Key Properties delays request on Route 1 land

Terry RogersGovernment, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

A request to change zoning on the starred parcel was recently pulled from Sussex County Planning and Zoning’s docket

Sussex County Planning and Zoning was supposed to hear a request from Key Properties to change land east of Route 1, across from Bayhealth Sussex Campus, from residential to commercial. A few days before the hearing, Key Properties pulled the request. This request had come before the Sussex County board previously and been approved, only to be denied by Sussex County Council. Similar requests have been made to Milford City Council and denied twice.

“The subject parcel was considered for commercial land use during the initial phase of the master plan, but commercial was not ultimately recommended due to difficulty in gaining road access to the property and the proximity to low density residential land uses,” a letter sent from Milford City Council to Sussex County read. “Council denied Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use map for the subject parcel in 2016 and again in 2022. The request was denied due to the proximity for low-density residential land uses in the area, availability of other commercial land for development within the city and the difficulty in providing commercial road access to the site.”

In 2022, Milford City Council denied the request with a vote of seven to one with Councilman Todd Culotta casting the only vote to approve the request. Recently, Councilman Culotta explained that his vote to approve the plan was to give Milford more control over what happened to the parcels. He believes that if the county approves the change, Milford will then be required to follow suit. Based on social media comments, those who live in the Milford area are adamantly opposed to the change. Stanley Sharp commented that developers won’t be happy until it is a “strip mall all the way from Dover to the beaches.”

“I absolutely agree 100%,” W.F. Christy commented on Sharp’s post. “They have done the same thing along Rt 1 from the C&D Canal down to Dover. The developer making the proposal still hasn’t finished the development on the west side of Route 1 known as Hearthstone Manor. According to homeowners, there, the development is fraught with problems with roads and construction issues. That development was begun 20+ years ago.”

The proposal was withdrawn to address issues raised by DelDOT regarding access to the site and is tentatively scheduled to return to the Sussex County Planning agenda in August.



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