Sussex County Council ...
Cuts Units, Limits Type
of Housing for Project
By ERIC MAGILL
SC Online Publisher
Sussex County Council approved a scaled-back version of the Marsh Harbor LLC subdivision planned for the intersection of Roads 273 and 273A in Rehoboth at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2001.
Council made two major changes to the project in its 3-1 approval. First, the number of units was cut from the requested 180 to 100, and second, the type of housing was changed from "multi-family housing" to single-family residential units and duplex units, described as no more than 2 units in one structure.
Council President Dale Dukes and Councilmen Vance Phillips and Finley B. Jones voted to approve the project, while Councilman George Cole voted against it. Councilman Lynn Rogers did not participate due to a conflict of interest.
The county's Planning & Zoning Commission had unanimously recommended denial of the project because planning members felt the proposed multi-family use was not appropriate for a largely single-family residential area.
Cole voted against the project even though the limitation on the types of dwelling structures was his idea. In voting no, Cole said he wanted a maximum of 80 units, or 4 units per acre. A motion to that effect by Cole died for lack of a second, as did a motion by Phillips for 135 units, or 6.7 units per acre.
Phillips argued that a reduction to 135 units would still be a reduction of 25 percent from Marsh Harbor LLC's request for 180 units and that the use was appropriate because the parcel is adjacent to a commercial area and would provide a transition to the lower density residential developments to the west.
Both Jones and Dukes felt the 100-unit limit would provide a transition from the higher density commercial areas near the development to the lower density residential subdivisions on the other side of the development and address concerns about additional traffic congestion in the area.
County Mapping and Addressing Director Dennis Norwood told council that half of the county's 911 readdressing procedure should be completed by the end of November.
Norwood said that while the western half of the county is almost finished, the eastern half will probably not be completed for several more years due to council's decision to allow residents in eastern subdivisions to keep their existing addresses.
Norwood said he hopes to have the western addresses delivered to the 911 dispatch center and the phone company by January 2002. After that, he said his department will begin work on the eastern side of the county.
Norwood added that any residents in rural Sussex County who have received new addresses should have switched to those addresses by now.
In Other Business ...
- Council heard a letter from U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden thanking council for its resolution condemning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Biden said it is important for the country to remain united at all levels of government and that he would continue to work with the Congress and the President to chart a proper course of action in response to the attacks.
- Council unanimously approved the awarding of a contract for effluent filter expansion including the removal of microstrainers at the South Coastal Regional Wastewater Facility. The contract was awarded to Hopkins Construction, which bid the low price of $1.34 million. Assistant County Engineer Russ Archut said the bids ranged from $1.34 million to $1.88 million and were all higher than the engineering department's estimates. He said, however, that the winning bid was within the department's budget. "This (higher bid) is just consistent with the bidding climate we have found in the last several bids we've opened," said Archut. "There's no other explanation for it."
- Council voted 5-0 to approve a bid of $184,505 from Teal Construction Inc. for the Yacht Basin Road Sewer Extension of the Cedar Neck Expansion of the Bethany Beach Sanitary Sewer District.
- Council unanimously approved a beneficial acceptance agreement for the construction and inspection of wastewater facilities for the Bayville Shore development, Phase IIA.
- Council heard the introduction of a proposed ordinance establishing a Septic Installation Charge for the Holts Landing Sanitary Sewer District of $1,735 per equivalent dwelling unit. The charge will be used to cover the cost of installing new septic tanks. The county is purchasing the Holts Landing system from Utility Systems Inc.
- Council unanimously approved a Proclamation declaring Oct. 12-14 as Lions Vision Days in Sussex County at the request of the Laurel Lions Club. Council also approved a funding request in the amount of $400, with $200 from Councilman Vance Phillips' councilmanic funds and $200 from Council President Dale Dukes' funds. The money will be go to the Lions Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.
- Council unanimously approved the following grant requests:
- $250 from Finley B. Jones' councilmanic funds for the Meadow Muffin Madness fundraiser for the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club;
- $150 from Jones' councilmanic funds for the Greenwood Youth & Family Night;
- $500 total to the Delaware Police Chiefs Council Inc. for partial reimbursement for the local police coordinator to attend a meeting of the Commitee of Executive Directors annual conference in Toronto;
- $600 total, with $500 from George Cole's councilmanic funds and $100 from Vance Phillips' councilmanic funds, for the Indian River Soccer Boosters;
- $300 from Lynn Rogers' councilmanic funds to a fund-raiser for the Milton Library expansion.
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