Hickory Glen subdivision in Milford receives extension

 

MILFORD — Zombie projects are a nuisance and a problem in Milford, according to engineer Phil Tolliver who hopes to continue working on the Hickory Glen subdivision project.

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The Hickory Glen development was first recommended for approval in February 2014. (Submitted)

“Zombie projects have sewer stubs sticking out of the ground and unmaintained roads. That’s a public nuisance. When I was a teenager, that’s probably where I would have gone. No one wants to see those zombie projects anywhere and it’s not unique to Milford. It looks unsightly. It’s not really what anyone wants,” he explained.

The project was recommended for approval in February 2014 with its first extension granted in February 2015, according to City Solicitor David Rutt.

Mr. Tolliver requested another extension from the planning and zoning commission in Milford during the Feb. 16 meeting for the subdivision project currently in the works off Del. 14 near Canterbury Road.

The commission unanimously approved a site plan extension and recommended an extension for the subdivision to the city council, but not before more than 30 minutes of debate between commissioners and Mr. Tolliver.

“I’m not fuzzy on the idea of extension after extension. I remember the first time you came here, we talked about the senior component up in the corner that has now been tossed to the side. I just want to see what kind of assurance you can give me to say you won’t be back here again,” Commissioner W. Ed Holloway said.

“I understand you’re frustrated,” Mr. Tolliver said in response to the concerns of several commissioners. “I don’t know what’s going to happen a year from now; I wish I did. It’s going to take us at least the next 12 months to get the entitlements. If the market is going gangbuster by then and there’s a buyer, then we’ll start shortly thereafter.”

He said despite work already completed, such as public works agreements and approvals for stormwater management and sediment control, he could not guarantee this would be the last extension requested.

“There was a delay in DBF [Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc.] getting us this report. It took the better part of a year to get this part together. That created a very, very significant delay. And just when things started to get going with Hans Medlarz, he left,” Mr. Tolliver said, referring to the former Milford city manager who resigned in June 2015.

Some big projects remain for the developers and engineers working on the Hickory Glen project such as final designs for the pump station which will now also include flows from the cold storage and several other local properties and Delaware Department of Transportation approval.

Milford Plaza plans

The planning and zoning commission also approved preliminary site plans for changes to the Milford Plaza located at the corner of U.S. 113 and Del. 14.

The plans call for demolitions to the current Citizens Bank and Donut Connections buildings. A new Citizens Bank building is proposed for the area currently occupied by the Donut Connections building.

An 8,000-square-foot building may be built in place of the current Citizens Bank, according to Doug Leiberman of Larson Engineering Group Inc.

“The site plan also includes ADA required parking space and the installation of a shared walking path,” he said. ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Planning & Economic Activities Coordinator Rob Pierce said those additions are sorely needed for the growing town.

“This has stop signs and better markings. If you’re out there at lunch time, it can get pretty wild,” he said.

Mr. Lieberman said, “We’re adding numerous grass areas to help control traffic. I think it will be a much better situation than what we have now which is kind of a free for all right now.”

Parking, however, will need to be addressed by the board of adjustments as the plan is short about 48 of the required spaces.

Should plans continue for the Milford Plaza as proposed, Mr. Leiberman said four businesses new to the area could open in building which has four 2,000-square-foot suites inside. He said two national chain restaurants are currently looking at moving to the plaza along with a retail business.

Jennifer Antonik writes special reports for the Delaware State News

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