Milton council sets hearing date for Granary annexation

Waivers granted to Cypress Grove, warehouse projects
January 18, 2022

Milton Town Council will hold a public hearing Monday, Feb. 7, on the proposed annexation and zoning classification for the 450-acre, 1,350-unit development to be known as The Granary at Draper Farm.

Following the public hearing, council could move forward with approving the annexation and R-2 residential with a large-parcel development overlay zoning, paving the way for the project to move to the Milton Planning and Zoning Commission for preliminary site-plan review.

The development would be located on a tract of farmland on Sand Hill Road. Development would be phased in over a 20-year period, although the pace of development would be influenced by market forces. Developer Convergence Communities has planned for 65 percent of the units to be single-family homes and 35 percent townhouses.

Plans also include 60,000 square feet of commercial space, a working granary, a small brewery, 55 acres of park land to be turned over to the town for public use, and biking and walking trails, which would include a tunnel underneath Sand Hill Road to connect with the Rails To Trails.

Cypress Grove receives curb waiver

Town council at its Jan. 10 meeting unanimously approved a waiver from curbing requirements for Cypress Grove, a proposed 240-unit development located on 26 acres at the corner of Route 16 and Country Road.

The developer, Milton Attainable Housing LLC, envisions entrances to the parcel from Route 16 and from Bay Road, which runs behind the development. The developer has agreed to widen Bay Road where it runs past the development from 18-20 feet wide to 22 feet wide. Engineer Zach Crouch said there will also be a sidewalk along Bay Road and a swale installed for drainage.

Crouch said putting curbs in would negatively impact drainage coming into the swale. Drainage from Bay Road would be connected to Cypress Grove’s stormwater management system. 

The development will consist of 14 apartment-style buildings with 12 to 24 units in each building, as well as five acres of commercial space fronting Route 16, two dog runs, a walking path, electric vehicle charging stations, and entrances on both Route 16 and Bay Road. The 26-acre parcel was annexed into Milton in December 2020. 

Milton Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved final site plans for the project Dec. 21, with the conditions that the electric charging stations be shown on the plans and that Milton Attainable Housing gets its waiver from council. Preston Schell, one of the principals of Milton Attainable Housing, said construction is slated to begin sometime within the first quarter of this year.

Warehouse project granted waiver

Town council also granted a waiver from curbing and sidewalk requirements to C&R Electric as part of the construction of a 5,500-square-foot warehouse on a lot at the corner of Route 16 and Bennett Road.

The site was formerly home to an M&T Bank that was recently demolished, and C&R, based in Maryland, plans to build the warehouse to store equipment that can be picked up and taken to job sites in Delaware. C&R plans to have two full-time employees at the warehouse with three more coming and going from the site.  

The waivers were a condition of final site-plan approval from planning and zoning; C&R has planned to use the existing access on Bennett Road to get in and out of the property. 

Crouch said if C&R were to try to add sidewalks and curbs, they would not be able to build the warehouse. He said Bennett Road is also too small to put in a sidewalk or curbs. 

“The existing conditions and the site constraints limit what you can and can’t do with this property,” he said.

Councilwoman Randi Meredith was the most skeptical about granting the waivers, primarily the waivers from sidewalk requirements. Meredith said there is no safe pedestrian access near the property and the parcel is large enough to accommodate a sidewalk. Crouch reiterated that putting a sidewalk at the site was not feasible. 

Council moved to grant the waiver, but not in perpetuity, meaning that should conditions change, C&R might be required to put in sidewalks and curbs. With that, Meredith agreed to vote for the waivers, albeit reluctantly, she said.

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