Millville approves revised Dove Point development plan

Date Published: 
Dec. 15, 2017

After several approval extensions requested by its builders in the past 10 years, the Millville Town Council at its Tuesday, Dec. 12, meeting approved the construction of 316 homes in the Dove Point development.

The final site plan for Dove Point was approved by the council in December 2007. The first extension was granted to Beazer Homes in February 2011; the most recent extension was requested in December 2016, but the council denied it, asking the developer to come back with a fresh plan.

Dove Point is located east of Route 26, adjacent to Burbage Road and Route 17.

The original plans for Dove Landing called for 140 single-family homes, 142 townhouses and 120 condominiums. In the plan approved by the council this week, the condo units have been dropped, and the single-family units have increased to 171 and townhouses to 145.

The recession of 2007 caused many area developers to put projects on the back burner, and subsequent changes in the housing market has brought adjustments in the configuration of many of those developments over the intervening years. Beazer, for its part, began the nearby Bishop’s Landing development and focused its attention there while the Dove Landing project was at a standstill.

In addition to the reduction in housing density, the new plan calls for 96 additional head-in parking spaces throughout the development — 36 near the development’s amenities, such as the pool and clubhouse, and 60 more that will be interspersed through the development near pocket parks, according to Beazer Homes representative Steve Marsh.

Changes have also been made to the development’s clubhouse and pool, increasing the size of each, Marsh said. After substantially increasing the size of the clubhouse, to 3,900 square feet, Marsh said, “We feel very confident that it’s sized appropriately.” He said Beazer plans to open the amenities by May 2019.

The planned pocket parks will include facilities for bocce ball, lawn games and horseshoes, as well as a dog park and a community garden, Marsh said. A mail kiosk has also been added to the plans.

Marsh added that right-of-way will be available for a connection between Dove Point and a neighboring parcel, for which a Home Depot store and a strip shopping center have been proposed.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, a public hearing was held on the final plans, and some residents of Bishop’s Landing expressed concerns about the impact of construction at Dove Point on their neighborhood. Marsh assured them that steps will be taken to lessen the impact, such as shortening a planned road adjacent to Dove Landing townhouses and planting a landscaped buffer.

The council voted 5-0 to approve the plans.

The council also held a public hearing on a proposal to change the way it approves building permits for additions, such as porches, patios and decks. The change would add patios and decks to the list of additions that would be allowed to extend no farther than 5 feet past the setback line on the property.

That brought concerns from several residents who felt that the potential for a patio or deck being limited to 5 feet in depth was unfair.

Members of the council, as well as Town Manager Deborah Botchie, explained that the change is part of a townwide effort to reduce impacts of adding impervious surfaces, which can increase problems with flooding and runoff.

“It’s a situation,” Botchie said. “We’ve had to deal with this for quite some time.”

One of the major issues has been residents building patios with pavers that are installed permanently in the ground, as opposed to being placed on a base of sand or other surface that allows water to disperse into the ground.

The council tabled a move to change the fee structure for building permits, to potentially double the fees when permits are not obtained until after a structure is built. The council plans to revisit that issue at its January workshop meeting.

In other business, the council approved a grant of nearly $77,000 for the Millville Volunteer Fire Company. The grant is based on funds the Town has collected specifically for the fire company, as specified in a 2015 resolution that added a $500 impact fee for any new construction in the town.

The funds are earmarked for the MVFC’s capital expenditures relating to outdated facilities or equipment used for daily operations, or to purchase capital items that enhance the fire and ambulance services’ operations.

MVFC President Clarke Droney told the council that the funds will be used to repair the fire station’s roof, upgrade its exterior doors and upgrade lighting to more efficient LED-style lights in the fire house.

The council approved the grant 4-0, with Councilman Steve Maneri abstaining.