Milton planners put off decision on Cannery Village III

Commission seeks clarification on development entrance
July 25, 2023

The Milton Planning and Zoning Commission chose to leave the public record open as part of its preliminary site-plan review of Phase 3B of Cannery Village.

This phase of Cannery Village will be located on a parcel located at the intersection of Cave Neck Road and Sam Lucas Road, adjacent to Dogfish Head’s truck entrance. The proposed 96-unit development would comprise four three-story buildings with 24 units per building and eight units per floor. In June, town council approved a proposed change to Cannery Village’s master plan, allowing for three floors and a building height of 44 feet, 4 inches.

The biggest roadblock for the commission at its July 18 meeting was the entrance to the property, which is currently slated to be off Cave Neck Road. Chair Richard Trask echoed the thoughts of the commission when he said he would rather see the entrance off Sam Lucas Road, which is less heavily traveled. The commission made clear to Brock Parker, engineer for the project representing applicant LC Management, that they do not believe an entrance off Cave Neck Road is safe, as cars trying to get into the development would compete not only with other cars on Cave Neck, but also with trucks delivering to Dogfish Head. 

In addition, the commission raised concerns about the development not having handicap-accessible ramps and proper crosswalk markings, a tot lot for children, and landscaping and lighting plans.

The commission also took into account comments from Bryan Muzik, who recently purchased a home that would be across Sam Lucas Road from the Cannery Village development. Muzik said he’s very concerned about the effect the development would have on his property with the additional traffic and what are, in effect, rental units next to his house. 

Parker said the use of the property is consistent with its zoning, which is residential with a large-parcel development overlay. Regarding the entrance, Parker suggested putting the ball in Delaware Department of Transportation’s court and letting them weigh in on the issue. While that was fine with the commission, the big issue for the planners was how to move forward.

Town code requires the commission to make a decision within 30 days of the closure of public record. That means should a hearing be closed, the commission could only table a decision once. While Parker encouraged the commission to grant preliminary approval, as many of the questions could be answered prior to final approval, the commission did not want to move forward without clarification on the entrance. Trask said the commission could not grant preliminary site-plan approval to site plans that could look entirely different after state agency review. 

So, the commission elected to leave the public record open, giving LC Management time to make adjustments to plans, before letting the application move forward. 

Planning and zoning’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 15.


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