Millville approves final site plan for Beaver Dam

On Monday, May 10, the Town of Millville held a public hearing on the final site plan of the H&D Subdivision – a 57-unit townhouse community on a 10.97 acre piece of property located at the intersection of Beaver Dam and Substation roads.

Judy Schwartz of GMB, an architectural and engineering firm, spoke to council about the project, noting that the council had approved the preliminary site plan on July 10, 2007.

“Since that time, it has been reviewed by various regulatory agencies that would be involved in issuing construction permits and approvals for the project. That includes DelDOT, Sussex Conservation District, the State Fire Marshal, Sussex County engineering, tidewater utilities, the city engineer, URS, as well as DNREC.”

The development will have an internal street system, public 12-inch sewers and 12-inch water lines.

“For stormwater management, there’s storm drains, a closed-pipe system that goes out the internal streets, which discharges to seven bio-swales. They are for stormwater management, quality control and recharge. They discharge in the tax ditch.”

A 10-foot-wide multi-use path will be established alongside Beaver Dam Road, which is being widened from its current 20 feet to 32 feet, which will include travel lanes and a 5-foot shoulder, striped as a bike lane.

An internal walking path will be constructed, which will go through a wooded area retained on the property for wildlife. And 125 parking spaces will give each unit two spaces, with room for overflow.

Councilman Robert Gordon asked when they planned to build the first house. Developer Peter DeMarie said he was “not certain.”

Town Manager Debbie Botchie noted that the town had not received any comments regarding the public hearing.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the final site plan. Mayor Gerald “Gerry” Hocker Jr. recused himself from the vote, due to a conflict of interest.

Residents Grace and John Collins of Cedar Drive attended the meeting to voice their disapproval of having sidewalks installed on the east side of the road, where they own two-thirds of the area that will be utilized.

“We’re bellyaching about this sidewalk deal… Why sidewalks on one side of Cedar Drive and not on the other?” Grace Collins asked, noting she had spoken to neighbors across the street. “They would love a sidewalk on their side.”

“It was the decision of this council about two years ago to, hopefully, try to connect all of the communities in Millville, that it will be a completely walkable community,” said Botchie. “I am trying to coordinate a meeting with you and all the residents on Cedar Drive and the engineering firm who designed this plan, so we can have a meeting in the next couple weeks. That is why I want us to have a meeting with the engineers, to get these questions answered.”

“People aren’t going to walk, they’re going to ride,” said Collins. “I don’t want a sidewalk. I just want to be left alone.”

Also on May 10, the council voted 5-0 to unanimously approve Resolution 11-06, which establishes a fee schedule for the 2012 fiscal year.

Three changes were made to the schedule: lowering the fee for the site plan review of structures 7,500 square feet or less in size to $450, lowering the business license late fee to $50 and lowering the renter and Realtor fee to $25.

“We did not have to raise any fees this year,” noted Botchie.

“It is nice to see something being lowered,” added Hocker.

With two positions on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission vacant and available for three-year terms, expiring in 2014, Hocker nominated former councilman Mike Jeffers, as well as James Koozer, who had both submitted letters of interest to the town. The council voted 5-0 to appoint them to the committee. Botchie will swear in the two men, who were not in attendance at the meeting, at a later date.

The Millville Town Council will hold its monthly workshop on May 24 at 7 p.m.