Commercial Rezoning Sought Near Kent County Sports Complex - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Commercial Rezoning Sought Near Kent County Sports Complex

Posted: Jul 05, 2017 8:11 PM Updated:
Neighbors worry about congestion along Milford Neck Road, seen in this still image from Skycam 16, if the proposed rezoning of a nearby property and construction of an entrance in the area of Pritchett Road are approved. (Tom Lehman/WBOC) Neighbors worry about congestion along Milford Neck Road, seen in this still image from Skycam 16, if the proposed rezoning of a nearby property and construction of an entrance in the area of Pritchett Road are approved. (Tom Lehman/WBOC)

FREDERICA, Del. -- The owners of a property about a mile south of the DE Turf Sports Complex near Frederica are seeking to have more than 25 acres of land rezoned for general business and commercial purposes, though some neighbors are opposed to the move over fears it could clog local roads with extra traffic.

Robert Murphy, who owns the property off State Route 1 with his wife, went before Kent County's Levy Court to back the proposed rezoning because it would reflect ongoing development of the area due to the construction of DE Turf, which began hosting tournaments this year.

"This part of Kent County is no longer a pass-through place. It's a destination," he told county commissioners during a meeting in June.

The request to rezone the land from agricultural conservation/low density residential to general business/highly commercial and amend the county's comprehensive development plan was tabled during the meeting after people supporting and opposing the proposal testified before commissioners.

Prior to the June Levy Court meeting, the county's planning department recommended denial of the plans while the planning services commission narrowly recommended its approval.

But the Levy Court tabled the matter during a meeting at the end of last month, after hearing from numerous speakers testifying in favor and opposition to the plans.

The zoning map for a section of properties along State Route 1 south of the DE Turf sports complex. (Kent County Planning Department)

Neither Murphy or Greg Moore, an attorney representing Murphy during June's Levy Court meeting, responded to phone calls seeking comment.

The proposal has drawn concern from neighboring homeowners who live near the property and worry about the idea of a commercial entrance in the area of Milford Neck Road and Pritchett Road.

Faye Yonker, who owns and lives in properties along Milford Neck Road, said she is opposed to the rezoning, despite the recent changes to traffic patterns and development in the area.

"We're willing to deal with that, but we're not willing to deal with all of this excess traffic coming into a very quiet community," she said.

The rezoning proposal is located in the district represented by Commissioner Eric Buckson (R-Country Field), who said he is currently opposed to the proposal unless a proposed entrance in the area of Milford Neck Road and Pritchett Road can be eliminated.

Buckson said the infrastructure is being developed in that area to serve a larger population and array of functions but many roads and communities along the section of Bay Road near the sports complex remain untouched by recent development.

"It just brings a whole new flow of traffic and introduces that area to congestion that they're not used to," he said. "I just believe those folks there have deal with enough."

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