Real estate development company Convergence Communities has filed a request for annexation with the town of Milton that would lead to the building of a mixed residential/commercial development that would eventually contain 1,350 units and 60,000 square feet of commercial space.
Milton Town Council will discuss a resolution to send the proposed annexation to the Special Review Committee at council’s 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 12 meeting at Milton library.
The development, to be called The Granary at Draper Farm, would be located on 450 acres of land between Sand Hill Road and Gravel Hill Road. The property is owned by the Cox family, and is being developed by Colby Cox, a founder of Convergence Communities, which is based in Jackson, Wyo.
Cox is a native of Delaware, and the company has done projects in Sussex County, including Ocean View Beach Club in Ocean View and The Villages at Red Mill Pond near Lewes. Cox said the idea for developing the land dates back to 2004, when he and his grandfather discussed it, but it ultimately did not happen. After the land passed to his mother, Cox said the family decided now was the time.
He said the town’s comprehensive development plan identifies the land as a potential growth area, and it is the family’s intention to develop slowly. The timeline for development is to start in late 2022 or early 2023; Cox said it will likely take 20 years for the development to be completely built out. He said the reason for that is to balance growth with the amount of infrastructure investment required to make the development work.
“Twenty years seems like the right time frame to grow in a methodical and smart way, so the town can grow along with us,” Cox said.
Mayor Ted Kanakos said he would prefer to see growth limited to no more than 60 homes per year over a period of 20 years. He said this would allow the town to manage growth while the developer is still able to make money every year.
About 65 percent of the residential units will be single-family homes, with the rest planned to be townhomes. The development would also include 55 acres devoted to ballfields and parks, and a bicycle and pedestrian trail system. Convergence Communities would be responsible for building all the water, sewer and streets, which will be dedicated to the town upon completion.
Cox said he did not have any big plans for the commercial component of the development. He said while there would be dedicated space for commercial development, there are no potential tenants lined up at this time.
“If there’s an opportunity down the road, we will look to put it in,” Cox said.
The first step in making the development a reality would be the annexation process, which would first go to Milton Town Council, which will then send the matter to the special review committee to determine the pros and cons of annexation. Cox said he anticipates beginning meetings with the town in the next 90 days. The committee would then forward a report to council recommending either to move forward or deny annexation.
At the same time, Convergence Communities will have to go through Milton Planning and Zoning Commission review for recommendations on zoning and whether to amend the comprehensive plan to reflect the new use of the parcel. Cox said the intention is to apply for an R-2 residential zoning classification with a large-parcel development overlay. He said this would allow for flexibility on lot sizes and setbacks that would support a more open development with additional public spaces.
“It gives us flexibility with more dynamic designs,” Cox said. “We can match the community to the existing town.”
For more information about The Granary at Draper Farm, go to bit.ly/3dTCXUb