Milton planners give final approval to Royal Farms

Plans to break ground this summer
May 19, 2023

The Milton Planning and Zoning Commission gave unanimous approval May 16 to the final site plan for Royal Farms at the corner of Route 16 and Union Street Extended, paving the way for the convenience store and gas station to begin construction.

Representatives from Royal Farms told the commission the tentative plan is for Royal Farms to break ground this summer. 

The Royal Farms will include a 4,700-square-foot convenience store and a 5,100-square-foot area for gas pumps with a canopy over top. The project will also include intersection improvements on both Route 16/Cedar Creek Road and Route 16/Union Street Extended, which include turn lanes, reconfiguring the traffic signal and pedestrian walkways.

The commission approved a special-use permit and the preliminary site plan for the project in October 2021, and Royal Farms asked for and received an extension of those approvals in October 2022. Much of the delay was waiting for approval from state and local agencies, primarily the Delaware Department of Transportation in getting the intersection improvements cleared. 

James Taylor, an engineer with Duffield Associates on behalf of Royal Farms, said the only real change to the proposal is a reduction in the square footage of the convenience store by 446 square feet, which allowed for an expansion of the pedestrian access around the building. Taylor said Royal Farms has met various conditions imposed by the commission related to landscaping, installing crosswalks at Route 16/Union Street Extended and complying with conditions imposed by the board of adjustment. In March 2022, the board approved variances for Royal Farms to have a 20-foot parking setback from Route 16 and a 25-foot pylon sign on Route 16.

The two-acre parcel for the Royal Farms was part of a greater seven-plus-acre parcel that was annexed into Milton in December 2020, then partitioned in July 2021. 

For the commission, final site-plan approval is generally a formality, as the heavy lifting of agency approvals has been done. Besides technical questions, the main question from commissioners was regarding the timetable for intersection improvements. 

While that is still to be determined, Taylor said the plan is to have a phased approach that will be coordinated with DelDOT.

Another question was regarding a historic pecan tree at the corner of Route 16 and Union Street Extended. While the tree is planned for removal, Commissioner Andy Gogates said an arrangement has been made to send a section of the tree to the Milton Historical Society to trace its age and connect it to the history of Milton.


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