Pit, Two Developments
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GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council approved three projects that could add more than 400 homes and expand a borrow pit in the county at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2002.
After long debates, council approved an expansion of a conditional use for Edward L. Kaye for a borrow pit, approved a scaled-down version of a proposed multi-family development by Grady Inc. on Shady Road near Lewes, and approved a large development on Route 54 for Bunting & Gray LLC.
Following is a look at the discussions of each of those votes:Refuge at Dirickson Creek
Council unanimously approved a change of zone from AR-1 to MR-RPC for a 343-unit development, The Refuge at Dirickson Creek, in Baltimore Hundred north of Route 54.
The approval for Bunting & Gray LLC stipulates that no more than 56 of the units may be multi-family. Councilman Dale Dukes abstained from the vote.
In voting for the application, Councilman Vance Phillips said that he was "disappointed" that the application had been picked apart by council after the "developer bent over backwards to come in with an application that doesn't go to extremes to negotiate a final deal. This will only encourage others to come in with extreme applications."
Among the other stipulations are that the number of building permits issued will not exceed 60 per year and that recreational facilities will be open for use at the time the first 60 units are completed.Borrow Pit Approved ...
Council approved by a 3-2 vote the conditional use application of Edward J. Kaye for the expansion of an existing borrow pit on 200.5 acres at the northeast corner of Routes 531 and 533 in Seaford Hundred.
Council President Finley B. Jones and Councilman George Cole voted against the application.
The Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended approval of the expansion of the borrow pit near Middleford Acres with 18 stipulations.
Council changed four of those stipulations and added another:
Councilman Dale Dukes recommended the first change because the applicant had stated that he wouldn't be finished in the existing borrow pit for another 5 to 7 years. Because conditional uses expire within one year and can only be extended for one-year periods twice, the conditional use would expire before Kaye was ready to use the new pit, Dukes said.
Councilman George Cole said that in that case the application was pre-mature, but Dukes and Councilman Lynn Rogers said the applicant came to council now because of the length of time that will be required to obtain the necessary permits for the pit from the appropriate state agencies.
Cole also questioned the Findings of Fact that stated the application would cause "no adverse impact". Cole said DelDOT had said in its report on the project that local roads were not sufficient to handle the weight of the trucks entering and exiting the proposed pit.
Stickels admitted that the only testimony related to any adverse impact had been provided by the applicant.
In voting yes, Councilman Vance Phillips said the amended application imposed enough regulations and oversight to "ensure that the community will be adequately protected and that the environment will be adequately protected."
In casting the lone nay vote, Cole said the Findings of Fact had not been based on any firm evidence and that the borrow pit was incompatible with the growing residential communities in the area.Grady Inc. Subdivision
Council approved a drastically scaled down version of the proposed multi-family development by Grady Inc.
By a 3-2 vote, council passed the conditional use application for a 68-unit subdivision on 17 acres on the southerly side of Route 276 (Shady Road), approximately 620 feet southwest of Route 1 in the Lewes-Rehoboth Hundred.
The approval reduced the number of units from the 130 recommended by the county's Planning and Zoning Commission and from the 190 originally sought by the applicant.
A long debate preceeded council's vote, including several votes on changes in the 17 stipulations presented by county staff and Planning and Zoning.
Most of the stipulations centered on a Native American cemetery located on the site.
Those stipulations will require the developer to hire a state-approved archeologist to denote the boundaries of the cemetery, to mark and fence the cemetery boundaries with permanent markers, to provide designated access to the cemetery of no less than 10 feet in width and to provide two designated parking spaces for the cemetery. Council also approved stipulations preventing any construction within 40 feet of the cemetery.
Council members George Cole, Vance Phillips and Dale Dukes voted for the amended application, although Phillips and Dukes both expressed their dismay that the number of units had been cut nearly in half.
They also expressed doubts that Grady Inc. would move forward with the project, and during the debate a representative of the company tried to withdraw the application but was rejected.
Council President Finley B. Jones and councilman Lynn Rogers voted against the amended application, saying the project wasn't in character with the surrounding area.
Cole moved to reduce the number of units from 130, or 7.6 units per acre, to 68, or 4 units per acre, citing the county engineering department's 1997 study recommending a density of 4 units per acre for the proposed area. He further stated that the 68 units would double the density of the existing AR-1 zoning.
Phillips argued against the reduced density, saying that adjacent land was zoned commercial, which provides for 12 units per acre. He said the 7.6 units per acre recommended would provide a transition area from the commercial areas to lower density residential areas and farmland nearby.
At one point during the debate, Phillips moved to withdraw the application but that motion was voted down 3-2. Another motion by Cole to force the developer to include the amenity package rather than making it optional was also voted down.In Other Business ...
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