All land in Ardentown is held in a common trust, from which people lease properties, or leaseholds. Three Ardentown Trustees are elected by leaseholders to to oversee the trust.
Trustees are required to be Ardentown residents, and must have lived in Ardentown for at least three years immediately prior to their election.
Among their duties, the Ardentown trustees are responsible for:
- Setting the land rent for each leasehold in Ardentown
- Applying land rents to the payment of New Castle County property taxes, trash removal, snow removal from Ardentown streets, and maintenance of community green spaces
- Renting the Robin Hood Barn (a.k.a. the Candlelight Theatre) and managing the community’s relationship with the renters
- Preparing and maintaining an annual budget for the trust
- Amending, as needed, the Ardentown Deed of Trust, upon a majority vote of the trustees and a meeting comprising at least one-third of Ardentown leaseholders
The Ardentown Deed of Trust describes the role, responsibilities, and requirements of trustees. It also outlines procedures for trustee meetings and elections, as well as procedures for amending the deed of trust.
All land in Ardentown, except for the roads and the Sunnyside Nature Tract, is held in a common trust. About half is open space in woods and greens. The other half is leased through 99-year leases to residents who own their own homes.
Ardentown trustees are elected for life. Vacancies are filled by the trustees, subject to confirmation by majority vote in a meeting of all leaseholders. Trustees must be and remain Ardentown residents and must have lived in Ardentown for at least five years immediately prior to their election.
The current trustees of Ardentown are Joan Fitzgerald, whose responsibilities include lease changes; Pat Lane, who manages tree removal and maintenance of public space; and Harry Themal, who maintains contact with government agencies and the trustees’ leasehold of the Candlelight Theatre.