DAGSBORO – Plans for an upscale liquor store in Dagsboro’s Town Center District that require town code amendment and sparked debate have been replaced by another option for the Vines Creek Road property.
Carlton Savage, representing Clay Snead of Snead Property, at a special meeting of Dagsboro Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday unveiled preliminary site plans for a different commercial/residential component – Vines Creek Centre.
“We made a few changes to it, and our intent is a mixed-use approach this round,” said Mr. Savage.
Dagsboro’s PZ Commission unanimously approved the preliminary plans, which include three separate two-story buildings, each offering office/retail on the first floor and two apartments on the second floor. Each two-story building would encompass about 4,800 square feet.
“We don’t have any tenants lined up per say, but they will be a flex of retail/office use,” Mr. Savage said.
Preference would be along the line of small doctors/medical/professional offices and/or retail, something “that would fit in well with the character of the town,” said Mr. Savage.
Thirty-six parking places are planned, four designated as handicapped spots.
Kyle Gulbronson, Dagsboro’s AECOM engineering consultant, said the preliminary plan as presented “meets your requirement for a preliminary plan approval. There are more details that will have to be flushed out prior to final.”
“From what I have heard, I don’t see any red flags right now,” Planning and Zoning Commissioner Earl Savage said. “Some may pop up later, but I don’t see any red flags right now.”
“I was very happy with the change,” said Anthony Lorenz, a town resident who lives in the Woodlands of Peppers Creek. “It seems like a much better fit for our town.”
“Will the town have any say as to what type of businesses go in there?” asked Earl Savage.
“Any business that would go in there would have to be permitted under the town center permitted uses requirements,” said Mr. Gulbronson.
The commission’s preliminary site plan recommendation goes to mayor and council. A final site plan will come back to P & Z, with mayor/council having final say.
The change in Mr. Snead’s plans means Dagsboro officials can put off canvassing town residents, possibly through a public referendum for a vote to amend town code to allow liquor stores in the Town Center District.
On Sept. 21, 2021, council voted 3-1 in approving preliminary plans proposed by Clay Snead/Snead Property and Carlton Savage of Scaled Engineering for an upscale liquor store on Vines Creek Road.
But at special Dec. 2 meeting, council, acting on legal advice from town solicitor Gregory Morris, voted 4-0 to rescind its previous preliminary site plan approval for the liquor store planned between Rosana’s Holistic Hair Salon and Heather’s Home Works near the Rt. 26/Rt. 20 intersection split at Armory Road.
Objection to the Vines Creek Road location for the liquor store was made by Ciro Poppiti of Poppiti Law and Savannah Square Liquors owner Nivav Desai, as the property is zoned town center, which does permit the sale of alcoholic beverages under town zoning code provisions.
In December, council sought comment via mailed survey from residents/businesses in the Town Center District. Many residents were given the survey through council members or through Town Hall.
Results announced virtually during council’s January meeting revealed 87 respondents opposed changing town code to allow liquor stores in the town center, with 47 casting support.
Amid debate over the accuracy of the survey, mayor and council initially leaned toward a public workshop, but then considered pursuing a public referendum vote encompassing the town.