PREVIOUSLY REPORTED The Town of Smyrna agreed early last summer to work on a Route 13 Corridor Study in conjunction with the State Office of Planning, DelDOT, and the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization. The study is a pilot program to see what Delaware can do to better integrate the highway as a part of the community, and enhance mobility and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
A U.S. Route 13 Design Week was held in August; the various agencies held several workshops with the numerous stakeholders to see what they would like to see change with Route 13. The week culminated with a presentation at Belmont Hall of a draft plan.
Smyrna Town Council was presented with these suggestions in September, and since then the various groups involved have been working together to put together the Smyrna U.S. 13 Corridor Plan and Design Book.
WHAT'S NEW Town Council held a public hearing and then passed a motion Monday night to move forward with the U.S. 13 Corridor Plan and Design Book.
Smyrna Manager of Planning & Zoning Janet Vinc addressed council during the public hearing, where she informed council that the town's Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the plan for approval by council.
Jim Galvin, a principal planner with the MPO, said the study provided a lot of insight and gives the Town of Smyrna a good goal to work towards.
"Really this is a great addition to the town's Comprehensive Plan," Galvin said.
Dave Hugg gave further explanation of the plan during the regular council meeting.
Hugg said the plan for Route 13 in Smyrna looks at building design, commercial vs. residential purposes, a sidewalk system and more to improve land use and design.
"These activities will promote and make Route 13 a functional part of the future and make it an urban boulevard," Hugg said.
Hugg said the plan gives the town steps of moving forward and building around Route 13 to make it more interactive with the town. Though the plan itself doesn't require Smyrna to use any town funds now, Hugg said it opens the town up to get funding in the future. For example, the City of Dover recently received $1 million from DelDOT's Transportation Enhancement Fund for work on New Street.
Councilman Jeff Flairty said he was all for the plan and reinforced Hugg's sentiments on getting funding from other sources in the future.
"This puts us at the forefront of other municipalities in terms of Delaware economic development and the urban renewal front," Flairty said. "This plan is in place so it'll be easier to put the funding in place."
Flairty said the plan proves Smyrna is serious and shows the state that once funding is in place, the project can be started right away instead of a town knowing funding is available and then having to come up with a project idea.
WHAT'S NEXT Council's approval sends the plan to the Preliminary Land Use Service (P.L.U.S.) Review for the eventual adoption of the U.S. 13 Corridor Plan and Design Book as an amendment to the Town of Smyrna Comprehensive Plan.
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