On Tuesday, February 18, Phil Tolliver of Dunn Development presented a proposed subdivision plan for Hickory Glen, which would include townhouses and garden apartments to the Milford Planning Commission. The plan was approved by Davis, Bowen & Friedel, the engineering firm used by the City of Milford.
Originally, the subdivision was supposed to include an assisted living facility, but Mr. Tolliver explained that when there was resistance from the Planning Commission at an earlier presentation, the developers decided to cancel those plans. However, the original plan to have 24 apartments in each building was changed to the 12 per building requested by the commission, and each apartment would have a one-car garage to make the development unique from other apartment complexes in the area.
Mr. Tolliver explained that there would be two Homeowner’s Associations, one that would cover the apartments and one that would cover the townhouses and that the developer was in agreement to any restrictions the City wanted included in those agreements. One factor would be a clause that would restrict homeowners from complaining about noise from Baltimore Air Coil, which is close to the proposed development.
“This subdivision is in complete compliance with the city’s comprehensive plan, and the fact that we are hoping to add water and sewer could be a benefit to Baltimore Air Coil,” Mr. Tolliver explained. Chairman Burk was concerned that homeowners in center townhouses would have no access to their backyards in order to cut grass. Mr. Tolliver explained that it was normal for people in center townhouses to have to walk around the end units to get to the backyard, but that open space had been included in the plan so they would not be walking on the property of their neighbors.
“The developer would prefer not allowing detached sheds on the property as they can affect drainage and are often not kept up properly,” Mr. Tolliver explained. “However, homeowners may be able to build an adjacent shed that matches the exterior of the townhouses to store a lawnmower or other lawn care tools.”
“I have some concerns about the depth of the drainage ponds and the fact that my land, which is adjacent to this property, is low,” said Chris Hill, who owns a neighboring farm. “In addition, I would like to have something added in the agreement with those who buy there that protects me. It is a working farm and there are odors associated with it, as well as crop dusters and other noise making equipment.” Mr. Tolliver agreed to work with neighbors to be sure the development agreements meet necessary standards.
The Planning Commission voted six to one to approve the subdivision plans, with Commission Member Marvin Sharpe voting against it.
On Monday, February 24, Mr. Tolliver presented the subdivision plan to Milford City Council. City Solicitor David Rutt explained that council was only voting on the subdivision plan, and that details such as trash pickup, lawn maintenance and the design of the buildings would be discussed during the engineering phase. Erik Retzlaff of Davis, Bowen & Friedel explained that the plan was only in the preliminary stages, and that it met all requirements directed by City code.
“I am against this project as I don’t think it is complimentary to neighboring properties,” Councilman Dirk Gleysteen explained. “It is on the outskirts of town and I don’t know why we would put a high density property in that area. I think it is taking the City in a different direction than we want to go.”
City Council voted to approve the subdivision by a vote of five to three.