Milton’s Cannery Village punch list reviewed

Developer to complete or repair several items
Blake Thompson, a principal with Chestnut Properties developer of Cannery Village in Milton, updates residents and town council on items in the community that will soon be repaired or constructed. Company and town officials will meet on Monday, April 23, to discuss details. BY HENRY J. EVANS JR.
April 18, 2014

Streets in Milton’s Cannery Village remain unpaved, one of many items resident of the community have long awaited.

Developer Blake Thompson says progress is underway on items in need of repair and work should soon begin on aspects that haven’t been started.

Thompson, a principal with Cannery Village developer Chestnut Properties, said the company hired an independent contractor to make a list of work remaining to be done.

Thompson told Milton Mayor and Town Council at the panel’s April 7 meeting the contractor provided a list of hundreds of items including things that have not yet been started.

“We met with the mayor, vice mayor and public works officials, went over the lists and focused on the new,” Thompson said.

“We all want to see the streets paved and do it right so we can live happily ever after,” he said.

He said Chestnut Properties hired Pennoni Associates Inc., consulting engineers, and paid them $10,000 to develop an updated and revised punch list.

Thompson said Pennoni also included a list of items that would improve the community.

A.P. Croll & Sons, one of the community’s original contractors, completed street paving the company had been paid for, Thompson said.

Thompson said builders Ryan Homes and NVHomes talked Chestnut Properties into using a traditional neighborhood design, or TND.

The design is intended to remedy problems associated with suburban expansion– low-density, automobile-oriented, and lacking in context and distinction as a unique community.

TNDs require dense residential blocks – quarter-acre and smaller lots – to create an internally oriented neighborhood.

“We though it was very pretty, very unique. If things had moved faster we would have been done,” Thompson said.

He said the nation’s financial crash, which began around 2007, slowed the development’s progress.

Thompson apologized for potholes homeowners have lived with and thanked them for their patience.

Milton’s Cannery Village ad hoc signage committee submitted an April 7 report on new signs that have been installed at the end of sidewalks to clearly identify street addresses where several homes face a common pocket park.

As requested by Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, signs have also been attached to existing street name signs with pocket parks.

The signs direct emergency responders to the home’s front entrance, eliminating confusion about where assistance is needed.

Garages of each Cannery Village home now have signs bearing the name of the street the home is on and the house number.

When Cannery Village was given final approval about 11 years ago, the town did not require a performance bond.

The developers, town officials and residents have had differing opinions on whether the company should have been required to post a performance bond.

Had a performance bond been required, Chestnut Properties would have been required to forfeit bond money to pay for work that had not been done in a predetermined time period.

Chestnut Properties has consistently stated that the town’s subdivision ordinance does not apply to Cannery Village because the community was approved as a large parcel development.

The developer has also argued that a condition of large parcel development is no performance bond is required.

Meeting set

Chestnut Properties representatives will meet with Milton Mayor and Town Council at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 21 at the Milton Public Library, to continue discussing punch list items that must be completed or corrected before the town adopts Cannery Village streets.

Items include street paving, repairing or installing sidewalks and curbing, including handicap-accessible ramps.