Clayton Town Council gave final site plan approval for the Ovations subdivision at the Nov. 13 council meeting.

The 200-unit townhome community has been a work in progress for nearly a decade and was originally planned to be a community for ages 55 and up. The final site plan for Ovations, which will be located on Duck Creek Road, was approved with no age restriction.

Engineer Doug Barry, of Pennoni Associates, spoke on behalf of the developer Ashburn Homes at the council meeting.

"This project has been around for a while," Barry said.

Barry continued with the history of the proposed development, which was acquired from St. Joseph's Center for Community Service in 2004/2005. An application for the development with the age restriction was approved in 2006.

Now Ashburn Homes is asking for final site plan approval without the age restriction designation. Other than removing the age restriction designation, Barry said nothing has changed with the development.

Barry said the amount of expected traffic trips went up because the age restriction was lifted and there are some speed limit revisions.

When asked by Councilman Dave Letterman if Ashburn Homes has all their permits for the development, Barry said Ashburn Homes doesn't have an entrance permit.

"Once he decides to go to construction, that's when he needs to go back to DelDOT and apply for an entrance permit," Barry said.

Conditions for development

There were some pre-conditions of preliminary approval Barry said that the developer has addressed. The conditions were for the developer to provide overflow parking, a provision with Providence Creek Academy regarding landscaping on the portion facing the school, and a six-foot fence installed along the property line next to St. Joe's.

"What St. Joe's wanted was a complete buffer so they couldn't see anything," Barry said. "They didn't want to see the rear homes from the St. Joe's Foundation property."

Town Foreman Jeff Hurlock told council, however, that they could approve the final site plan without the fence stipulation.

"Unfortunately St. Joe's Foundation is no longer involved so it's up to the council," Hurlock said.

He even voiced his concerns with having a six-foot wood fence on the property line such as the maintenance of the fence.

"I just think St. Joe's is gone now and I think it's bad habit for subdivisions, 'They're going to be bad people so lets separate them,'" Hurlock said.

Hurlock wasn't the only person concerned about a fence, as Councilwoman Mary Ellen DeBenedictis also said she wouldn't want a six-foot fence.

Earlier in the meeting, Hurlock said there's a possibility the St. Joe's property may be sold into four parcels. Barry mentioned this possibility while discussing the fence, saying, "I wouldn't think you'd want to buffer one residential community from another."

Since the town and state obligations for the subdivision were met, Hurlock recommended council to approve the final site plan. Council did just that but with the stipulation that no fencing is required.

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