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Stop Sprawl
Fall 2000 Sprawl Report

States at a Glance: Delaware

McCaulley Court
Affordable Housing That's Smart
Americana Bayside
Lax Regulations Lead to Massive Sprawl

McCaulley Court
Affordable Housing That's Smart

Efforts to provide low-cost housing in the United States have traditionally taken two forms -- building housing projects and giving assistance to renters. And though both are sorely needed, developers and local planners, at the behest of residents, are also beginning to provide affordable houses that people of moderate means can purchase. The developers of McCaulley Court have taken this strategy to heart.

Just a few blocks from the city center, in a neighborhood in desperate need of housing, empty lots had long languished. After endless delays by the developer who owned them, the lots became property of the city. The city's planning department collaborated with local residents on the scope and style of what should be built. Designed to hark back to traditional development, McCaulley Court created two-, three- and four-bedroom brick houses that fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. In 1998, the project was finished and the units were quickly sold.

Like many downtown neighborhoods, McCaulley Court is well located just blocks from the city center, has access to public transportation and is walking distance from schools and stores. Projects like McCaulley Court that give residents a stake in the future do more than provide housing, they help stabilize and restore neglected neighborhoods and reduce the pressure to sprawl.

Americana Bayside
Lax Regulations Lead to Massive Sprawl

Delaware's Sussex County has experienced explosive growth over the last several years. With little public transportation or land-use planning, development has sprawled across the county and overwhelmed the area's roads, water supply and sewer systems. Ten-mile traffic jams, low water pressure and overloaded sewers have been the result.

A new 2,800-home development, Americana Bayside, now threatens to add more pressure to the overloaded infrastructure of southern Delaware. Located outside the town of Selbyville, this development has all the hallmarks of suburban sprawl: It's far from existing communities, it has no access to public transportation and the development, consisting mostly of houses and a golf course, does little to provide for the needs of its residents. To make matters worse, over 200 acres of wetlands will be sacrificed to build this monster.

Since there is no public transportation nearby and only limited public transportation in the region as a whole, the only means of travel for most residents is by automobile. But the roads and highways in the area are already choked with traffic, and residents of Selbyville are worried that the road to the new development is inadequate.

Unfortunately, there is little local residents can do. Delaware lacks crucial land-use planning regulations that would have allowed the town to have more say in Sussex County's land-use decisions.

States at a Glance | Introduction | Resources | Acknowledgments

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