Sussex County Council Defers Action After Public Hearings on Two Proposed Ordinance Amendments

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UPDATED – 06/11/24 – The Sussex County Council met Tuesday at 1pm. The Council approved the reappointment of board of Adjustments and Appeal District 2 member Kevin Pritchett. This is NOT the Board of Adjustments but a 5-member building code board which listens to appeals of building code decisions.

The Council also approved a six-month time extension for the Stratus Estates – a cluster subdivision of 226 units. P&Z Director Jamie Whitehouse told the council that the site topography had to be adjusted which resulted in significant changes to a number of design components. The Planning Commission recommended the time extension be approved and Council did approve the extension with a unanimous vote.

Director of Utility Planning and Design Review, John Ashman had three requests – two for sewer annexations and one to create a new area. The two annexations are in the Holts Landing Area and the Johnsons Corner Area and permission was granted to prepare and post notices for the two annexations. The third was permission to prepare and post notices for the creation of the South Blades Area into the Sussex County Unified Sanitary Sewer District. There is not an existing area that is contiguous to these parcels or this project.

CU No 2514 on behalf of Bruce Sentman – for a small engine and lawn mower repair business near Millsboro was approved by the Council.

CU No 2497 on behalf oif Bethany Court Ventures, LLC for a 6 unit multi-family dwelling to be located on Coastal Highway just south of the State Park. Property was partially developed and now looking to complete the project. This was also approved by the Council.

Ordinance 24-02 – regarding accessory dwelling units. Planning & Zoning Director Jamie Whitehouse ran through the ordinance and some recommended changes from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Council asked quite a few questions – including if these would be considered Tiny Houses, which Whitehouse said is extremely difficult to define. There was little public comment, but what was given was generally in support of the ordinance. The Council has deferred action until they have a chance to better study the information and comments.

Ordinance 24-03 – regarding perimeter buffers around residential development. Assistant County Attorney Vince Robertson went through extensive changes in the ordinance. Representatives of the Sussex Preservation Coalition also spoke during the public hearing with multiple suggested definition changes. Several other county residents spoke – many offering additional tweaks to aspects of the ordinance or definitions. The Council – after nearly 2 hours of testimony – deferred action on this ordinance as well.

The Sussex County Council is expected to meet at its regular time next Tuesday, June 18th – at 10am. That was the date announced for the public hearings on the proposed $265.8 million budget for Fiscal Year 2025 – as well as public hearings on the water and sewer and other rates. The Council meets in the County Administration Building on The Circle in Georgetown.

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The Sussex County Council will meet Tuesday afternoon – beginning at 1pm. The Council will discuss a Board of Adjustment and Appeals reappointment and a request for an extension for Stratus Estates – formerly known as Cool Spring Meadows.

There are four public hearings beginning at 1:30pm – two conditional use applications and two ordinance amendments – one regarding accessory dwelling units and one on perimeter buffers around residential development. The meeting begins at 1pm in the County Administration Building on The Circle in Georgetown.


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