GEORGETOWN -- The Sussex Couny Board of Adjustments voted unanimously to reject a special use request for an asphalt plant in the Lincoln area on Monday, Nov. 15, 1999.
The board voted 4-0 to reject the application of Thomas S. Dale for 18 acres between Sussex 213 and Sussex 225 south of Milford. Dale intended to sell that portion of his land there to R.E. Pierson Construction for $1 million. Pierson planned to use the acreage for an asphalt plant.
The decision delighted about 200 residents who live in residential communities next to or near the site. Those residents objected to the proposed plan due to potential traffic, noise, and air and water pollution problems from a plant shipping 100 tons of asphalt per hour.
The residents, who organized with a treasurer and lawyer, said their next step would be to have the property rezoned to prevent any further applications for such plants in the neighborhood.
The group will meet Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the Lincoln Community Center at 7 p.m. to discuss their next moves.
Dale has operated a light recycling business called D&D Dismantling at that location since 1984 and received a rezoning to heavy industrial in 1996.
Zoning laws are in place to assure buyers of homes and properties that their property values will be protected and that they won't wake up one day to find that smokestacks have replaced the wooded acreage they bought next to.
There seems, however, to be an increasing assault on those zonings that should make any property owner nervous.
A group of Lincoln residents discovered that when they faced a special use request to put an asphalt plant next to their neighborhood.
The Sussex County Board of Adjustments denied that request on Monday, Nov. 15, 1999, but that example is only one of many recent rezoning requests that neighboring property owners felt would change the character of their areas.
The Lincoln site was rezoned to heavy industrial in 1996. Now, the residents want to have it rezoned to be more in line with their community.
In our opinion, the county should declare a moratorium on all rezoning requests until it has firmly established its Land Use Plan with the state of Delaware.
As it stands now, home owners and buyers can't be too comfortable that their neighborhoods will retain the character that lured them there.
They need assurances, and that will only come with a rock-solid Land Use Plan that specifically defines where all types of land uses will be.
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