Coastal Rezoning Moratorium

Sussex County Online User Forums: Sussex County Delaware Discussion Forum: Coastal Rezoning Moratorium
By Eric Magill on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 09:23 am:

Sussex County Council effectively killed a proposal for a rezoning moratorium in the coastal zone until its comprehensive land use plan is updated in 2002 at a public hearing on Tuesday, June 12, 2001. Do you agree with council's decision or not?

By Deaver on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 09:14 am:

It's a battle of big-money land speculators against what is best for Sussex Countians. Its a battle of real estate business interests against the health of the inland bays, the safety of the roads, the purity of the air we breathe, the survival of wildlife & what's left of the natural beauty of the shores of Sussex. Land speculators may expect that under this liberal County Council, they would have a good chance at rezoning their coastal property, but no one has a "right" to have their property rezoned. So a temporary halt to coastal rezoning takes away no one's rights, only dampens their expectations & gives Sussex a little hope.

By Kathleen Boyle on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 02:09 pm:

Having attended the Sussex County Council meeting on April 3rd, it was apparent that further exploration of the rezoning issue is needed. During this agenda, eight mayors from coastal towns presented a request to stop upzoning until the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of 2002 has been developed. As this meeting was not the time for open dialogue and as there was much contention on the part of the constituents, as well as the Councilmen, I must say that the best recourse was to provide the citizens with a discussion forum. Hopefully, this will be well-attended, with open communication and an attempt at conciliation. Nobody has ever learned anything by listening to themselves or those who agree with them. Let's try to share opinions for a win-win situation.

By Deaver on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 05:48 pm:

Sussex Co. government needs to come into the 21st century.
The people of Sussex are custodians of significant National Treasures such as the Atlantic shoreline, inland bays, wetlands, forests, and farmland. But Sussex Co. government must be restructured to meet the challenge of this important trust.

First, Sussex needs a County Executive with vision and ability to carry out plans. Right now the fate of the county is in the hands of a simple 5-man council that rules everything. They rezone property, they appoint the Co. Administrator, the Dir. of Planning and Zoning, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, and any other county position that makes rules affecting our lives.

Second, this council does not and cannot represent Sussex, as it should. For instance, the coastal side of Sussex provides 60% of the county tax base plus most of the 38% population growth, yet only 1 councilman lives there. Furthermore the council has not appointed any Planning & Zoning Commissioners who can call coastal Sussex his home. You might say that OUTSIDERS are dictating the future of the precious coast of Sussex.

It is time to act. The League of Women Voters has a booklet called THEY REPRESENT YOU about state, county and local government, located in public libraries. We can work with our community associations & join the Citizens Coalition, telephone 645-6657.

If we do nothing, we are partly responsible for poor government. Lets get together, organize and ask the State to make the changes we need.

Bill & Joan Deaver, Plantation Rd., Midway

By twilliams on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 01:02 pm:

"but no one has a "right" to have their property rezoned"

In the first place, I would submit that the "rights" of property owners are restricted by the government due to zoning laws. These restrictions were put in place by the government so that a balance between industial, residential, agricultural and commercial establishments could have some sort of harmonious existence with each other and the environment. I agree that these restrictions are necessary and I agree that no one has an absolute right to have thier property rezoned. However, I am certain that each property owner has to have the right to petition the government for that change. The imposition of a moratorium on coastal rezoning would interfere with the persons right to petiiotn for these changes. A county wide moratorium would be more equitable, but this imposes upon those property owners in the 85 percent of the county that are not having the probelms that the coastal region is having.

The County needs to address the issue of coastal growth, but I don't see how a moratorium would be a fair way to proceed. Besides, the County Council could simply vote down any rezoning that presents a problem.


"Sussex needs a County Executive with vision and ability to carry out plans."

Good idea, but lets simply make the posiiton of County Adminstrator and elected position. That should help rememdy the problem wihtout creating another administrative position within the government.

"Second, this council does not and cannot represent Sussex, as it should."

While you may not be satisfied with the representation that coastal Sussex has, coastal Sussex is but a small part of the county. The constituency must be satisfied with thier councilman as evidenced by the elections.

"For instance, the coastal side of Sussex provides 60% of the county tax base..."

WHOA!!! It sounds as if you are inplying that money should equal representation. That because the folks on the coast pay more taxes, they should have more representation on the council. Seems to me that representation is based upon population, not pesos.

"..plus most of the 38% population growth"

This is correct and the redistricting that is taking place in the State legislature should balance this out a little. However, keep in mind that the districts are bsed upon population and the more densely populated areas will have geographically smaller districts than they do now. This will casue the districts of Phillips, Dukes and Jones to creep further East, as such, bring in people who live closer to the coast.

"...yet only 1 councilman lives there."

True. But two councilmen have constituents on the coast.

"Furthermore the council has not appointed any Planning & Zoning Commissioners who can call coastal Sussex his home. You might say that OUTSIDERS are dictating the future of the precious coast of Sussex."

Propaganda. Each P and Z Commissioner lives in the district of his councilman. Just as each councilman does. The councilman represents his district as a whole, not as fragmented sub-districts.

I do belive that the County Council needs to keep a tighter reign on the development of coastal Sussex. I cringe every time that I see a beautiful farm sold off, cut up, and developed. HOwever, I feel strongly that property ownership and related rights are one of the things that makes the USA great and that the government should tread lightly on those rights.

One thing that you didn't mention i that I feel would be a good idea is the additon of two more seats on the County Council. I am not certain if two at large seats or a complete redistricting with 7 districts would be best. But I do think that , done properly, two more councilmen would benefit everyone involved.

By Concerned Native on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 04:22 pm:

No one is saying that you can't sell your land and make a profit but, how much profit does one need to make? With 1/2 acre lots in coastal sussex selling for at least 40,000 up to as much as 70,000 dollars, just how greedy are these people? I know these people bought their land for a hell of alot less than the $140,000 an acre there trying to sell it for. Give all of us local residents a break and stop all this greedy rezoning.

By twilliams on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 09:58 am:

"how much profit does one need to make?"

As much as possible. \green
{I'm sure that if you were offered $70,00 thousand for that 1/2 acre, you would say , " No. Please only give me $30,000."
}

"I know these people bought their land for a hell of alot less than the $140,000 an acre there trying to sell it for"
So what! Somewhere in one of my economics classes I'm sure I heard that "Buy Low, Sell High" is basic concept in successful trading.

"Give all of us local residents a break..."

Wait a minute, I'm local. Could you explain what break I need?

"...stop all this greedy rezoning."

First, I will refer you to my previous post...

In the first place, I would submit that the "rights" of property owners are restricted by the government due to zoning laws. These restrictions were put in place by the government so that a balance between industial, residential, agricultural and commercial establishments could have some sort of harmonious existence with each other and the environment. I agree that these restrictions are necessary and I agree that no one has an absolute right to have thier property rezoned. However, I am certain that each property owner has to have the right to petition the government for that change.

If you will look at the numbers, I believe the County Council has acted appropriately. They have approved zoning changes, but for less than half of the units requested. Which indicates to me that they are trying to achieve a balance between property owner rights and the other public concerns.

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