At the regular meeting of the Milford City Council on February 11, 2013, City Planner Gary Norris presented information regarding two requests for annexation. The 2008 Comprehensive Plan states that the city has no plans for annexation, but that the town would entertain requests for annexation from property owners. During an update to council regarding the Comprehensive Plan on December 10, Norris discussed that the Lynch family requested annexation of property currently designated as open space on the plan. Should the city choose to agree to annex this request, the Comprehensive Plan would need to be amended. The second request, related to property owned by Louis and Shirley Renzi, is already part of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Lynch property includes about 100 acres of land east of Route 1 and north of New Wharf Road. They are requesting that the land use designation be changed from agricultural to highway commercial, while approximately 30 acres would remain open space. Norris reported that the State Planning Office expressed concerns about changing the designation due to the development east of Route 1. Norris also explained that the property could not undergo development until the New Wharf Road overpass is completed by DelDot, which will take about 10 acres of the land.
“The first step toward annexing this particular parcel of land is to amend the comprehensive plan and change the designation from open space to highway commercial,” Norris explained. When asked by Councilman Skip Pikus if the land was solely zoned as agriculture, Norris explained that the designation was agricultural preservation. Richard Carmean, City Manager, responded that the Lynch’s had already deforested a large portion of the area. Dave Edgel of the Office of State Planning expressed concerns as the land is not close to the core of the city. In addition, the state has concerns about the size and density of the land.
“Can we as council annex the land as open space now and then convert it to commercial and residential later?” Councilman Pikus asked. Norris responded that the zoning must be in compliance with the plan, and if it is annexed as open space, it cannot be changed later.
Norris explained that the next step in the process is to send the request to adjust the Comprehensive Plan to the Planning and Zoning Committee on February 19, who will then make recommendations to council.
The second request, from Louis and Shirley Renzi, is included in the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. The Renzi’s are requesting the annexation of three acres on Cedar Creek Road, and to have the land zoned highway commercial.
“The Renzi land is surrounded by other commercial land and is considered an enclave,” Norris explained. According to Timothy Metzner of Davis, Bowen and Friedel, who filed the application for annexation for the Renzi’s, this request is simply to have the property be more consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
City Council voted unanimously to send the request to the city’s Annexation Committee for review at their next meeting.