Woodlands of Pepper Creek inches closer to development

On Monday night, Jan. 22, the Dagsboro Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) recommended to the town council approval of the final site plan for the Woodlands of Pepper’s Creek, a community consisting of 48 twin-homes just off Main Street.

The developers had met with P&Z at a Jan. 3 meeting and complied with requests set forth by the URS and the P&Z, which included that the streets within the community be built to public standards and be made available for public use, and the entrance easement on Main Street be DelDOT approved.

Furthermore, Mark Chura, director of projects and management for Ocean Atlantic Agency (OAA), assured them that the trail system will be paved with blacktop and widened from 4 feet to 6 feet, allowing easier access for wheelchairs and bicycles, as requested by the council. The trail will be incorporated into the neighboring Katie Helm Park, as well.

The vote came 5-0 to approve the final site, but not without hesitation.

“I think it’s going to be a nightmare,” said concerned Council Member Patti Adams, in reference to the safety of traffic at the neighborhood’s entrance. Due to DelDOT’s approval, though, there is little that P&Z and the town council can do, noted P&Z chair Marge Eckard.

Dagsboro town solicitor Rob Witsil told Eckard, “The die has been cast for you by your predecessors, who approved a preliminary site plan approval. Once that occurred — regardless of whether you believe their considerations were proper or improper — all the applicant needs to do at this stage is dot the I’s and cross the T’s and to receive proper agency approvals. The council is dealing with the cards that have been dealt.”

Witsil noted that the plan is satisfactory with all compliances.

Council members stressed that they wish to have all considerations that were discussed be upheld and initiated by OAA.

“You have our assurance,” stated Chura, “that we will comply with every condition and we will continue to look toward the town and the public opinions during our development as close as we can.”

Also at the meeting, the scheduled discussion concerning applications for two vacant spots on the P&Z was tabled to the next council meeting, as one of the applicants was not present. Benjamin Parkinson, who was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting, and Lisa Boyle have been recommended for approval of the vacant P&Z positions.

The two spots were made available when members Terry Hearn and Norwood Truitt were selected to serve on town council in December. The next town council meeting will be Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Bethel Center on Clayton Street.