The Planning Commission of the City Of Milford has been faced with many decisions over the past decade. The housing boom and the burst of the housing bubble have accented the important of this commission in planning the future of the Milford community. Gary Norris, City Planner, comments that the Planning Commission is dedicated to “ensuring that residential and commercial development is conducted in a way the best fits the city and its future.”
The Planning Commission is composed of 9 members that make up 4 wards throughout the city. It is the duty of the Planning Commission to review subdivisions, conditional uses, site plans and rezoning requests and to make recommendations to the City Council based of their findings. During the annexation procedure for the Thomas family farm property, located on Milford-Harrington Highway, it was the responsibility of the Planning Commission to recommend zoning purposes for that land. The Commission also took a pivotal role in developing the comprehensive plan for Milford which was completed in 2008. Comprehensive plans for municipalities are presented to the State of Delaware every 5 years.
The Southeast region of Milford has been getting attention in recent years and has become an area of concern with residents curious about the type of potential development. Bayhealth Medical Center planned to move their facilities to the region but in the end decided to remain close to downtown. Recently, there has been a proposal of an innovation park that could accommodate biotechnology and medical technology businesses. There will be discussion in the future of how to create a balance between residential and commercial development and preservation of farmland and wildlife in that region.
Mr. Norris has been working with organizations such as Milford Parks and Recreation to plan bicycle/pedestrian walkways that help neighborhoods connect with the downtown area. The Pedestrian Bicycling Advisory Board has recommended a path from Abbott’s Mill out to DuPont Nature Center.
Gary Norris has held the position of City Planner for the past 5 years. He began the job at the tail end of the housing boom and has seen changes in revised zoning and ordinances due to the health of the economy. “Now it appears things are happening that have not in the past 5 years. Banks and businesses are moving forward with plans that have been put on hold for the past couple of years,” stated Mr. Norris. Gary is optimistic about the progress that Milford will encounter in the years ahead. Businesses such as Grotto’s Pizza, Papa John’s and Popeye’s have their sights on Milford as future investments.
The Planning Commission meets the third Tuesday of each Month at City Hall and is open to the public. To find more information about the Planning Commission and their role in Milford’s future visit http://www.cityofmilford.com/index.aspx?nid=78.