I.G. Burton is asking Kent County Levy Court for permission to switch nearly 20 acres of unused land along Tub Mill Pond Road to commercial zoning. It would give the car dealership the option of building more offices to the south of its Milford complex, although a company representative said there are no solid plans to actually do that yet.
I.G. Burton is asking Kent County Levy Court for permission to switch nearly 20 acres of unused land along Tub Mill Pond Road to commercial zoning, giving the car dealership the option of building more offices to the south of its Milford complex.
But there might be too many cars on the road for the court to allow Burton to add more to its lot anytime soon.
“I would be upset with myself if I approved a re-zoning that enabled (an) increase in capacity out to the southern intersection of Tub Mill Pond Road,” said Commissioner Eric Buckson, who represents the Milford area. “It is a dangerous intersection.”
The property sits just north of Milford’s city limits, west of U.S. Route 1. Most of it faces Tub Mill Pond or farmland — only the easternmost tip touches the highway. And so far, company representative Irwin Burton said, there’s no concrete plan to develop any of it.
“We have no plans for that land at the moment,” Burton said. “But if we ever get an opportunity and it’s between, say, Porche, putting a dealership here or going to Dover, and I can say, ‘look we we’ve got this ready to go, we’ve got water, we’ve got everything,’ then they can do business with me that day. I don’t have to tell them to wait a year while we get our zoning approval.”
But Buckson argued that without a definite plan for what would be built, along with a formal traffic impact study, he sees “extreme safety concerns” in adding more traffic to the area.
Tub Mill Pond Road already has an active crossroads with Route 1, but it’s not designed to handle the kind of traffic a car dealership would get. There’s no direct access from northbound Route 1, and cars coming from the east have to cross four lanes of highway with no traffic light or stop sign
Burton said a solution is already in the works — DelDOT’s planned overpass at Thompsonville Road, north of the dealership.
“Nothing gets done until the Thompsonville interchange is finished,” he said. “As soon as that comes in, traffic will be able to be relieved, either off the back of the dealership or at the front. My guess is that most of our customers will use the Thomsponville side.”
According to DelDOT representative Tina Williams, the Thomsponville overpass isn’t scheduled for construction until 2016. It’s sixth on the department’s list of seven planned interchanges.
That’s far in the future, but so are the dealership’s plans.
“This is looking 10, 20 years down the line,” Burton said.