County Council offers approval for conditional use request

Sussex County Council members this week approved a conditional use for a farm tractor and auto-repair business to be located in Selbyville on Hudson Road. Sussex County Planning & Zoning commissioners had recommended the approval, and the council voted unanimously to approve it based on that recommendation and the need for a business like it in the area.

There were several conditions placed on the approval of the conditional-use, including a final site plan being subject to the approval of the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The council deferred action on a conditional-use application filed by Penn Central LLC for a three-unit multi-family dwelling to be located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Bennett Road in the development of Sussex Shores near Bethany Beach. (Councilman George Cole recused himself because of a conflict of interest).

While no one had expressed opposition to the use at the Planning & Zoning Commission hearing on the matter, attorney Robert Witzel, representing the Sussex Shores Beach Association, said his clients were late in doing so because they had not received notice of the application but that they wanted to be on record opposing the application for three units.

“We are not opposed to two, but we zealously oppose three — the math just does not add up,” he said. He referenced a letter from the Sussex County Engineering Department that cited that they would not recommend approval because of the wastewater EDUs required for the three units.

County Engineer Mike Izzo later clarified that position, saying that the difference between two or three units in an area that could hold near 5,000 EDUs would not be large.

“I’m not so sure we need to be making that subjective a statement,” Izzo said of recommendation for not approving the application.

He did say they were using a calculation based on a planning study that 6.67 EDUs per acre would be acceptable in a B1 district, and this application, with three units on about an 8,000 square foot lot, would be 16.63 EDUs per acre.

“We should have just said, ‘We allocated two; this is three and it exceeded our projections,’” he said.

Because the P&Z deferred action, the council is required to do so, as well, and will hear the application again after P&Z makes a recommendation.

In other news from the June 5 council meeting:

• The design for the new Greenwood Library is nearly complete, and construction is scheduled to begin in the fall, officials reported. The county council approved a location at the intersection of Routes 13 and 16 in Greenwood (Hilltop) for a temporary location. They also approved a $2,000-per-month-plus electric and communication services lease for 18 months, with an option to extend it on a month-to-month basis.

•The council granted $2,000 to Unite Sussex for their U.S. Camp, $1,000 to Sussex County Return Day for a pole shed, $1,000 to Delaware Community Appreciation Group for projects, $500 to the March of Dimes Foundation for event sponsorships, $500 to the Millsboro Downtown Partnership for farmers’ market expenses and $500 to Cape Henlopen High School for graduation-party expenses.