Millville P&Z recommends approval of changes to project

Millville Planning & Zoning commissioners last week recommended approval for a revision to the master plan for the Millville by the Sea master-planned community.

Town engineer Kyle Gulbronson of URS explained that, since the 20 acres in question had at one point been subdivided to create space for a future site for Beebe Medical Center operations, “nothing made sense anymore,” so they needed to revise the schematic plan for Phase 2.

In addition, the commissioners this week also recommended approval for the preliminary site plan for “Subphase 2C-1 and 2C-2” of MBS, which are proposed to be a lake (“amenity pond”) and a “lifestyle center.”

Resident Sally Griffin asked Charles “Chuck” Ellison of Miller & Smith – the developer of Millville by the Sea – if it was possible to get a construction entrance so the construction traffic wouldn’t have to go down Huntington Street during construction. Ellison said it was a goal of theirs to have another access during construction.

Code-enforcement official Eric Evans noted for commissioners that, as it was, the front steps of the “cottages” in this phase would be only 3 feet from the edge of the property line, “which isn’t a problem,” he said in regards to town code, “I just wanted to make you aware.”

He also explained that there was a “zero-lot-line” option between side yards and that the corner lots that have wrap-around porches could possibly obstruct a vehicle’s view of traffic. Gulbronson also suggested that air conditioning or heating units be placed inside the side-yard setbacks.

The commission discussed the potential issues, including that homeowners would have an easement on the side yard.

“They have an easement,” said Commissioner Jim Moozer. “What more can you do?”

“I agree,” said Commissioner Christine West. “The homeowners have to get along.”

Commission Chairman Bob Linett then reiterated the possible discussion points: that the 3 feet in the front of the house was OK, that the zero lot-lines were fine with an easement and that they could approve the plan with the provision that there be no visual obstruction from those units that have wrap-a-round porches.

“The zero lot-line is not applicable [here],” said Al Ruble of Millville by the Sea, who was in the audience. “So, to strike it would be make the most sense.”

The commissioners finished their discussion by recommending approval of the revision of the master plan, to permit sub-phasing of that plan, with a provision that the wrap-around porches on corner lots would not obstruct traffic view and a removal of the mention of a “zero lot-line” option. They also approved the preliminary site plan for the pond and the lifestyle center.

Commissioners approve change in occupancy, gift shop for Dickens

The commission also voted this week to approve maximum 61 person occupancy at Dickens Parlour Theatre, in accordance with the approval of the state fire marshal’s office and recommended approval of an expansion for a gift shop there, with standards and hours of operation similar to those for the existing building.

They also voted to have Town Manager Debbie Botchie and Gulbronson review the sign ordinance they have discussed for months and then forward it on to the town council.