UPDATED: Sussex County Council Names Jamie Whitehouse Acting Director of P&Z


Today’s Sussex County Council meeting was short on agenda topics but long on content. The Council heard from Delaware Electric Cooperative President and CEO, Bill Andrew, who came bearing a check for the County. DEC has recently retired capital credits from 2008. That resulted in an over $18,000 check to the County.

A public hearing was held during the morning session on a Memorandum of Understanding between Sussex County and DelDOT regarding the process and coordination of land use applications. The current MOU was written in 1988 and is in need of updating. In 1988 the MOU only covered re-zonings. The rewritten document would cover other instances – including conditional use, RPC and subdivisions – to cover all types of land use decisions. It also better defines terms. Attorney for Planning &n Zoning, Vince Robertson tells the Council this is NOT a code change – just an agreement for process and procedure. Robertson was joined by Mark Cote from DelDOT as they explained the MOU to the Council.

Nine members of the public – including traffic experts, developers, members of SARG and others spoke about the MOU – some for and some against – others just asking for a better organized document.

It was mentioned during today’s meeting that Janelle Cornwell leaves the Planning & Zoning Commission at the end of the month – and will take a job with the Lewes Planning Commission. Cornwell is only the second Planning & Zoning Commissioner for the county and during her five year tenure she helped to rewrite and update a lot of the county code and the most recent 5-year comprehensive plan. Her replacement has not been named, however County Administrator Todd Lawson announced after the Council returned from executive session today that they have approved Jamie Whitehouse as Acting Director of the Planning & Zoning Commission until the County Council selects and appoints the next Planning & Zoning Director.

This will be updated after the afternoon public hearings are completed.

OA-Rehoboth plans

UPDATED – 5:15pm – The Sussex County Council approved Conditional Use No. 2199 on behalf of OA-Rehoboth which seeks a 224 unit apartment development to be located behind the Rehoboth Mall and Walmart. The property will include an access road that runs between Route 24 and Old Landing Road and has received the approval of the residents in Sterling Crossing which is located nearby.

Change of Zone No. 1900 on behalf of Michael P. Justice, Trustee for 45 single family homes. The property is currently General Residential – the applicant is looking to rezone to GR-Residential Planned Community for just over 16 acres. The Council has deferred a vote on this for two weeks in order to better study the issue.

Change of Zone No. 1901 and Conditional Use No. 2200 on behalf of Mary and Victor Rico who are looking to rezone 0.927 acres on Sunset Lane in Lewes from AR-1 to Medium-Density Residential for 7 multi-family units. Two neighbors spoke against the applications saying the owners of the property never had permits or any approvals from the county for the work that has been done on the homes. Council has deferred a vote on both applications.