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Lewes, Delaware
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March 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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March 28, 1997
 

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River Milton Continued from page 12 presentation was complete, he fielded questions and comments regarding the authenticity of the projected number of potential buyers, the intent of the develop- ers to abide by proposed restric- tions and the character of town council members if petitioned by "buddies" to do their bidding. Matter of trust At one point, Brian F. Dolan, at- torney for the deAntonio Group, said, -''I'm hearing that you don't know us and you don't trust us. We are not fom here." There was little dispute with his statement. Owner of a neighbor- ing property, Libby Zando, point- ed out that deAntonio has never made an effort to meet with Mil- ton residents, and he has not at- tended any previous planning and zoning meetings regarding River Milton. She commented that those property owners bordering the deAntonio Group properties es- tablished their homes there with the knowledge that they abutted land zoned R- 1. In response, Dolan and deAnto- nio representative, Walt Bryan, said that, under R-1 restrictions, the allowed houses on the 16+ acres is 65, four to an acre; the same density that River Milton is willing to be restricted to. It is the opinion of the developers that the cluster layout allowed in R-3, in- cluding landscaped green areas and planted buffer zones, is less intrusive on the land and more in keeping with the Milton commu- nity. And, they believe that the layout and style of houses will ap- peal to homebuyers willing to spend more than $100,000 for a home. Robert Blayney, Zando's husband and in-coming town council member, expressed con- cern that covenants restricting the density to an average of four homes per acre, might not convey to a new owner. Restrictions proposed James Fuqua, attorney for the Town of Milton, said that restric- tions run with the land, and any subsequent owner is bound by them. River Milton developers state that they are willing to im- pose restrictive covenants regard- ing housing density upon submis- sion of their site plan if they get approval of their request for zon- ing change. The restrictions could only be modified with the ap- proval of town council and the majority of the property owners in River Milton. After continued stated concerns over the lack of guarantees that the restrictions would hold, Bryan stated, "I don't know anything more sacred than a covenant in a deed." He also pointed out that the deAntonio Group has invested more than $300,000 in land purchases, de- velopment costs and fees to attor- neys, consultants and architects. 'Where were concerns regarding traffic, population density and im- pact on the land." he said. "The deAntonio Group has put up a lot of money to alleviate these con- cerns. I don't see where a lack of trust comes into it." Even though Fuqua questioned the ability of the deAntonio Group to restrict homes in River Milton to owner-occupied only, Bryan stated that as another condition of buying property there. Dolan and Bryan said that homes will only be built as they are sold; and there will be no mass building with the possibility of having houses sit unsold and empty for some time. After public comment portion of the hearing closed, commis- sioners discussed the possibility of creating another residential zoning category that would apply to such proposals as River Milton. Fuqua agreed that there is the pos- sibility of creating a new catego- ry; however, he pointed out that the commissioners still have to re- spond to the application as sub- mitted by River Milton. The town's attorney also point- ed out that developers requesting a change from R-1 to R-3 usually want to increase the density of home units on their property, but this is not the case of River Mil- ton. "The applicants are not look- ing for increased density," Fuqua said. "They could ask for up to two times the density as allowed in Rol, but that's not what they want. They want the flexibility to build duplexes, use cluster arrangements and keep open spaces." Bridging the gap? Dean Sherman, planning and zoning commissioner, said that it boils down to residents not trust- ing the deAntonio Group, regard- less of what they are proposing. "They don't trust them. Basical- ly, all the worries are the same with R-1 and R-3. The installation of streets, the sewer load, all those things are the same," Sherman said. "Our purpose isto try and bridge the gap [of trust]." Linda Rogers, chair of the com- mission, wondered if the town might consider single family resi- dential zoning that would allow for cluster housing. She reminded commissioners that Milton will want to annex properties in the fu- tore, and these are the kind of is- sues w'dl have to be addressed. Even as the commission decid- ed to defer making a recommen- dation that evening, Sherman re- minded them, "This is the third time these developers have tried. They want to make their money. I can appreciate that." The deAntonio Group has been before the planning and zoning commission three times, however, falling to receive a recommenda- tion for approval, they have not gone to town council for a ruling. If applicants are turned down by town council, they must wait a minimum of six months before reapplying. Failure to gain a rec- ommendation for approval from the planning and zoning commis- sion does not carry a time restraint on reapplying. Rogers said that the commissioners would request to meet with council members at the April 23 workshop, and they would make a recommendation after that meeting. Homeowners pitch alternative access proposal in Silver Lake path issue By Jen Ellingsworth Superior Court Judge Henley Graves listened as the counsel of homeowners seeking to vacate a 50 X 187' pathway bordering their properties put an offer for an alternate access route on the table during closing remarks on Wednesday, March 26. Attorney William Manning, who represents the homeOwners, said the new package presented by his clients was "born because of Judge Graves' remarks about ex- clusion" at the full hearing held Thursday, March 6. Manning submitted to the court a summary of the organization and responsibilities of a proposed "South Silver Lake Maintenance Corporation," a "non-stock corpo- ration managed by the owners of the four lots bordering the right- of-way, a representative of the Delaware Department of Trans- portation (DelDOT) or another Continued on page 1 Sometimes, . r Kids say it Best. Mark A. Rossington II is a 9 year oM attending East Millsboro Elementary School. Mrs. Colleen Schrimshaw, his teache/ gave the class an assignment on advertising, and this is what he created/We think Mark did a great job THANK YOU, MARK.