Milton planners approve special use, preliminary site plan for Royal Farms

October 21, 2021

Milton Planning and Zoning Commission has unanimously approved a special-use permit and preliminary site plans for a proposed Royal Farms on a 2-acre site at the corner of Route 16 and Union Street Extended.

The special-use permit was required by Milton code because a gas station and convenience store is a special permitted use within a C-1 commercial district, allowed with approval by the planning commission. With preliminary site-plan approval, Royal Farms can now complete plans with further detail before bringing them back for final site-plan approval from the commission. After that approval, Royal Farms could seek permits and begin construction. 

The commission began discussions on the request for the special-use permit and preliminary site-plan approval in September, but commissioners held off on a decision until a traffic-impact study on the site was completed. Royal Farms representatives presented the study findings to the commission Oct. 19. 

Royal Farms is seeking to build a 5,100-square-foot convenience store with gas pumps on the lot. Entrances to the property are planned from Cedar Creek Road and Route 16.

In its traffic study, Delaware Department of Transportation has recommended allowing right-in, right-out and left-out traffic access for the parcel from Route 16, meaning there would be no left-hand turns into the property. Royal Farms would be responsible for putting in a left-hand turn lane on Route 16. DelDOT officials recommended allowing for all access into and out of the property from Cedar Creek Road. 

To allow room for a left-hand turn into the parcel from Cedar Creek Road, DelDOT and Royal Farms are negotiating with a nearby property owner for an easement to widen the road. 

Parking would be located on the west side of the property with additional parking in front of the store and behind the gas pumps, which would front Route 16. Royal Farms would install pedestrian crossings across Route 16 and Cedar Creek Road. 

According to DelDOT’s study, the Royal Farms would add 108 new trips during peak a.m. hours, 86 new trips during peak p.m. hours and 82 new trips during peak Saturday hours. 

The next step for Royal Farms will be seeking variances from the board of adjustment regarding parking and minimum setback requirements. Royal Farms is seeking to have parking in the front setback area – normally prohibited in town code – and to have that parking within the code-required minimum 50-foot setback area. The board’s next scheduled meeting has not yet been announced. 

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