Council Approves Conditional Use for Businesses

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hhOn Monday, September 26, Milford City Council approved three zoning changes after holding public hearings. The first zoning change was for a daycare center that will be located in the old Capital Cleaner’s Building at the corner of Southwest Front and Church Streets.

“We are planning to open a childcare learning center that will have up to 25 children with three full-time staff members and two to three part-time staff members,” Miguel Mantos, the owner of the daycare said. “It will be up to the licensing board how many children we can actually have, but my hope is that we will be granted a license for at least 25. The hours will be 7 AM until 6 PM, Monday through Friday.”

According to City Planner, Rob Pierce, the Planning Commission approved the request with two stipulations. They requested that any fencing used for the outside play area be compatible with the Riverwalk fencing and that sidewalks be repaired due to safety issues. Mr. Mantos said that he agreed to those requirements. There were no public comments regarding the request and it was approved by a vote of five to zero with the conditions stipulated by the Planning Commission.

The next request was a request by Christopher and Jenna Menge, owners of Chris and Jenna Computers, to relocate their business in a garage behind their home. Since the building is in a residential area, the Menges needed to apply for a Conditional Use to move the business from its current location on NW Front Street. Mr. Menge explained that he had taken a position in Dover and that his wife would be taking care of the children. They would still provide the computer repair services, but they needed to do it at their home rather than a rented building. The Planning Commission approved the request, but told the couple they would need to get Board of Adjustment approval as the business would not be located in the dwelling area of the home.

“I live next door to them,” Dennis Rogers said. “I do not see how it could be a hindrance at all for them to move the business to the garage. They are good neighbors and the business they would be performing should not interfere with the neighbors.” Council approved the request pending Board of Adjustment approval with a vote of five to zero.

The final request was for a conditional use for a multiple permitted uses and mixed uses and a business commercial industrial use on Milford-Harrington Highway. The building will be used for a brewpub, warehouse and fitness center. The Planning Commission approved the request with conditions that included a cross access easement and approval by various agencies, including DelDOT, DNREC, the fire marshall and public works.

“Our plan is to open a 33-seat brew pub and distillery,” Zach King, co-owner of Delaware Distilling Company said. “We will have 12 to 15 full-time employees. We have been operating in Rehoboth as Delaware Distilling for several years. We have a good following and a good solid core of distributors. We are not moving all of the business from Rehoboth, but are expanding into Milford where we think we have built a good following as well. We do 15 to 20 events across the state and we expect to draw a lot of business here.”

James Grant, who owns the property, said that he already has a tenant lined up for the fitness center. The warehouse will be broken into four units, so a small business could have a small storage area with an office. If the distillery needed additional space, they may also be able to expand into the warehouse area. He said there was ample parking for all the businesses who would be located in the building. City Council approved the request with a vote of five to zero.

In other City business, Council approved a request by Jeff Portmann, Chief Financial Officer, to refinance general obligation bonds in order to save the City more than $800,000.

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