Update: Subdivision projects head to council for approval

Staff WriterGovernment, Headlines

This story includes major corrections.

The Milford Planning and Zoning Commission’s vote to recommend all agenda items at the monthly meeting March 19 moves forward three development projects within the town.
The commission is in favor of the following actions:
  • Milford Corporate Center at Canterbury Road and Milford-Harrington-Highway final major subdivision approval recommended.
  • Red Cedar Farms on Bucks Road, north of Cedar Beach Road, final major subdivision approval recommended
  • Teal Creek Plaza on Del. 113 north of Popeye’s, final site plan extension approved.
  • Clubhouse at Windward Grove townhomes final site plan approved.

Public Comment

During preliminary public comment, Julie Morris of Cedar Beach Road asked the commission how to move forward addressing concerns repeatedly brought up by the public, such as the trash littering through town and creation of a homeless task force.
“It’s been mentioned, you know, multiple times. How can you move that forward?” Morris asked.
“How can there be a task force and with people on it that can come up with a solution and come together as a community to help?”
David Rutt, the town’s lawyer, told Morris that public comment period during planning and zoning hearings is not the time for questions such as hers.
“However, I would suggest that the way to advance this would be to have it put on an agenda with Milford City Council, and the agenda can be sent by request to the mayor, the city manager and the city clerk,” Rutt advised her.
“And if if there’s a council person, they could also request that those items be placed on the agenda by one of those three because under the city ordinance or the city charter.”
Rutt said the mayor, city manager and city clerk are the three persons who set the agenda.
“So that’s where you would need to start is just get it on an agenda for the city council to open discussion on it,” Rutt said.

Milford Corporate Center

The Milford Corporate Center was up for a public hearing on a preliminary approved final major subdivision classification.
The project includes the construction of a 27-lot commercial business park, water tower and new regional pump station, with agency approvals from Sussex Conservation District, the state fire marshal’s offices and the city engineer.
John Fulkowski, civil engineer with Becker Morgan Group, said the project includes walking and biking pathways along the perimeter of the site.
The pathways would not be in roadways and landscape would be placed in a buffer zone between neighboring properties.
Fulkowski said public comments were taken into consideration when placing landscape buffers between the pathways and neighboring properties.
“We pulled them off of their property a little bit so people weren’t walking right in their backyards,” he said.
During public comment on the Milford Corporate Center, Morris raised concerns of possible eminent domain action taken to create these walking paths.
“Are there particular neighbors that you may need to obtain a portion of their land for the walkway?” Morris asked.
“The walking paths are set on the city property which will be developed for the corporate center. There are no additional improvements outside of that area,” City Planner Rob Pierce said.
Lucious Webb asked about parking concerns for pedestrians and cyclists in the development.
“You’re gonna have bike paths and you’re gonna have walking trails. Where are the people going to be parking that come there to walk? Do you have parking set aside?” Webb asked.
Pierce replied that parking hasn’t been set aside for those using the pathway in particular, but the roadways are wide.
“So there may be some opportunity for some parking on the roadways,” he said.
“This is just really to get the main framework of the development in doesn’t really include any of the slight improvements for the individual lots yet.”
Following public comment, the commission voted to recommend approval of the final major subdivision request.

Red Cedar Farms

Second on the agenda was Red Cedar Farms final major subdivision consideration.
Tim Green with Schell Brothers, the project developer, explained that at the Bucks Road entrance to the development the right turn lane is being constructed with curb ramps compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
In addition Bucks Road will be widened a little bit by the entrance area, Green said.
The Bucks Road project is in the southeast Milford Transportation Improvement District.
“We don’t like development period. We don’t like developers period,” said Lucious Webb during public comment on the Red Cedar Farms development.
“They basically ruin what God made beautiful land to be. And what the American Indians took good care of before we settlers came and took over this country.”
Webb brought up a bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Shupe (R-Milford) that would have developers be accountable for all the roads impacted by their development. (Shupe is CEO of Milford LIVE).
“The roads are going to be impacted, The roads are just fine for the current use. Will the roads be fine for several 100 trips a day?” Webb asked.
“I say Hell no. Instead they’re going to have to be improving all these other roads – Cedar Neck Road, Cedar Beach Road, and they’re gonna be taking land from us who own the land along those roads. Will we be given any funds for the impact on those roads?” Webb explained.
“The developers have been greedy and not being willing to contribute fully to the impact. It is a dismal time for Milford,” he said.
Webb recalled growing up on the property next door to the Red Cedar Farms development, riding his horse on Bucks Road when it was just a dirt road, and watching sunsets across his family’s farm.
“No longer can you see beautiful sunsets of these houses take place. The setback on this property from the farm that my brother currently resides on should be at least 50 feet because part of it is in farm preservation. Is that truly bring accounted for? Is it been respected?” Webb questioned the commission and developers.
“Anyway, it’s a sad day for Milford and I thoroughly think you really need to think about the total impact of this project. And what the total cost is going to be for the city. It’s another road for the City of Milford to maintain and pick up the trash along it and they’re not doing it for any other street in Milford.”
Peter Goulding brought up several points: the need to look ahead at future development in the area and make sure infrastructure being put in could handle growth, the safety of only one entrance to Red Cedar Farms with 199 homes in the development should there be an emergency and a semi-historic schoolhouse at the intersection of Cedar Neck and Bucks roads, the owners of which have recently passed.
A larger casing pipe under Route 1 is in the development plans to address the anticipated growth in the area, Pierce told Gaulding.
Morris took her three minutes to comment and let the commission know that she and others in the community of Cedar Neck are against the development of the area.
“As a community, and I’ll go ahead and speak as a whole, we don’t want more people,” Morris said.
“This is 200 houses going in here, most have two cars. That’s 400 more cars on our road. That’s a lot of traffic and we don’t want it. We don’t want this kind of development.”
Finally, Raymond Hendricks and James Clinging both took the opportunity to comment and thank Schell Brothers for addressing their concerns regarding trees and plants in the area, and to encourage the developer to continue to keep the need for ample foliage, particularly native plants, in mind as the project continued.
The planning commissioners voted in favor of recommending the project approved for final major subdivision approval.
Pierce reminded those attending that that the City Council  made an ordinance amendment last summer which made final major subdivisions administrative.
“Generally, once you get through preliminary major subdivision, we’ve heard the comments from the initial public hearing, items have been addressed and the developer has their marching orders going forward. So these types of hearings would not occur for final approvals in the future,” Pierce said.
They still would occur for the preliminary, which is a detailed plan that comes before the public.
“But just wanted to make everybody aware that this may be one of the last ones that comes through under the current amended ordinance,” Pierce informed.

Teal Creek Plaza

The last agenda item was a final site plan extension request for the the Teal Creek Plaza expansion project.
The applicant received final site plan approval from the planning commission Feb. 21, 2023 for the construction of a 14,347 square foot addition onto the north side of the existing shopping center.
“Just as an update the applicant has held a pre construction meeting with our public works department in early February so they tend to begin construction quickly,” Pierce said.
“They are eager to start work and it’s pending this extension approval.”
Cameron Llewellyn of Tidemark Construction said, “Development stalled basically because they couldn’t get the materials they needed in electrical distribution gear, and HVAC equipment. So they opted not to start the project until those things came available.”
Commissioners voted to approve a final site plan extension.

Clubhouse at Windward Grove

The final site plan was approved by commissioners for the clubhouse at Windward Grove, formerly known as Wickersham.
The approval was waiting for a variance request, which was granted last week by the Board of Adjusters, for off street parking.

Share this Post