Millville's Planning & Zoning Committee on Aug. 17 voted to recommend that the Millville Town Council approve two applications on behalf of Beebe Healthcare that move forward plans to build an emergency department and cancer treatment center within the town.
The planning committee voted 3-0 to recommend approval of the preliminary site plan for the project as presented by Becker Morgan Group for Beebe Healthcare. The plans for the Beebe South Coastal Campus Emergency Department and Cancer Center call for a 24-bed emergency center, along with an outpatient cancer-treatment facility.
The facility will be located on Route 17 in Millville — a “Coming Soon” sign now marks the spot. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, with completion expected in 2020.
Jeffrey Harman of Becker Morgan presented the plans. He told the committee there will be one entrance to the facility, off of Route 17, near the middle of the site. There will be a driveway that goes around the building, with signage directing patients to parking near each of the treatment areas.
A helipad will also be constructed, Harman said, adding that it will not be used for incoming patients, but rather to pick up patients at the Millville facility who need to be taken to another facility for more intensive treatment.
“Use of the helipad will probably be fairly light,” Harman said. It would be used by either Delaware State Police helicopters or privately-owned helicopters. Beebe does not own a helicopter equipped for patient transfer.
Care has been taken to place parking for the cancer center close to the facility, according to Mark Loukides of Beebe Healthcare.
“When you come out of treatment, you don't want to be in the sun, you don't want to be outside, you just want to get in your car and go home,” he said.
The committee also voted unanimously to recommend approval of subdivision of 27 acres of land in Millville By the Sea for the project. Town Engineer Andrew Lyons Jr. of George, Miles & Buhr clarified some language regarding buffer requirements for the committee.
In another matter regarding buffers, the developer asked for a variance from the required 75-foot buffer around the site in order to construct a garden outside the windows of the cancer center. The garden would “clip the corner” of the buffer, Harman said.
Town Manager and Planning Committee Member Debbie Botchie said 0.2 percent of the buffer would be encroached upon by the garden.
Although public hearings were held after each presentation, no objections or comments were made by members of the public.
The site will also include three ponds with fountains.
Loukides said the emergency-care area will include 10 “fast-track” beds and 14 regular emergency-department beds. The cancer treatment center will provide all the same services as the Tunnell Cancer Center in Lewes, Loukides said.
Committee recommends site plan for office
In other business, the planning committee voted 3-0 to recommend a preliminary site plan for an office for Sea Studio Architects. Owner Scott Edmonston appeared before the committee with his wife and co-owner, Jennifer Edmonston. Scott Edmonston told the members that the couple plans to renovate the existing building located on Route 26 across from the Ocean View Post Office.
Sea Studio Architects will specialize in “sustainable environmental design” Edmonston said, and the couple intends for their office to be a “showpiece” for clients to see what kind of work they can do.
The renovation will not change the footprint of the existing building. The property is zoned C-1 (commercial).
Botchie said the proposed use fits with the Town's vision for the Route 26 corridor.
“Eventually all those residential uses are going to go away,” she said.
By Kerin Magill