A new single-family subdivision could be on the horizon for 40-plus acres of farmland on Delaware’s northwest side.
The Delaware Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously recommended approval of a downzoning request by the Judith D. Hook Revocable Trust.
The rezoning amendment, which needs City Council approval and will undergo a public hearing during council’s Nov. 27 meeting, seeks to downzone 44.258 acres on the west side of Troy Road from R-4 Medium Density Residential District and R-6 Multi-Family Residential District to R-3 One-Family Residential District.
According to a staff report, the property was purchased in 2016 by its current owner — Siekmann LLC — which is requesting the downzoning measure in order for the zoning to be consistent with adjacent residential properties in an attempt to market the site for a single-family subdivision.
Zoning Administrator Lance Schultz said the 40-plus acres, which is located west of Smith Park, east of the Merrick Boulevard terminus, and north of the Westfield Hills subdivision, is primarily flat farmland with a wooded area near the southern portion.
If the land were to be developed, Schultz reminded commission members that the developer “would have to dedicate the appropriate right-of-way along Troy Road and also our thoroughfare plan has Merrick (Boulevard) being extended east to Troy Road.”
At this point in time, he added, the developer would be responsible for constructing the roadway extension from the Westfield Hills subdivision to Troy Road.
Commission member George Hellinger was upbeat about the future prospect of developing Merrick Boulevard, which has been on the city’s radar for a while.
“Going back to our road levy from last year, that extension of Merrick (Boulevard) over to Troy Road is really key to expanding our network of roads there on the west side of town,” Hellinger said. “Anything we can do to encourage that development, I definitely fully support.”
Planning and Community Director Dave Efland said both the owners of the 44.258-acre parcel in question and the adjacent land to the southeast “are aware the Merrick extension is a priority.”
Michael Shade, attorney for the Judith Hook Revocable Trust, said his clients are willing to work with the city on developing the road extension.
“As for Merrick (Boulevard), there is no problem with working through those issues,” he said. “The question is the alignment.”
Pending council’s approval, Shade added, “I expect my clients to actively solicit the assistance of developers that are in the housing game.”
Contact Joshua Keeran at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @KeeranGazette.