The owners of the property at the corner of Savannah Road and Cape Henlopen Drive are seeking to rezone the property to residential.
The property contains two parcels, amounting to 0.6 acres of open, undeveloped land. A pizza shop once stood on the parcel, but it was demolished last year.
Mayor and city council sent the rezoning request to the planning commission. It is expected to be considered in March.
Rick Quill, a part-owner of the property, had once envisioned a restaurant on the property and even went so far as to petition city officials to allow second-floor restaurants in the general commercial zone. In September, council added second-floor restaurants to the list of permitted uses via a conditional use.
However, Quill and his business partners had a change of plans and will now seek a residential use for the property.
“We feel it’s an organic, evolving situation down there,” he said. “We feel it’s an honor that we have some control over that property.”
After taking a hard look at the impact of a restaurant on the neighboring community, he said, they determined residential was more appropriate. For a restaurant to be successful in that spot, he said, a restaurateur would likely need to have late-night hours and serve alcohol.
“We feel a restaurant would change the dynamics of that corner significantly,” he said. “That area attracts young families in the summertime … people coming from restaurants are going to Two Dips and Dairy Queen.”