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Lewes, Delaware
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January 8, 2008     Cape Gazette
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January 8, 2008
 

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IL IIJJI 8 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, January 8 - Thursday, January 10, 2008 Commentary Continued from page 7 agreed to extend its contract with the state for a total of 52 addition- al officers. Meantime, the county has contributed $2.1 million toward the state's program to pur- chase development rights from farmers, in an effort to keep agri- culture visible and viable in Sussex County. County funding has helped preserve 2,471 acres from development. Additionally, the county has removed thousands of septic sys- tems in Sussex and connected them to more environmentally friendly central sewer service with funding help from DNREC. Just this year, the county orches- trated the passage of referendums for the new Angola and Johnson's Corner sewer districts. These, plus the Oak Orchard sewer expansion, will be major accom- plishments to improve the Inland Bays. And the county meets with each state agency to better coordi- nate our services, including emer- gency management, paramedics, economic development, trans- portation, housing, etc. The state letter and a recent newspaper article noted that the county should "develop sub- regional planning areas." These are already included in the mobil- ity section of the draft plan, on page 156. It should be noted that the mobility section was drafted by the Delaware Department of Transportation, another example of cooperation on the part of the county. The state's letter calls for the county to consider a sunset provi- sion to regulate approved devel- opments in which many of the homes approved have yet to be built. Sussex County does have such a provision, which sunsets developments approved after five years. Approximately 12 approved developments have lost their approval as a result of this provision. Zoning and densities, and how they should be applied, are a sig- nificant issue in this process. The majority on the Sussex County Council believes that the base density allowed in our AR-1 (Agricultural Residential) district should remain at two units per acre, with central sewer. It should be noted that this density has been the law of the land in Sussex for more than 30 years, as was sanc- tioned by the state in its approval of the county's previous land-use plans in 1997 and again in 2002. The county council believes that reducing the base density requires compensation to the landowner. To do otherwise would, in council's opinion, con- stitute a government taking. But the county council has addressed and will continue to address this issue by establishing a number of programs to preserve open space. The county council has supported an open space pro- gram since 2002 that has pre- served over 3,100 acres of pre- cious and pristine real estate in Sussex County. Also, the council has purchased 2,100 acres of land west of Long Neck to eventually be used for wastewater spray irri- gation. That purchase alone allows the county to adequately provide for future wastewater dis- posal and, at the same time, keep open space open. Another example of the county council's support of open space is two density bonus ordinances recently approved that require payments of either $15,000 or $20,000 per home for cluster homes in growth areas that exceed the base density initially allowed. Funds from this fee are to be used for open space. Additionally, the comprehen- sive plan update recommends a Transfer of Development Rights program to further preserve open space and complement the coun- ty-initiated density bonus pro- gram. To further help preserve agriculture, the draft update also recommends a new voluntary zone for agriculture that would limit residential growth, but allow additional agriculture-related commercial and industrial uses. The Sussex County Council is also considering proposals to help fund additional infrastructure. The council is reviewing proposed leg- islation to allow special develop- ment tax districts to provide fund- ing especially for off-site improvements, including roads. The draft comprehensive plan update also recommends sub-area planning to help elicit developer contributions for infrastructure. It also recommends considering density bonuses for infrastructure. This is just a sampling of the many things Sussex County is already doing, or proposing to do, as we move forward with the 2007 Comprehensive Plan Update. It's clear that Sussex County has been busy in the past year. We will con- tinue our work, for the betterment of all Sussex Countians, as we move into 2008. Dale Dukes is president of Sussex County Council. WEDDING FLOWER TIPS: 1. Set up an appointment for a wedding conference allowing approximately an hour for the initial visit. Most Florists in this area do not charge for this appointment. It is important to be prepared so a working relationship can be established and your Florist becomes your partner in planning one of the most important days in your life! Have an idea of the style of your wedding but be open to trends and new ideas that will enhance your "style." 2. Have a list of floral needs: personals, ceremony, reception, etc. Most important have an approximate amount of your wedding budget that is set aside for flowers. It may take some adjustment but it gives us, your Florist, a direction for the types and amount of flowers used and ways to help you stay within your guidelines. 3. Today everyone has a WEBSITE and the quality of the site and the examples of the floral treatments, tes- timonials and the vendors they work with provide real insight into what you can expect as a Bridal customer. CREATING BRIDAL MEMORIES FOR 26 YEARS! 1007 Kings Highway Lewes, DE 19958 302-645-9891 800-477-7559 Our Roses Are Legendary Join 4-6era in 003o00woo8 00/u600ou00e lounge 00olf-00r?ce co?nes, well o00rin00s, Call (302) 947-9225 for more information. BAYW00 Clubhouse www.baywoodgreens.com