One of the largest subdivisions presented recently in the county has received unanimous preliminary approval from Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Shingle Point Properties LLC and Natelli Communities has plans for Azalea Woods, a 610 single-family-lot cluster subdivision on 316 acres between Shingle Point Road and Gravel Hill Road north of Route 9 between Georgetown and Milton.
The commission had delayed action for further review of the application at its Dec. 12 meeting, but that review took only another week with the vote occurring at its Dec. 19 meeting.
Making the motion for preliminary approval, Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson said conditions placed on the project help as much as possible to mitigate the traffic impact the development will have on nearby roads, particularly Route 9.
She said Delaware Department of Transportation officials are requiring extensive improvements to nearby roadways. “In addition, this approval contains phasing of housing construction so that road improvements are on pace with housing construction,” she said.
No more than 70 building permits will be issued per year.
Hoey Stevenson said the site plan contains superior-design elements: sidewalks on both sides of all streets, a minimum 30-foot forested or vegetated buffer around the property perimeter, minimum 50-foot buffers from protected wetlands, central water and sewer service, and 162 acres, or 51 percent, open space, which includes 80 acres of preserved woodlands.
“The substantial amount of open space and forest preservation could not be achieved within a standard subdivision,” Hoey Stevenson said.
All lots must be at least 50 feet from the boundary of the property, and boundary areas adjacent to other properties must be permanently marked to deter trespassing.
Amenities will include a pool, clubhouse, tot lots, playground, gathering areas – including five neighborhood parks averaging 8,000 square feet – and four pickleball courts. All amenities must be constructed and open to residents before the issuance of the 250th building permit.
The developer must submit a revised preliminary site plan for approval by the county planning and zoning office followed by submission of a final site plan for review and approval by the county planning and zoning commission.
“While this is a large subdivision, this is preferable to several smaller independent subdivisions with no interconnectivity or integrated design,” Hoey Stevenson said.
Road improvements planned
The site plan includes entrances off Shingle Point Road across from Briarwood Lane and Gravel Hill Road across from Pettyjohn Road. An entrance is not planned along Route 9.
Several developer-funded road improvements will be required by DelDOT. Those include turn and through lanes at the Shingle Point/Briarwood Lane intersection with a 10-foot, shared-use path along the frontage of the property, and turn and through lanes at the Gravel Hill Road/Pettyjohn Road intersection with a shared-used path along Gravel Hill Road.
Shingle Point Road will be improved with 11-foot travel lanes and a 5-foot shoulder along the frontage of the property.
The developer will also fund improvements at the Shingle Point Road/Route 9 intersection, including turn lanes.
DelDOT will require the developer to contribute funding to two scheduled projects in the area, including the Georgetown Gateway project to realign the Route 9/Airport Road/Sand Hill Road intersection near the Georgetown CHEER facility and funding to the Park Avenue relocation-Route 9 intersection improvement projects. The amount of funding will be determined by DelDOT officials based on traffic impact from the subdivision.