UPDATED: Sussex County Council Approves Bioenergy Application near Seaford; Jordan Warfel Nominated for BOA


The Sussex County Council met at Delaware Tech’s Carter Partnership Center again this week to deal with multiple land use applications. There was other council business as well.

County Administrator Todd Lawson told the Council that Board of Adjustment District 2 representative, Brent Workman, has decided to retire. District 2 Councilwoman, Cindy Green nominated Jordan Warfel for the seat. Warfel, who is a draftsman for Home Design Plus, will come before the council for an interview in coming weeks.

There were three pieces of business that the Council revisited in old business. The Council denied with a 3 to 2 vote an ordinance to amend the future land use map of the comprehensive plan in relation to three tax parcels that are also part of the Change of Zone No. 1923 application for a change of zone from AR-1 to Heavy Industrial for over 67 acres east of Ellendale. Councilman Doug Hudson led the no votes saying that he didn’t support the project which would take single area from the least in zoning to the most drastic, which is out of place with surrounding properties. Councilmen Hudson, John Rieley and Mike Vincent voted against the application.
The related piece of old business, Change of Zone No 1923 was also defeated for similar reasons by a unanimous vote by the Council.

The final piece of old business was the conditional use no. 2258 for Bioenergy Development Group, LLC. Council President Mike Vincent spoke on the project saying that the overall use of the property does not change and that the conditional use will continue and expand the current use. During both the Planning & Zoning and County Council public hearings there were multiple people speaking both for and against the application. The Council has voted unanimously to approve the application. In a release after the vote was taken, Food & Water Watch said the County Council disregarded public opposition in their approval of the application. “Residents and advocates remain united against factory farm biogas buildout in Delaware, as the industry seeks to expand throughout the region. Groups turn next to the state permitting process to make their voices heard.”

A public hearing was held Tuesday morning for a Change of Zone No. 1911 application for Patriots Glen Phase 2 in the Oak Orchard area. This project would sit adjacent to Patriots Glen Phase 1 (which has not yet been built). There was no public comment either for or against the application, which was approved by the Council with a 5 to 0 vote.

The final public hearing for Conditional Use No. 2205 – the Evans Farm property near Ocean View is underway. This would provide 200 units of multi-family homes on over 50 acres. Project attorney, David Hutt, tells the Council that this is not a high density project and does not seek bonus density. They are seeking a base density of 4 units per acre.

UPDATED 5:15pm – After over 5 hours of testimony by the applicant and numerous people in opposition to the proposed development, the Sussex County Council has deferred its vote so that they can review all of the testimony.