West Dover Connector making area unlivable

Anyone who regularly reads this page would know me as the old battle ax who has been resisting the construction of the West Dover Connector since it was a gleam in Nathan Haywood’s and Ruth Ann Minner’s eyes. I fought the good fight and lost — I never really expected any other outcome — but I did not want to be one of those people who took this insult to my neighborhood lying down.

When I moved into Rodney Village 25 years ago, I intended to stay for life. Mine was a little house but it could accommodate additions. I was happy on John Clark Road because I had some excellent neighbors through the years who were not only financially invested in their homes, but emotionally invested in their community. Granted, all neighborhoods have their challenges, but I discovered that Rodney Village’s “bad” reputation was not wholly deserved.

I have to congratulate Teal Construction, the company laying down the connector, with how fast they moved to knock down all those trees. They were so quick about it, I didn’t have the opportunity to chain myself to one of them. I am sure some folks figured I was going to do that, but no, I lost the fight, and to be sincere, I conceded soon after the powers that be first started their ridiculous “studies,” 10 years ago. That was when my husband and I decided we weren’t going to do anything more to the house than what was required and some remodeling that would make us comfortable there for so long as we would be in residence.

What I cannot abide by now is the noise and dirt generated by the construction. It’s phenomenal. I am unsure as to whether or not my neighbors who intend to stay here realize that the noise is never going to go away, but I think the powers that be could certainly address the issue of the dirt clinging to my cars and vinyl siding. I should think they would be considerate enough to at least power-wash the affected houses after the dust settles and provide car-wash vouchers to those afflicted by this nuisance. It certainly couldn’t cost much more than all those inane chicken dinners they were handing out to people who attended the study meetings they hosted when anyone with a lick of sense knew they were going to shove this road down the throats of Rodney Village residents.

I reiterate, I wasn’t going to take this affront without getting my licks in, and I promise you the state of Delaware is never going to live this down as long as I am alive. I am leaving the Village and I know that when I go to sell this house, I’m not going to get much for it because the Levittown experiment has failed miserably in the face of urbanization’s press.

Rodney Village and the neighborhoods that surround it do not look like Wilmington or Philadelphia. The tenements here are not nigh on a hundred years old, but if a bus other than one painted yellow stops in your neighborhood, you live in the inner city.

When we went looking for a new home, the only existing manses advertised were largely [ones with] underwater mortgages that the owner hoped some military member would be uninformed enough about the local economy to pay what they did for the property. Do not assume that, because I live in the Village, I was looking for what is called “affordable housing.” I looked at two houses in the Wild Quail developments; one was badly maintained, while the other had water-table issues.

Building was a niggling consideration, but when we went looking at lots, we kept two thoughts in mind, those being “How wet is it?” and “What is the likelihood someone will build a road in our back yard?” It took us forever to get off the pot, and so, now, we are dealing with the inconvenience of the connector’s construction.

As for our home in Rodney Village, I suppose we could make use of it as an “investment property,” but we really aren’t inclined to be part of that “problem” unless compelled to be.

The fact is, we shall likely miss the Village, as we have many fond memories of what it used to be: a shady oasis bordered by a park (shortly to be separated from by a speedway), a farmer’s field, an elementary school and, lately, the Scouts’ reservation. Woe is Levittown, that social experiment that has aged badly, and not even a facelift can address the inherent underlying problem of urbanization.

Carol Hotte
Currently of Dover

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