Millville approves additional 55 homes at Sand Dollar Village

The Millville Town Council held a public hearing this week and approved a final site plan application submitted by Millville By the Sea for 55 single-family, detached units located in Sand Dollar Village.

Chuck Ellison of Miller & Smith, the current developers of Millville By the Sea, said it was a “pretty straightforward plan,” located immediately adjacent to the existing Sand Dollar Village. He also outlined five stipulations put in place by the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission and how they had been addressed in the final plan.

Richard Shoebridge asked if the homes would be part of existing Sand Dollar Village community. “Are they part of our POA?” he asked, referencing the community’s property owners association, which he noted was approaching critical mass on ownership, reaching the point where the developers would have reduced authority.

Ellison said the new homes would be part of the same POA.

“We are about to get to the 75 percent needed to where we have some say,” emphasized Shoebridge. “We are never told anything. You are making it impossible for us to have a say in our community. We have no say in anything.”

Ellison said the area was “always envisioned to be part of Sand Dollar Village.”

Following a lull after a request for a motion on the plan, Mayor Gerry Hocker made a motion to approve the plan, and the council approved it with a 5-0 vote.

The council this week also approved some changes to lot lines and the relocation of the proposed clubhouse and pool for Bishop’s Landing, a Beazer community, requested by Dove Barrington LLC.

Steve Marsh of engineering firm GMB said that, with the changes, they were actually reducing density in the development, reducing the total number of units by eight and adding 7 acres of open space. The changes, he explained, came about after Beazer’s national marketing group met with local representatives and wanted to incorporate some changes.

The revised plan also calls for the proposed club house to be about 700 square feet larger and the pool to be about 1,000 square feet larger than originally planned.

Marsh said they had gotten approvals from engineering firm URS, Sussex County officials and Tidewater Utilities for making the changes and needed the Town’s approval so it could be recorded and they could “move forward.”

The council approved the changes 5-0.

Councilman Bob Gordon reported one Tuesday that Wayman Fire Protection should have a design for the planned town hall sprinkler system in the next six weeks or so. At last month’s meeting, the council had discussed and approved having Wayman design a system that could then be bid out to prospective installers. That step came after the council had been discussing the project for several years.

Also at the Feb. 12 meeting, the new postmaster at the Ocean View post office, John Douds, introduced himself to the council. He said he had 17 years of service with the USPS and, despite the service’s grim financial reports, was confident that the Ocean View post office would be around for many years to come.

“Although the outlook looks grim, I feel the post office itself will be around another 20, 30 50 years, in some capacity. But the Ocean View/Millville post office will not be going anywhere in our lifetimes.”

Doud noted that he was active with the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Little League, and offered the council any assistance they would need in any of those capacities, as well as his duties as postmaster.

Town Manager Debbie Botchie immediately asked for his assistance in getting some residents of incorporated Millville assigned the 19967 ZIP code. She said there were a few who, despite their property having been annexed into the town, still had either 19970 (Ocean View) or 19945 (Frankford) ZIP codes. He said he would be glad to help.

The council thanked him for introducing himself and welcomed him as postmaster.

The next Millville town council meeting is a workshop scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.