Milton planners approve DEStorage permit

Annexation review to begin Sept. 1
August 26, 2022

The Milton Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved Aug. 16 a special permitted use for DEStorage LLC that will allow the self-storage provider to move forward with site-plan review on a proposed storage complex at Route 16 and Palmer Street Extended.

The commission’s approval came with a number of conditions attached, in addition to DEStorage needing Milton officials to annex a half-acre portion of the seven-acre parcel. 

The proposed facility would comprise two 40,000-square-foot and two 20,000-square-foot buildings. Jamie Sechdel, engineer for DEStorage, said the two large buildings would be two stories and have an access road that would enable access to the second floor. The larger two-story buildings would front Route 16, while the other two buildings, one story each, would be built on the back side of the property. Sechdel said there would be stormwater management ponds on the front side of the facility facing Route 16. He said the plan is to build the two-story buildings first. 

The facility will also have an office building, a gated entrance and stormwater retention ponds on the front and back of the property. The parcel is located in the C-1 commercial zoning district, where a storage facility is a special permitted use requiring approval from planning and zoning. 

One objection to the proposal came from Jim Parker, who owns the adjacent property that includes Beaches Seafood, a car wash and a 10,000-square-foot storage facility. Parker said if the DEStorage facility goes through, combined with a three-story storage facility proposed to be built on Route 16 between Union and Mulberry streets, it would give Route 16 three storage facilities within two-tenths of a mile. 

Parker, who lives in Millsboro, said, “I’m not a person to complain about growth. I think it's important. Route 16 is the primary commercial corridor for the Town of Milton. But if we keep taking what’s left out there and putting it in mini-storage, we’ll all be able to have a unit apiece.”

Other concerns raised included security around the site, lighting and the portion of the land currently outside Milton. 

On the last point, Town Solicitor Seth Thompson and Chair Richard Trask agreed the special permitted use could move forward since nothing can be built until annexation happens. Thompson said the commission could make DEStorage come back for a second special permitted use on the land should it see fit. Ultimately, the commission made the annexation and rezoning of the parcel a condition of the special-use permit approval. 

The annexation is set to be taken up by the special review committee, which will hold its first hearing on the application at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1, at Milton library. 

On lighting and security concerns, Commissioner George Cardwell recommended including screening, fencing and lighting in the commission’s conditions for approval.

DEStorage started in 1974 and has storage facilities in Rehoboth Beach, Dover, Milford, Millsboro, Seaford, Smyrna and New Garden, Pa., with another under construction in Georgetown.


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