Denial by P&Z
Decision Back to P&Z
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GEORGETOWN -- In an unusual move, Sussex County Council remanded a Planning & Zoning Commission decision back to the commission in the appeal of Sussex Ventures, Inc. on Tuesday, July 31, 2001.
After reviewing the evidence in the case for the past three weeks, council voted 3-1, with Councilman Vance Phillips voting no and Council President Dale Dukes on vacation, to send the denial back to Planning & Zoning to start the process again.
Planning & Zoning voted 4-0 on April 5 to deny the preliminary plan for Sussex Ventures' proposed Country Meadows subdivision.
That decision was appealed by Donald Ward of Sussex Ventures Inc. Ward wants to build a 71-lot subdivision in the Mount Joy area of the county on 82.61 acres of farmland zoned AR-1 south of Road 297 and west of Route 30.
The commissioners cited the loss of farmland and open space on the 82.61-acre parcel zoned AR-1, plans to provide only one entrance to the subdivision, safe vehicle movement due to the length of the entrance road and a turnaround in the middle of it, and the impact of the development on area roads.
The development has been opposed by the Mount Joy Citizens for Concerned Growth. They were represented in the appeal by attorney David Weidman. The group's main concern has been the location of the project's entrance near a curve on the main road serving the area and stormwater runoff on a property that already has standing water on it after rainstorms.
Sussex Ventures was represented in the appeal by attorney John Sergovic. Sergovic argued whether the county has ever used farmland preservation as a reason for denial in the past and said DelDOT insisted that the development have only one entrance.
After much discussion on Tuesday and a recommendation from County Solicitor Eugene Bayard to remand the decision, County Administrator Robert L. Stickels moved that council remand the decision and advise the commission to apply the provisions of Ordinance 99-9-C in making their decisions.
Council members George Cole, Finley B. Jones and Lynn Rogers voted to remand the decision.
"I'm not in favor of how we got the information," said Rogers. "It makes our legal defense very weak. I have to take the advice of legal counsel by sending it back to them (commissioners) to have these questions answered."
In voting no, Phillips said he believed the commissioners did provide enough evidence to justify the denial. A previous motion by Phillips to uphold the denial died for lack of a second. As part of his motion, Phillips also recommended tha Planning & Zoning specifically reference Ordinance 99-C-C.
"I think Planning & Zoning needs to be given some degree of autonomy in these cases," said Phillips.IRHS Sewer Annexation ...
Council voted 4-0 to execute a Memorandum of Understanding and allow the county's engineering department to prepare and post notices for annexation of the new Indian River High School property into the Dagsboro-Frankford Sanitary Sewer District.
Under the MOU, the Indian River School District will be obligated to oversize some of the high school's sewer facilities to facilitate the eventual serving of adjacent properties, turn the facilities over to the county to operate, pay all necessary connection, service and front footage fees, and provide perpetual easements for the county to operate the system.
The county would be obligated to maintain the system to its usual specifications.
In addition, while a development between the new high school and the existing boundaries of the district will not be included in the annexation, the system will be designed to handle that development in the event residents there desire to be served with county sewer.Habitat for Humanity Lease ...
Council voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity for a 40,000 square foot warehouse on the former Angola Landfill.
County Administrator Robert L. Stickels said the lease will be for five years with two five-year options contingent on approval by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
Stickels said the county has no use for the property anymore and that it would help Habitat for Humanity meet its goal of building four homes per year.
Sewer Agreements ...
Council unanimously passed the following construction administration and construction inspection agreements for sewer hookups for the following developments:
Proposed Zoning Ordinances ...
Council heard the introduction of the following proposed zoning ordinances:
In Other Business ...
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