was noted that the Greenway Crossing will be part of the underpass at Rt. 202 and that the park roads will be a series of local roads on the west side of the project area. The number of roads and where they will connect is still being determined, and the Design Team is aware that the aesthetics of the roads and surrounds is very important.

    Rockland Golf Course:

    About 15 acres will be added to the Rockland Golf Course to add two additional holes, bringing it to championship size, as well as adding a training facility (driving range).

    Stormwater management practices will still be included to enhance the golf course and provide habitat enhancement to the area.

    Active Recreation Fields:

    Combined use athletic fields, primarily focusing on soccer and field-hockey will encompass about eight (8) acres of the site, The Children's Park be about two (2) acres and the dog park about two (2) acres.

    Picnic shelters were brought up and discussed. The Project Team will bring slides with different examples to the December 15, 1999 Meeting before a decision will be made as to whether they are desired. Restrooms will be available on the site.
  3. Major Issues Recap
    • Tennis and baseball will be re-evaluated depending on facilities availability in the community
    • At least four (4) fields are needed for soccer to make it a viable complex
    • The fields should be multi-use (field-hockey, etc.)
  4. Questions / Answers / Comments

    Q: The additions of the golf course seems to have been deleted from the plans.
    1. There are 15 acres earmarked for the expansion of the golf course. The design of the golf course needs to be left open. Additionally the green-way trail can be a proponent of the design and may re-route the course. It is also important not to get hung up on the acres, the numbers are not yet absolute. It was noted that the expansion of the golf course and the training facility do not compete against each other.
    Q: Where is the greenway trail going to connect on Alopocas Drive?
    1. There is a rock wall on Alopocas with a gate that may be opened as the entrance to the site. DelDOT has marked where the safest place to cross is.
    Q: Are you proposing that people will drive to the Alopocas Drive trail entrance?
    1. Across the whole Delaware Greenway there are places that DelDOT has marked as safe places to cross roadways, this is part of the process of design. There is a parking lot in the Alopocas Woods that may be reworked, so parking is available at the entrance, but visitors can park at Brandywine and further up Rt. 202. The green-way trail will be accessed by a spur path that connects to the entire Delaware Green-way. It will be utilized by pedestrians and bikes.
    Q: What do un-programmed playfields mean?
    1. A graded field that allows for whatever the demand is that can be maintained as a meadow or a field.
    Q: Will the driving range be an outdoor facility?
    1. Yes
    Q: Will the stormwater retention basins allow for irrigation of the golf course?
    1. Yes, it needs to be included in the design. Currently treated water is being used, this is good conservation measurement.
  5. Conclusion / Adjournment

    The committee concluded its discussions at 6:30 PM. Mark Chura reminded everyone that the next meeting is on December 15, 1999 at 4:30 PM at the Bellevue Mansion.