Plans for Addison Farms development revisited

By Dillon Davis - [email protected]

The work continues on the massive Addison Farms development proposal by Addison Properties as the Delaware Planning Commission began consideration of requests by the developer for a rezoning amendment, conditional use permit, and an overall preliminary development plan during Wednesday’s meeting.

In July, the developers came before the commission for a concept review of the proposed 272-acre mixed-use development that would be northeast of Smith Park between U.S. Route 23 and Troy Road. City documents prepared for Wednesday’s meeting called the proposal “perhaps the most complex mixed-use development ever proposed in the city.”

Per the proposal, 242 acres of the land would be developed, and approximately 31 acres would serve as right-of-way for traffic. The development was originally planned to be divided into nine planned overlay districts (POD) labeled A-I, with four of the PODs having residential site layouts of several different styles, including townhomes and single-family residential units.

According to the amended proposal brought before the commission on Wednesday, the plan shows the entire development now divided into eight PODs. Four of the subareas —those labeled B-E — have proposed residential development. The four subareas encompass 153.5 acres of the entire development.

The remaining subareas —subareas A and F-H — do not yet have specific uses identified according to the city documents.

As part of the proposal, Merrick Parkway would be extended from U.S. Route 23 to the railroad tracks southeast of Smith Park and, eventually, over the tracks to connect with the existing Merrick Boulevard west of Troy Road. As a north-south connector, Heritage Boulevard would be extended north to Hills-Miller Road.

Addison Properties’ proposal has been met with considerable outcry from residents in northwest Delaware who have organized together to fight for changes to the proposal. Wednesday’s meeting included a lengthy public hearing in which a number of residents voiced their concerns about the project.

Following comments from both the developers and the public, the commission offered its final thoughts on how the developers, residents, and city are working together to make the proposal something that works for everyone.

“I’ve been quite impressed by our democratic process over the last few months,” Commission Chairman Stacy Simpson said. “I’ve got to give a lot of props to the developer for listening to staff and meeting with the community to try to work through some of the issues. There’s definitely evidence that they have tried to address quite a few things, quite frankly. I think you couldn’t hope for a better outcome in terms of engaging the community and trying to address some of those concerns.”

Simpson also commended the residents for organizing themselves to have their voices heard on the proposal, saying he hasn’t seen anything like it previously.

Simpson went on to say, “These meetings are always hard when people are impacted, and you struggle with doing the right thing. I’ve struggled with it the last few days. It’s been something.”

No votes were taken during the meeting as the commission felt more time is needed to continue considerations from the city and the residents. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

By Dillon Davis

[email protected]

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.