UPDATED: Sussex County Council Approves Hopkins Preserve Property Management Agreement with Sussex County Land Trust


UPDATED – 11/14/23 – The Sussex County Council had a light agenda and met at 1pm. They have approved the 2024 meeting schedule and holiday schedule – which will include some changes as it is an Election year. Also the County offices will close at noon on Friday, December 1st for the County’s Holiday and Employee Appreciation Luncheon. County offices will reopen on Monday, December 4th. The County Council will not meet next week or Tuesday, November 28.

Hopkins Preserve/Image courtesy Sussex County Land Trust

County Administrator Todd Lawson reviewed with the Council the Property Management Agreement with the Sussex County Land Trust for the Hopkins Preserve. This is an over 40-acre property west of Lewes at Route 9 and Sweetbriar Road. Walter Hopkins agreed to sell the property – at less than its appraised value – to the County with the understanding that the property would be preserved and developed into an amenity the public could access and enjoy – that would be developed and ultimately manage by the Sussex County Land Trust. The Council, after also hearing from Land Trust Executive Director, Mark Chura, approved the property management agreement with a unanimous vote.

There were 8 public hearings scheduled for the ‘afternoon’ session. The Council deferred a vote on Ordinance No. 23-09 and will hold the public record open for 30 days after receiving a report from the State, which meets about the Ordinance on Wednesday. Two Conditional Use applications – No 2389 and No. 2392 are paired with the first dependent on the ordinance and votes on those applications have been deferred with the record remaining open on No 2389 to track with the Ordinance.

Conditional Use applications for two unrelated solar arrays – one in the Bridgeville area and the other next to the Perdue Plant in Georgetown – were both approved by the County Council. And former Councilman Lynn Rogers was in attendance for a decision on a Conditional Use application for an electronic sign to replace the existing sign at the Community Lutheran Church at the intersection of Armory and Omar Roads.

Image courtesy Sussex County Government

A decision on a pair of applications from the Carl M. Freeman Companies – Change of Zone No. 1984 and Conditional Use No. 2368 were deferred by the Council. This is for property now proposed for 23 multi-family dwellings west of Fenwick Island at Route 54/Lighthouse Road and Bennett Road. Three people spoke in opposition to the applications citing reasons similar to an earlier application for the property that was denied by the Council in 2021 that included a hotel and restaurant.

The Sussex County Council will not meet on November 21st or 28th. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th at the County Administration Building on The Circle in Georgetown.


ORIGINAL STORY – 11/13/23 – The Sussex County Council will meet Tuesday – but the meeting will begin at 1pm. County Administrator Todd Lawson will review and possibly approve the property management agreement with the Sussex County Land Trust for Hopkins Preserve, which is north of Route 9 along the Lewes to Georgetown Bike Trail and along Sweetbriar Road.

At 1:30 the Council will begin land use public hearings – there an ordinance hearing to amend the County sewer tier map, six conditional use applications and one change of zone application. The Council meeting begins at 1pm Tuesday at the County Administration building on The Circle in Georgetown.

Sussex County Council Agenda