Sussex County Delaware

Council Reduces
Korotki Project

Sussex County Council ...

Cuts Development of Homes,
Apartments to 179 Units

SC Online Publisher

Korotki Decision Encouraging

GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council unanimously approved a greatly reduced development of apartments and single-family homes on the southern border of Ocean View at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 10, 2001.

Although council voted 5-0 to approve the rezoning request of developer Abe Korotki from AR-1 to MR-RPC on 96 acres off Woodland Avenue, it also reduced the number of units requested from 361 to 179.

The 179 units equal roughly what Korotki would have been able to build under the existing AR-1 zoning. The county's Planning & Zoning Commission had earlier recommended a reduction of 100 homes from the original request of 361.

Korotki and his attorney, John Sergovic, refused comment as they left council chambers. Korotki, a Baltimore area developer, said in March that he might be forced to reevaluate the project after the Planning & Zoning Commission's recommendation to allow only 261 homes.

He had also threatened to put mobile homes on the acreage if he didn't get approval for the 361 homes at an Ocean View Town Council meeting in March.

In addition to the limitation of 179 units, the ordinance also contained 16 other stipulations regarding sewer, water, improvements at the Woodland Avenue entrance of the project, lighting, standards for streets and driveways, stormwater management facilities, bike paths, sidewalks, wetlands restrictions, and a landscaping plan.

The proposal generated much debate and several motions from council.

Councilman Vance Phillips first moved that the project be approved with 261 homes but that motion died.

Councilman George Cole, whose district the project is in, then moved that council vote on whether or not to approve the requested 361 units.

Cole originally moved to deny the proposal but Council President Dale Dukes requested that Cole phrase his motion in the positive rather than the negative. Cole then moved to approve the 361 units, knowing that that motion would be denied.

Phillips then amended Cole's motion by adding a stipulation to limit the number of units to 225. When that died for lack of a second, he then moved to approve the rezoning with a maximum of 179 units.

That motion, and a subsequent motion tacking on the other 16 stipulations, passed unanimously.

"I vote yes because of the problems with cumulative development in this area," said Cole, referring to the neighboring, 700-home Bear Trap development and other large-scale developments that have been built in or around Ocean View in the past few years.

"The area is seeing gridlock with traffic. We need to get a clear picture of the multiple impact of these projects. With this reduction, it allows the developer to move forward but at a lower density."

Before moving to reduce the number of units to 179 to allow the project to move forward, Phillips had argued in favor of the 261 units recommended by P&Z. He said he felt the density at that number would achieve the Comprehensive Land Use Plan's objective of higher densities in towns with gradually decreasing densities on town borders.

Earlier in the discussion, council prohibited the introduction of letters about the project from the towns of Ocean View and South Bethany and a suggested list of stipulations from Korotki, saying the record had been closed on March 13.

DelDOT SR-1 Agreement

Council approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Delaware Department of Transportation regarding the State Route 1 Land Use/Transportation Study from Lewes to Dewey Beach.

Council approved the agreement with an amendment by a 3-2 vote, with Councilman Phillips and Councilman Lynn Rogers voting no.

Council unanimously approved an amendment from Phillips to strike an item that would have allowed the county to amend the land development ordinance and relevant laws to respect property rights related to the reservation of land for the capacity road network.

He said that clause would prevent council from going through its public hearing process on land use decisions. The amendment was approved unanimously.

Another amendment proposed by Phillips, to strike a clause that would allow the agreement to be amended only by written consent from the county and DelDOT, also passed by by a 3-2 vote, with Cole and Councilman Finley B. Jones voting no.

A final amendment by Phillips, to allow council to amend the agreement after consulting with DelDOT, failed 3-2, with Cole, Dukes and Jones voting no.

With the amendments out of the way, council then approved the agreement. Phillips said he was voting against the agreement because "We are transferring quite a bit of control to DelDOT."

Hangar Expansion Bond Approved

Council voted 5-0 to approve an Industrial Revenue Bond not to exceed $4.5 million for PATS to expand its hangar at the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown for production of different products than the auxiliary jet fuel tanks it currently makes.

The bond will be used by PATS to enlarge the hangar by 40,000 square feet, or 180 feet in length, add office space, stock rooms, and manufacturing areas, and extend the length of the taxiway at the rear of the hangar. The bond will be repaid from PATS Inc. revenues.

Ken Stillwell, Chief Financial Officer for PATS, said the expansion will allow PATS to diversify its product line, expand its workforce by approximately 50 jobs within two years in an uncertain economy, and stabilize its existing business.

Stillwell said the company, which just became only the fourth authorized service center for Boeing Business Jets in the world, "feels this is necessary for our growth and to keep the stability of the existing facility."

In other business ...
  • County Administrator Robert L. Stickels announced that the public hearing for the proposed rezoning moratorium in the coastal zone has been rescheduled for June 12, 2001, at 7 p.m. at the CHEER Center on Sand Hill Road in Georgetown. Anyone who can't attend the hearing can submit written comments on the proposal to the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission prior to the hearing.

  • Council unanimously agreed to change its lease with the Harvey & Vera Patrick Family Foundation, Inc., to correct the acreage leased by the foundation. Calling it a "housekeeping chore" that should have been done when the lease was entered into, County Administrator Robert L. Stickels said the change was needed because the administration neglected to change the acreage when it transferred the lease from Delmarva Aircraft to the Patrick Foundation in 1997. The original lease with Delmarva Aircraft was for 350 acres, Stickels said. The Patrick Foundation leases only 3.26 acres.

  • The Sussex County Public Advisory Committee will meet April 18 and May 1, 2001, to discuss the county's Long-Range Transportation Plan. The meetings will run from 6-8 p.m. each night at the County Administrative West Complex on U.S. 113 in Georgetown. A public meeting on the plan will be held Monday, May 14, from 4-7:30 p.m. in council chambers. The general public will be able to review the plan and offer input at that meeting. "This is a very important meeting and it affects, in one way or another, everyone in Sussex County," said Stickels.

  • A public hearing to discuss the question of organizing the Sea Country Estates Sanitary Sewer District and proposed boundaries has been scheduled for Saturday, April 14, 2001, at 9:30 a.m. The hearing, conducted by the Sussex County Engineering Department, will be held at the Sound United Methodist Church in Williamsville on Route 54 west of Fenwick Island. Questions concerning the hearing may be directed to the Planning and Permits Division at 855-7719.

  • Council heard a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding a proposal from the Bay Cafe on Route 54 west of Fenwick Island for temporary mooring facilities for not more than 4 vessels. Anyone interested in the application should contact the Corps' Philadelphia office.

  • County offices will be closed in observance of Good Friday on April 13, 2001. County Council will not meet on Tuesday, April 17, in observance of the Easter break.
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