Ardencroft is one of the three villages that form the only surviving, non-sectarian, utopian enclaves in the United States. It is located just east of Arden, the first of these villages, founded in 1900, and is across Harvey Road from Ardentown, the second of these villages, founded in 1922. All of the villages espouse principles of community ownership of land, direct democracy, and voluntary association. It was ahead of its time in terms of racial integration, in that, at the time of its founding in 1950, minorities were encouraged to settle here. Even today, Ardencroft displays a greater level of racial integration than its neighboring villages.
Ardencroft was incorporated in 1976, as the “Village of Ardencroft.” The corporate limits of the Village were laid out in the Act. The Incorporating Act provided for the government of the Village to be vested in a Town Meeting which was to meet six times a year with twenty eligible voters to be considered a quorum. The Act assigned to the Town Meeting all powers possible for a municipality in Delaware including the power to enact ordinances and adopt resolutions related to the government of the Village, its peace and order, its sanitation, and beauty, and the health, safety, convenience, and comfort of its residents. Officers of the Town Meeting are a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer who are each elected to serve one-year terms which may be renewed. In addition, there are several standing committees including a Registration Committee, which determines eligible voters, and a Coordinating Committee which coordinates community activities and also drafts a budget which must then be taken under consideration by the Town Meeting. The Incorporating Act provides no indication of how Village costs are supported. The nearest Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction over the enforcement of ordinances enacted by the Town Meeting. The Village is specifically restricted from enacting any ordinance which may concern zoning, housing, or building permits.1
For the fully amended text of the current Charter, see http://www.charters.delaware.gov/ardencroft.shtml
CITATIONS in Del. Laws
1 60 Del. Laws, c. 515 (1976) [pp. 1780-91]
Delaware Laws from 1935 to present can be found online at http://delcode.delaware.gov/sessionlaws/
jnl / April 18, 2019