Sussex County Council Hear from Public on Buffers and Discuss Special Events


The Sussex County Council held a marathon meeting on Tuesday. Some highlights from the meeting: The Council got its annual “Sunshine Report” from the League of Women Voters of Sussex County. In most cases the League reported favorably on the council – the increase in public input with the Public Comment section and in public hearings, however time limits on comments at the hearings might be considered. They also favor recent security changes and the prohibition of firearms inside county buildings, the rewriting of outdated ordinances, new zoning classifications, the updated sign and special events ordinances. They also say the access to meetings on the internet is very good, however still hear comments that the audio inside the council chambers is not so good. The League of Women Voters regularly attend government meetings to be sure transparancy is maintained and open meeting laws are followed.

A public hearing on buffers brought residents from across the county to voice their opinion on the proposal to expand forested and/or landscaped buffers from the current 20-feet to 40-feet. There was discussion on both sides of the issue including several people asking for a working group to discuss the proposal further. The Planning & Zoning Commission has not yet made a recommendation to the Council, so they cannot yet vote on the matter. The Council has left the public record and public hearing open for another week and will take additional public comment next Tuesday from anyone still wishing to comment who has not yet done so.

The council unanimously voted to appoint Brent Workman of Bridgeville to another term on the Board of Adjustment. Workman has been a member of the BOA since 2002 – his term will expire in 2021.

County Administrator Todd Lawson reminds Ellendale residents that there is a referendum vote set for the town’s water system on Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the Philadelphia Pentecostal Holiness Church. If approved residents in the area would be able to hook up to a public water system and cleaner water. Many residents wells have tested positive for high levels of bacteria, iron, nitrates and more. A referendum was turned down in November of last year.  If passed the County will contract with Artesian Water to provide public water to the Ellendale District residents.

In old business the council discussed updates to the short term Special Events ordinance. The changes come from the public hearing that was held back in January. It includes a new application that will be live when the ordinance is approved, a FAQ-type section and information for anyone looking to fill out an application – who may also need other agencies – like paramedics, fire personnel, traffic control, police and the like. You’ll find all the information beginning on page 129 on the link below

The council will likely have a motion to vote on at the next meeting.