Editorial — Council debating, studying density calculations

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: County council is grappling with density issues and the protection of wetlands.

Sussex County Councilman I.G. Burton introduced an ordinance at the Council’s Aug. 14 regular meeting that is related to adjusting the wetlands and density calculations. Burton first addressed the issue in June, stating at that time that he was uncomfortable that the County allows for the area of unbuildable wetlands to be used in the formula to calculate allowable density on a to-be-developed parcel.

“It does not make sense to me to have a possible denisty of 2- to 12-units-an-acre, with lots beginning at 7,500 square feet, to have multi-family, single-family, condos, RPCs and other types of zoning, and then allow the density calculation to include lands that cannot be physically built on. This just makes no good common sense to me.”

Councilman Rob Arlett questioned whether the current method of calculations really has impacted the surrounding environment. Arlett said he did not have that answer, but that it needs to be asked. And he’s right. They both are. 

This calculation needs to be reset, but through studies and statistics — not emotions. We applaud Council for digging in and studying the issue, and want to see it truly addressed.