2015 Restoring Central Dover Story
Restoring Central Dover is a comprehensive community development effort led by NCALL and a Steering Committee comprised of over 20 different organizations, including non-profits, churches, government agencies, businesses, institutions, and residents. Utilizing a Wells Fargo Regional Foundation planning grant, the Restoring Central Dover Plan was completed and adopted in 2014 and it identifies strategies to address both the deterioration in the downtown neighborhoods and the economic revitalization of the business district. There are numerous strategies under each goal: A Strong Community, Positive Development, and an Integrated Public Realm and Infrastructure. Read the Executive Summary and full Plan at www.ncall.org.
“I really enjoyed it. The kids really enjoyed it. I think it should occur more often. In my area, I have noticed a reduction in crime and the kids are more respectful.” Tina Barker, Central Dover Resident, After attending the backpack giveaway
Restoring Central Dover was instrumental in the City of Dover receiving the Downtown Development District designation from the state in 2015 and access to new revitalization resources. The designation is designed to stabilize communities, stimulate private capital investment, and improve job growth and commercial vitality.
Following the planning grant, in early 2015 NCALL applied for and was awarded $750,000 for a five year period from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation for implementation. Six work groups (Housing; Resident Engagement; Safety; Youth and Adult Services; Economic Development; and Transportation, Green Space, and Infrastructure) were formed to work on implementation tasks. Each work group has milestones and outputs to be completed by various target dates.
Milestones achieved in FY 2015:
• Held a Resident- led Community Fair in May with over 200 attendees.
• Partnered with the City of Dover for a Neighborhood Clean-up fall of 2015 where more than three tons of trash and five tons of yard waste were removed.
• The formation of several Neighborhood Watch Groups is underway to improve public safety.
• A Back to School Event was held in August and over 500 people attended; 250 backpacks were given away, and free salon styles and haircuts were provided.
• Two outreach centers opened up in the Central Dover area, both with NCALL financing, where various events have been held.
• Strong Neighborhood Housing Fund resources were received to boost area homeownership through a collaborative of Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, NCALL and MHDC to secure lots, build new homes and repair existing homes.
• To encourage greater zoning flexibility to enable infill housing development, the city approved a rezoning amendment to allow conditional use townhouses and duplexes in the downtown area.
Over the next few years, implementation of the Restoring Central Dover Plan will be achieved with the involvement of residents, business owners, community organizations, faith communities, the city and other stakeholders who are all committed to a common vision for the future.