Cheswold council votes for annexation of Noble’s Pond

Trey Paradee

Trey Paradee

CHESWOLD –– By a unanimous vote, Cheswold Town Council voted in favor of the annexation of Noble’s Pond.

Noble’s Pond is a 55 and up adult community owned by Eddie Evans Farms, LLC and Regal Contractors, LLC. The community is approximately 293 acres divided into more than 800 home sites; 130 sites are currently occupied. A little less than half the acreage is included in the annexation.

The annexation was tabled only two weeks ago in a heated council meeting attended by more than a hundred individuals, but Wednesday night’s meeting was much calmer, drawing only about 30 of the town’s residents.

At the Aug. 25 council meeting, residents of Noble’s Pond packed the Fire Hall, most highly concerned about what the annexation would mean for their 55 and up adult community.

“I think that if the developer (Harry Miller) had just talked to us back in the spring, everything would have gone a lot more smoothly,” Bob Morris, a two-year resident of Noble’s Pond, said.

According to the mayor’s office, Noble’s Pond’s owners first suggested the annexation back in 2007 but didn’t formally submit an application until April of this year.

It wasn’t until only weeks and days leading up to the Aug. 25 meeting that many residents even found out about the annexation plans. During the heated public comments, Rep. Trey Paradee, D-Cheswold, suggested a community meeting to discuss details of the annexation and to address residents’ concerns.

That meeting was held Sept. 2.

“We wanted assurance from the developer in writing and to his credit, he provided that,” Rep. Paradee said. “He also addressed all other major concerns and I hope we’ll be able to move forward in the spirit of cooperation.”

Residents’ major concerns regarding annexation were if the community would remain 55 and up, and if residents would have exclusive use of the clubhouse.

“It was really just that with such short notice before the vote, people’s concerns were creating rumors and I think it created a lot of confusion,” Mr. Morris said.

“The residents just wanted to be told that they would be getting what was promised to them when they first purchased their homes,” Rep. Paradee said.

In addition to the assurances provided at the community meeting, Cheswold Councilwoman Sherry Lambertson on Wednesday said that the zoning and deed restrictions on Noble’s Pond designate it as an age-restricted community.

Unlike the Aug. 25 meeting, there was no public outcry Wednesday when the council members spoke in support of the annexation.

“There’s a lot of fire in Noble’s Pond,” town secretary and treasurer Sam Callender said. “I’ve seen it, I’ve heard it and I’ve felt it.”

At the closing of the meeting, she thanked the residents for their cooperation.

“I do appreciate you guys listening, participating and coming out to the meetings,” she said. “One of our goals is to have participation from your community. We need people who are concerned about the community, who wish to better it to help us.”

Town council also voted in favor of the annexation of approximately 133.9 acres of farm land owned by Evans Jarrell, LLC. The Evans Jarrell property lies south of Cheswold and north of Noble’s Pond.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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