The Millville Planning & Zoning Commission has Millville By the Sea filling its agendas once again, with the sale of the undeveloped portions of the master-planned community to a hedge-fund company in September kickstarting development of the multi-faceted community.
With the sale of the remaining 440 acres of land in Millville By the Sea to Atlanta-based Ardent Companies, lands on both sides of Roxana Road (Route 17) are now poised for development. West of Roxana Road, the Ardent property includes a parcel behind the Beebe Healthcare South Coastal Health Campus and another larger parcel that is bordered by Route 17, Powell Farm Road and, partially, Burton Farm Road.
East of Route 17, the Ardent lands include parcels that abut completed sections of Millville By the Sea, near Route 17, Peppers Corner Road and Substation Road.
Ardent purchased the acreage for an estimated $13.5 million, according to Sussex County land records. The limited liability company Millville Town Center was listed as the seller. Millville Town Center was a partnership between the investment firm IHP Partners, developer Miller & Smith and builder The Christopher Companies.
According to the master plan for Millville By the Sea, amended in 2014, the total acreage of Millville By the Sea is 690.5 acres.
“Everything coming down the pike is Ardent,” Town Manager Deborah Botchie said earlier this week.
Botchie said she doesn’t know what Ardent’s build-out timeframe is for the remainder of Millville By the Sea, where the first community — 197-home Sand Dollar Village — was completed in 2008. Since then, Lakeside and Summerwind Village have been built, and Sea Breeze Village is currently under construction.
At their Feb. 11 meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted to recommend that two projects move forward — one of which is called Summer’s Edge Reserve, the project is located at Tax Map Parcel #134-15.00-115.00 and consists of 41.51 acres.
The plans, submitted by Christopher at Millville LLC, call for 124 homes in MPC (master-planned community) zoning.
A sketch plan for the project was approved by the town council on Dec. 8, 2020, with a condition of keeping sidewalks on both sides of the street and maintaining a 5-foot width for the sidewalks.
Also at the Feb. 11 meeting, the planning commission voted to recommend that the town council approve a preliminary site plan for the Egret Shores subdivision submitted by Stafford Street Capital LLC. That project consists of nearly 50 acres, formerly farmland and currently zoned R (Residential). The developer is seeking approval for 135 single-family homes. The Egret Shores project is located at Tax Map Parcel #134-16.00-17.00.
The planning commission is scheduled to consider another piece of the Ardent Companies’ plans at its Feb. 18 meeting. The project is currently known as Village 7 of Millville By the Sea and is located at Tax Map Parcel #134-12.00-3294.00. It consists of 5.9 acres, and the plans call for 33 “villa” units. The commission will offer feedback on the project before the developer submits its preliminary site plan.
At its Dec. 8 meeting, the town council voted 3-0, with two abstentions, to approve revised final subdivision site plans for Peninsula Village, to be built on 46.48 acres. The plans were submitted by Civil Engineering Associates for Ardent. Peninsula Village will be located at Tax Map Parcels #134-16.00- 03.02, 134-16.00-19.00, 134-16.00-20.00 and 134-15.00-121.00. Changes to the plans included the addition of fountains in stormwater ponds, adding a handicapped ramp and handicapped parking space to the mailbox kiosk area, and the addition of a bike rack.
At its Feb. 23 meeting, the town council will consider proposed changes to Millville By the Sea’s Master Plan — the fourth revision since 2014. Since then, there has been no change in the planned density of the community; it has remained at 4.2 units per acre. Total acreage has decreased slightly, from 690.5 to 686.8 acres, and total number of homes has decreased from 2,900 to 2,885. The major change in the master plan is that the number of state Department of Transportation-approved entrances has been reduced from 29 to 20. Open space has decreased by an acre, from 276 acres to 275.