Sussex County Delaware

Consultant Hired
for Land Use Plan

Sussex County Council ...

Discusses Procedures for
Updating Land Use Plan

SC Online Publisher

Sussex County Council voted unanimously to hire Shafer Consulting to help the county update its Comprehensive Land Use Plan at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2001.

Council approved the agreement for Shafer Consulting to provide services such as meeting with county staff, attending public meetings, reviewing existing laws to comply with Livable Delaware, and reviewing and preparing zoning ordinances and maps for a cost not to exceed $75,000.

By state law, the land use plan must be updated by October 2002.

That this will likely be a contentious process, as many land use decisions have been since the implementation of the current plan in 1997, was evident during the discussion Tuesday.

County Administrator Robert L. Stickels, after announcing a series of four public meetings in various regions around the county beginning in November, was told to rework the meetings to include formal presentations rather than an "open house" format and to add a fifth meeting for the southwestern portion of the county.

The meetings were originally scheduled for Greenwood, Rehoboth Beach, Georgetown and Bethany Beach, but Councilman Vance Phillips complained that no meetings were scheduled for his district.

"I want to make this process as convenient to the public as possible," said Phillips. I feel like my district is being slighted."

Council President Dale Dukes asked Stickels to make a new schedule of five meetings with one meeting held in each of the proposed new councilmanic districts.

Councilman George Cole also asked Stickels to change the format of the meetings from an "open house" style meeting where the public comes in and wanders from one exhibit to the next to a meeting that will include a 15- to 20-minute formal presentation.

"We've criticized DelDOT for these meetings where people come in and mill around and leave," said Cole. "I've not had very much success with them when I attended them and I don't think they're very effective. I would prefer a formal presentation by somebody to outline what is going on."

Tom Shafer of Shafer Consulting said the most difficult issues facing council in updating its plan will be rezoning the county to conform to the land use plan as required by Livable Delaware and redefining the development district concept that has been so controversial during the current land use plan.

In Other Business ...
  • The county will once again distribute free smoke detectors to county residents, according to County Administrator Robert L. Stickels. County residents who did not receive free smoke detectors last year will be eligible for the 400 smoke detectors available at this time. Stickels said the county is trying to obtain more smoke detectors as well as batteries. The smoke detectors are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday in the county administration building. Stickels reminded the audience that smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

  • Council unanimously approved annexation of the Providence subdivision and two private single-family parcels into the Ocean View Expansion of the Bethany Beach Sanitary Sewer District. The Providence subdivision will consist of 62 units on 15.4 acres west of County Road 361. Along with the subdivision, council also approved the annexation of two private properties at the request of property owners John W. Hall and Georgie Shaw.

  • Council also unanimously approved annexation of the Wedgefield subdivision on the southwest side of Ocean View on County Road 84 plus three other parcels adjacent to Wedgefield into the Ocean View Expansion of the Bethany Beach Sanitary Sewer District. The Wedgefield subdivision will consist of 90 single-family homes on 34.3 acres.

  • Stickels announced that Sussex County Emergency Operations Center personnel have now been licensed by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers.

  • Council reappointed Lucein Ferguson of Lewes to the Advisory Committee for Handicapped and Aging Citizens of Sussex County and appointed Raymond Moore of Selbyville and Newton Crouse of Seaford to two-year terms. Moore is a retired school teacher and Crouse works for Morningstar Publications in Seaford.

  • Council unanimously approved construction administration and inspection agreements with Northern Steel Contractors for sewer service for the Knights Bridge Mill Townhouses on the service road into Rehoboth Beach adjacent to the Rehoboth Service Center. The development will be part of the West Rehoboth Expansion of the Rehoboth Sanitary Sewer District.

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