UPDATED: Sussex County Council Receives Update from DelDOT & Introduced Proposed Ordinance Related to Marijuana Establishments

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UPDATED – 02/06/24 – 5pm – Sussex County Council has introduced a motion that would regulate marijuana establishments in Sussex County. House Bill 2, which was approved by the General Assembly last session. The measure allows municipalities to prohibit manufacturing, cultivation, testing and retail facilities, however Sussex County can only regulate them.

Assistant County Attorney, Vince Robertson, told the Council that Staff has met with the state’s Marijuana Commissioner – Robert Coupe to discuss this new business in more detail. The pending regulations coming from the Commissioner are expected to be adopted on July 5 of this year.

A proposed ordinance previously discussed with the Council has been modified. The cultivation, manufacturing and testing of marijuana and marijuana products would be permitted in the AR-1, C-1, CR-1, C-3, LI-1, LI-2 and HI-1 Districts. The retail sales of marijuana products would only be permitted in the C-3 Zone with a Conditional Use.

This proposed ordinance will go before the County Planning Commission as well – and public hearings will be held before both the Planning Commission and County Council.

Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent honors Rehoboth Elementary School, where students and staff collected on behalf of the 2023 Caroling on The Circle/’Pack the Pod’ campaign / Image courtesy Sussex County Government

Recognition was given to the groups that brought in the largest donations to the Caroling on the Circle food drive. Rehoboth Elementary School brought in the most donations with 2100 food items. County Administrator Todd Lawson says the month-long food drive raised a total of 18,200 items – all of which stay here in the County to help feed Sussex County’s hungry.

The County Council was updated by DelDOT planner Sarah Coakley on the Traffic Improvement Districts (TID) that are underway and proposed for the County. The Henlopen TID was established in 2020 and is about 24 square miles – the largest TID currently in operation. About $311-million in projects with developers contributing about 24%. Coakley says 22 agreements have been signed and recorded with property owner/developers – which is up from 8 last year. Two other TIDs are being developed – the Roxana and Milton TIDs. Councilman John Rieley made several comments about the TIDs and the County’s already overburdened roads – especially the Route 9 corridor between Route 1 and Gravel Hill Road, Hudson and Cave Neck Roads. He asked what the timeline would be like for expanding the roadways and was told they are currently only in the planning stages – with construction several years off. He told DelDOT and the Council that it seems that the development track is a lot faster than the road construction track and he sees problems with getting around the region.

In Old Business, the Council revisited Change of Zone 1996 and Conditional Use 2402 on behalf of McKee Builders, LLC for a change of zone from AR-1 to medium density residential for 174 multi-family units east of Frankford. Both applications were approved. The Council also approved five conditional use applications (No 2381, 2382, 2383, 2384, 2385) on behalf of Consolidated Edison Development for solar arrays in the Lewes, Seaford, Bridgeville and Delmar areas.

There is no Sussex County Council meeting next Tuesday. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 20th.

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The Sussex County Council meets Tuesday morning in Georgetown. County Administrator Todd Lawson will recognize the schools and businesses that raised funding or large donations for the Caroling on the Circle in December. The Council will also get an update on county projects from DelDOT. At 10:15 there’s a scheduled public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant program. And Assistant County Attorney Vince Robertson will discuss with Council an ordinance related to marijuana establishments. Under Old Business, Council will revisit seven applications for Change of Zone or Conditional Use – five of them for solar farms. There is no afternoon session scheduled. The Council meets beginning at 10am in the County Administration offices on The Circle in Georgetown.


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