Byers Ford is looking to expand its current footprint in Delaware with the addition of three parcels totaling 3.25 acres located directly north and east of its existing location. During Wednesday’s meeting of the Delaware Planning Commission, a concept review was held for Byers’ proposal to add a commercial vehicle service building and space for vehicle parking.
Located at 1101 Columbus Pike, the existing Byers Ford property is zoned B-3 Community Business District. The additional acreage, which spans the west side of Havens Road, is also zoned B-3.
“Overall, I believe the proposal here does fit within the Delaware Together Comprehensive Plan, especially when you drive up and down this immediate stretch of Stratford Road,” interim Planning and Community Development Director Jordan Selmek said of the proposal. “The development pattern, at least within the vicinity of the subject site, is largely commercial and multi-family use, and the proposed expansion would fit within that development pattern.”
John Oney, the CEO of Architectural Alliance, said Byers Ford is currently servicing commercial trucks on the site, and the expansion would mostly pertain to box trucks, larger F-350s, and vehicles of similar sizes.
“The facility, itself, we’ve planned eight doors where you can drive in from both sides,” Oney said. “So we’d have eight additional service stalls for those vehicles that are currently being serviced on the site.”
The additional space would also allow Byers to potentially accommodate commercial vehicle inventory and could include a showroom.
The proposed development would add an access point from Havens Road and move the existing access from the intersection of Stratford and Havens Roads further north from the intersection. A right-in, right-out access point also exists on U.S. Route 23 on the west side of the existing property, as well as a private shared service road extending south from the site to the adjacent business and continuing to the Delaware Square Shopping Center further south.
Commissioner Dean Prall stated Havens Road should not be used as a primary access point to the site for larger vehicles as it is not fit to service such traffic. Chairman Stacy Simpson echoed Prall’s comments, saying he would prefer to see Havens Road remain a primarily residential street while also noting there is still one residence remaining on the road.
Simpson also noted he would like to see the developers reach out to the residents of that home to understand their concerns and work with them as the proposal advances.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your property, and you’ve got residences on the other side, and all of the sudden, you’re going to go in and put a parking lot,” Simpson said. “There’s probably going to be concerns, so I think the more the owner can reach out and be a good neighbor, I think that helps out the process a lot.”
Michael Shade, the attorney representing Byers Ford, said the amount of trees and mounding incorporated in the proposal has been done with that residence in mind.
Because Wednesday’s discussion was a concept review, no action was taken by the commission. The proposal will need to come back before the commission as a preliminary development plan to be considered for recommendation to the Delaware City Council.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.