Sussex County Delaware

Council Turns Down
Softball World

Sussex County Council ...

Likes the Idea, but
not the Location

Sussex County Online Publisher

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GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council unanimously denied a conditional use application for the Softball World complex proposed for the intersection of Routes 5 and 48 in Harbeson at its Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2000 meeting.

All five council members said they liked the proposed softball camp and hoped developer Wallace "Pete" Townsend would seek another location, but Townsend said afterwards that the project was finished. This was the second location Townsend had proposed.

Following the lead of the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission, council members felt the site was not suitable for a project of this scope.

Townsend proposed a softball camp with softball diamonds, cabins, parents' lodging, bath houses, a pool, a dining hall, and an administrative building.

Lawrence Lank, the county's director of planning and zoning, told council that the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware Office of Planning Coordination had also recommended denial of the application.

Dale Dukes, vice-president of council, expressed the sentiments of the other council members when he said, "This is a tough one. It's needed somewhere in the county ... but I don't think this is the right location."

Council President Lynn Rogers said he liked the idea but as a land use decision could not support the project. He said the proposal does not fit in with the county's 1997 Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the area and that "I hope the applicant can find a place more suitable."

The project had been strongly opposed by residents in the area, especially members of the Nanticoke Indian tribe who have a church and cemetery across the road from the 131.94-acre site.

Townhomes Approved
in Cedar Neck ...

Council unanimously approved a rezoning request to Multi-Family by Raymond Michitti to build 24 townhomes in the Cedar Neck area.

Council approved the proposed project for 6.93 acres west of Cedar Neck Road and 1,200 feet north of Road 358 on the following conditions recommended by DelDOT and the county planning and zoning commission:

  • That sidewalks be constructed on the roadway frontage with links to adjacent properties;
  • Bicycle parking be made available;
  • A 5-foot-wide bike lane be built;
  • A maximum of 24 units;
  • Hook up to the Cedar Neck Sanitary Sewer District;
  • Hook up to a central water system;
  • A landscaping buffer be built;
  • An approved stormwater management plan

A site plan review and approval will also be required.

Other Rezonings ...

Council approved three other rezoning requests and denied another.

    Council unanimously denied a rezoning request from James and Martha Turner to change 1.8 acres south of Route 54 in Baltimore Hundred from AR-1 to B1 Neighborhood Business. Council members felt the surrounding wetlands made the property inappropriate for a business and were particularly concerned about the possible uses such a zoning would permit since the Turners had not expressed what kind of business enterprise would be built there. Planning & Zoning and DelDOT also recommended denial. Council members further felt the applicants should return for a conditional use permit that would specifically define the intended operation.

  • Council unanimously approved two applications by L.A. Williams to change one parcel in the Seaford Hundred east of U.S. 13 from AR-1 to C-1 and change another 8.93-acre parcel on the southeast corner of U.S. 13 and Route 18 from MR-1 to C-1. Council did follow planning & zoning's recommendation to limit the rezoning for the second parcel to a depth of 609.95 feet, which effectively reduced the rezoned part of the land to about 6 acres.

  • Council unanimously approved a request by Allen T. Handy Sr. to rezone 10.14 acres west of U.S. 13 and 2,076 feet south of Route 18 in the Seaford Hundred from AR-1 to C-1.

Miles and Buhr
Bid Accepted ...

Council unanimously approved a bid contract from George Miles & Buhr for design, construction inspection and construction administration services for improvements to the Southeast Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Russell W. Archut, assistant county engineer, told council that the project will add a 6-million gallon per day sand filter, a 15-inch force main of approximately 4,000 linear feet, and upgrade Pump Station 100.

Archut said $250,000 of a $2 million Rural Development loan had been set aside for the design, inspection and administration services and that Miles and Buhr's bid came in at $212,803.

Archut said the improvements are needed because the plant is near capacity in the summer. In July, he said, the plant averaged 3.9 million gallons of flow per day with a peak of 5.1 million gallons. He said the current system's capacity is 3 million gallons per day for the sand filter and 3 million gallons per day for a micro-filter. The improvements would increase the capacity to 9 million gallons per day.

Archut said the bid will go to the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Loan Program for final approval and that the improvements could be completed by next summer.

Planning Meetings ...

Sussex County Administrator Robert L. Stickels announced that four regional planning meetings will be held throughout the county in the next month.

  • Region 1 (Greenwood, Bridgeville, Seaford, Blades, Bethel, Laurel, Delmar) -- Monday, Nov. 13, 2000, 10 a.m., Seaford City Hall.

  • Region 2 (Milford, Ellendale, Georgetown, Milton, Slaughter Beach, Millsboro) -- Friday, Nov. 3, 2000, 1:30 p.m., Sussex County Administrative Office Building.

  • Region 3 (Dagsboro, Frankford, Selbyville, Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, Ocean View, Millville) -- Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000, 9 a.m., Fenwick Island Town Hall.

  • Region 4 (Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Henlopen Acres) -- Friday, Nov. 17, 2000, 10 a.m., Rehoboth Beach City Hall.

In other business ...
  • Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the county's Department of Emergency Operations to accept a bid from Motorola Inc. for pagers for the county's fire departments. The bid of $517,281.48 will provide 50 pages per fire department and 25 per ambulance squad in the county. Stickels noted that the bid of $287 per pager is significantly lower than the bid of $450 per pager that Motorola quoted Kent County and urged council to approve the bid Tuesday rather than risk a rise in the price.

  • Stickels told council that the condemned house in Delmar that lies within the county's jurisdiction would soon be demolished. Stickels said that DNREC Secretary Nicholas DiPisquale has asked a field officer to examine the site. Stickels said DiPisquale told him that a permit to burn the buildings on the property should be issued this week.

  • Council approved a Beneficial Occupancy Acceptance for Phase III of the Ocean Farms development near Bethany Beach. The vote was 4-0, with Council President Lynn Rogers abstaining because his company, Rogers Signs, does business with the developer, Country Life Homes.

  • Council gave the Friends of the South Coastal Library a $25,000 check to help pay for an expansion of the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach. The Friends are purchasing 2.98 acres behind the current building to expand parking and eventually the building. Of the $375,000 purchase price, the Friends have raised $162,500 and the state has contributed $187,500.

  • Council approved a proclamation declaring Sunday, Oct. 15, 2000, as Benjamin Joseph Rogers Day in the county. Rogers, a 2000 graduate of Sussex Central High School, recently achieved Eagle Scout status. A Scout since 1994, Rogers has held several leadership positions in the Scouts, including patrol leader, and has received the Arrow and Silver Buckle Award. He is currently a History major at the University of Delaware.

  • Council approved the county's holiday schedule for 2001. County offices will be closed for 13 days in 2001 including two days for the Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday and Friday). Nine council meetings will also be cancelled for holidays.

  • Council gave $300 to the Interfaith Mission of Sussex County for its annual Make a Difference Day, $250 to American Legion Post No. 8, $150 to the Christian Store House Building Fund, $300 to the non-profit Daybreak Counseling Service, $280 to the Briarwood Homeowners' Association to pay for security tags for vehicles to help stem recent vandalism there, and $125 to help start a Neighborhood Watch program in the Milford area.

Video Clips ...

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Council Comments on Softball World:
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