Scarlet Oaks project sent to review committee

Developer proposing annexation of 50 acres for 163 homes
December 14, 2021

A proposed annexation of 50 acres on Harbeson Road into Milton has been sent to the town’s special review committee for formal review.

The parcel, located across Harbeson Road from Mariner Middle School and Heritage Creek, would be developed as Scarlet Oaks, a 163-unit residential development, should the land be annexed.

At Milton Town Council’s Dec. 6 meeting, attorney Tim Willard, representing developer Ribera Development of Millersville, Md., and property owner The Company Store of Charlotte, N.C., said his clients are seeking an R-1 residential zoning with a large-parcel development overlay, which allows for additional flexibility in terms of home design, setbacks, pedestrian access and potential light commercial uses. The development would consist of single-family attached and detached homes, and include a clubhouse and recreation area as well as walking paths.

Willard said at this point, plans are just conceptual and could change as the town review process moves along. He said development of this parcel is part of the town’s future land-use area in the comprehensive development plan.

Willard said the concept does not include a commercial component, although there will be a bed and breakfast built on an adjacent parcel that will tie into the development. He said the property will have a single entrance on Shingle Point Road, although the Delaware Department of Transportation has not yet weighed in on the plans. Willard said no entrance is planned off Harbeson Road at this time, but that could change if DelDOT determines one should be there. He said the wooded areas around the proposed development would remain in place, and there are no wetlands on the property.

Town council members’ main questions were about the placement of trees in the development. Plans include planting new trees along the property borders on Shingle Point Road and Harbeson Road. Willard said the name Scarlet Oaks is a reference to the tree, which is indigenous to the eastern United States. 

The annexation request will now head to the special review committee, which will hold a series of meetings to determine the pros and cons of the proposed annexation and conduct a cost/benefit analysis. Testimony will be taken from the developer, police and fire officials, utilities providers such as water and sewer, town staff and the public in order to form a report on whether to recommend that town council approve the annexation. 

The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 16, although an agenda has not yet been released. 

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