Scarlet Oaks goes before state review

Development would add 163 homes to Milton
March 28, 2022

State agencies weighed in March 23 on a proposed development in Milton currently seeking annexation into town.

The state’s Preliminary Land Use Service held a public hearing on Scarlet Oaks, a 163-unit development proposed to be built on a 50-acre site on Harbeson Road across from Mariner Middle School. The annexation is currently being reviewed by Milton’s Special Review Committee with Scarlet Oaks also scheduled to be subject to concept review by the Milton Planning and Zoning Commission.

Mark Davidson, engineer for Scarlet Oaks, said the land is currently owned by a Charlotte, N.C.-based LLC, The Company Store, with developer John Stamato set to become the contract purchaser of the property.

Davidson said the development would have 75 single-family detached houses located along the boundary of the parcel with 88 single-family townhomes on the interior. Scarlet Oaks is seeking an R-1 residential zoning classification with a large-parcel development overlay. Davidson said the zoning is in line with a similar zoning at the Heritage Creek development across Harbeson Road from Scarlet Oaks. He said development of the parcel is noted in Milton’s future land-use map in the town’s comprehensive development plan.

Davidson said the LPD overlay would provide a diversity of housing styles, affordable homes and smaller lots, allowing for more open space. He said there are currently nine acres of woods on the parcel, three of which are slated to be removed to make way for the development. However, Davidson said, the concept could be further refined to allow for more of the woods to be kept. 

He said there are no wetlands on the parcel, although the plan is to have constructed wetlands to help with stormwater management. Davidson said there would be landscaping around the parcel on Shingle Point Road and Harbeson Road to provide a buffer from the roadways. He said traffic studies are ongoing, but that there are plans for a shared-use path on Shingle Point Road and Harbeson Road. 

State agency representatives then weighed in with comments.

Steve Bayer of Delaware Department of Transportation said state law says that no new billboards could be erected on the site and the site access must conform with DelDOT standards. He said the development would generate 1,400 vehicle trips per day. Bayer suggested there should be a dedicated right of way that would connect with other properties noted on the plans.

Jared Kauffman of DART said there should be a pedestrian access way to get into the development from Harbeson Road. 

Clare Quinlan of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control encouraged the developers to reduce the amount of tree removal to help with stormwater management, maintain open space and prevent wildlife displacement. She also suggested Scarlet Oaks include electric vehicle charging stations and install solar panels on the homes. 

PLUS will now formalize the agency comments into a written report. Milton’s Special Review Committee has paused its review of the project until the PLUS report comes out, with committee members saying that the report is important in forming their recommendation to the town council on whether to approve the annexation. The committee has until Monday, May 2, to deliver its report. 


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