Council Approves Rt. 14 Development With Conditions

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Local resident Noel Primos urging the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny the approval of the Preliminary Site Plan for Hickory Glen

On Tuesday, May 29 City Council approved the construction of the Hickory Glen development on Milford-Harrington Highway under the conditions that the developers decrease density, comply with City regulations on open space and address noise pollution issues from surrounding commercial businesses. The proposed development is to be constructed on 71.918 acres in a R-8 district located at 1335 Milford-Harrington Highway in Milford, DE. The site plan includes 128 townhouses, 312 apartments and the addition of an assisted living facility which would host 114 beds.

In April, Mr. Phil Tolliver, on behalf of the Hickory Glen subdivision, presented an updated Preliminary Site Plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission. After hearing the preliminary site plan for Hickory Glen and the concerns from local residents, Commisioner George Pilla made a motion to accept the conditional use for 128 lots and 440 units on the property without the inclusion of the assisted living facility. The motion was accepted by the Commission in a 7-1 vote.

The recommendation was presented to City Council on Tuesday evening as they considered whether or not to accept the Hickory Glen development in the City of Milford. Again tensions rose as citizens complained about the increase in density and traffic the new development would bring to the immediate area.

“I think Councilman Gleysteen said it best when he said that the development really does not fit the character of the area,” commented local resident Noel Primos. “The area is largely rural and mostly farms and single-family homes.”

As the workshop progressed, members of City Council debated whether this project was considered economic development or an unwanted increase in density of the surrounding area. At one point Councilman Skip Pikus made a motion to deny the project but later rescinded the motion in favor of a motion that would allow the property under certain requirements by the property owners.

“I want it to be know that the City is open to economic development but I don’t buy that this is economic development,” commented Councilman Pikus. “We currently have 6,000 lots in Milford that are not developed.”

After much debate, Councilman Skip Pikus made a motion to accept the Hickory Glen development under several conditions. The owners of the property would have to decrease the number of units per building from 24 units to 12 units, comply with all of the regulations set forth by the City of Milford Building Code regarding open space and address the issue of noise pollution from surrounding commercial businesses by informing residents of the development before they reside on the property. The development of an assisted living facility was not included in the motion. The motion passed 6-1 with Councilman Gleysteen voting against and Councilwoman Wilson absent.

The Hickory Glen development will now go back to the Milford Planning and Zoning Commission to ensure that each of the stipulations under Councilman Pikus’ motion are followed. If these issues are resolved then Hickory Glen will have the ability to start putting shovels in the ground.

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