Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Flashback 2004: Glenville condemned. Who's next?

Photo from Wikipedia
In January 2004, Delaforum posted what is still the most detailed account of Glenville, a Stanton development that had to be abandoned. In short, Glenville began experiencing flood problems with the onset of numerous other developments springing up in the Christina-Red Clay Watershed. A few major storms (tropical, hurricane) pushed it over the edge, forcing NCC and the State into a buyout plan. Excerpts from the page:

State government is expected to also put up $15 million, but that cannot actually happen until the General Assembly enacts the annual capital-spending budget in late June. Delaware's congressional delegation reportedly is working to obtain federal money to reimburse state and county governments, but nothing is expected to move forward in that regard until late spring or early summer.

Meanwhile, County Executive Tom Gordon said, residents still living in Glenville and those in other low-lying communities along the Red Clay Creek remain in danger of being hit by another flood-causing storm.

Although there could be some question whether state or federal money will materialize, Council president Christopher Coons said he and his colleagues "have a degree of confidence ... that the governor and [county] executive will keep their word" and make the unprecedented buy-out at least a state-county project, if not a federal-state-county one.

What sets the Glenville situation apart from others, Brainard said, is that it involves obvious public health and safety issues. Apart from that, the state has a separate interest in acquiring property in that area. The community lies just north of the confluence of Red Clay and White Clay Creeks and Bread and Cheese Island. That is near where Delaware Department of Transportation will be required to replace wetland that will be lost by the planned widening of the Delaware Turnpike. [More . . .]


According to officials at the NCC Dept of Land Use (DLU), the Chestnut Hill "Preserve" will see much, if not most of its runoff channeled to Leathermans Run, a tributary of the Christina River. The final stretch of Leathermans is on the State's FEMA map as a type "A" flood hazard. What this means for adjacent residents (i.e. Woodshade to the SE) isn't clear, but it can't be positive. Will the green hash marks of the flood plain need to be redrawn, possibly overlapping property lines? Even without the Orphanage Property open space (and part of the forest and wetlands) paved over, Todd Estates and Breezewood residents are used to seeing the grasslands and woods fill with standing water. It is a very low land and has a high water table. This and more will now be heading to the Christina via Leathermans Run or will simply "absorb into the ground", according to officials and the report.

According to DLU officials, flood water on the Orphanage Property will be alleviated using
Leathermans Run and the Christina River.

The purple line represents the Salem Village Tax Ditch. The village is routinely threatened by
runoff, and the ditch helps protect communities like Chelmsford by channeling large
amounts of stormwater to Leathermans Run. Some units and their outbuildings are seen
sinking into the ground, which is unstable to begin with. It can be argued that this
development, and others nearby should never have been built in the first place.

Martha Denison explains the critical purpose of the Tax Ditch, that is used to protect low
lying neighborhoods from flooding. This stretch, in Chelmsford, is part of one that circles
Salem Village, as seen in the above map. Also pictured is Angela Connolly.

Visit Save the Orphanage Property (STOP) on Facebook, like us, and spread the word!

1 comment:

  1. And I know firsthand if the tax ditch isn't cleared of debris and leaves on a regular basis it will NOT serve it's purpose. This including the lead pipes going underground to re-route the water away.

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