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Lewes, Delaware
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February 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 28, 1997

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16 - CAPE GAZETIIg, Friday, February 28- March 6, 1997 Land Use Continued from page 1 ly. Councilman Lynn Rogers said that he had thought so much about this, that he had not slept for three nights. Cookies and cola were set up in the back of the room and the audi- ence followed along as County Council tried to wade through a ten point checklist. Although public comments were held until the end, Council occasionally called on audience members like Sussex County Farm Bureau President Don Collins to learn their views. Legislators in attendance were Rep. George Carey (R-Milton), Sen. Bob Voshell (D-Milford), Rep. John Schroeder (D-Lewes), Rep, Charlie West (D-Gumboro), Rep. Shirley Price (D-Millville), Sen. George Bunting (D-Bethany Beach), Sen. Thurman Adams Jr. (D-Brigeville) and Rep. Cliff Lee (R-Laurel). The consensus given Here is what the consensus was on key points: • Farmland preservation op- tionsmThe council supported the voluntary state agricultural preser- vation program, but did not en- dorse what was originally the source of mass controversy in the plan, a proposal to limit develop- ment in many rural areas to only one lot per 20 acres. The Council also agreed to study a farm preservation program for parcels which don't qualify for the state's program. The state program offers incen- tives to farmers who voluntarily agree to not develop their land for at least ten years. In some cases, farmers can sell development rights if they decide to never de- velop their land. Farmers must have at least 200 acres of land in order to apply for the state pro- gram. County Administrator Bob Stickels pointed to Lewes farmer Lowder Mitchell, saying his 60 acres of land is under intense pres- sure to develop. But Mitchell doesn't meet the state guideline because he has less than 200 acres and is not within one mile of another state agricul- tural preservation district. The new program to be studied could benefit such farmers. • Agricultural residential min- imum lot sizes (for individual septic systems) - The county cur- rently allows one half acre lots for properties with individual septics, but County Council reached con- sensus that three quarter acre lots should be the minimum. • Development districts-- These areas are designed for fu- ture development and are general- ly located around towns. Several towns, including Millsboro and Selbyville had asked for develop- ment zones around their towns to be increased in size. There was support for increas- But Councilman George Cole argued that if the towns want to develop an area, they can simply annex it and provide services like sewer. The Council reached consensus to leave the development zones as drawn in the existing land use maps developed in 1988 along the coastal area of Sussex and 1990 in the western part of Sussex. ing the size around some other towmrsaob as,- ....... JlgiLiDgj.ctl9 t_o tb_e w a!l_." By dropping the size of the de- velopment districts, generally in areas with infrastructure like sew- er, the county met one of the biggest concerns of the state. Delaware's Cabinet level commit- tee on planning had recommended in late December that the size of that district around the inland bays be reduced in order to help protect the inland bays. • Conservation districts--lot size in conservation districts such as very near Delaware's inland bays remains one acre for lots with individual septics. • Strip devlopment--This was the area where County Council bogged down and bogged down in monumental fashion. Council eventually agreed that there should be more severe limitations on strip development along some roadways. Those roads, considered major roads, like Route 1 and Route 113, would have limited amount of strip development. Such strip de- veloment are lots which are locat- ed on roadways with no interior roadways such as in most devel- opments. The result is a "strip" of devel- opment, often with individual dri- veways, along roadways, which is believed to increase congestion and cause safety concerns. Coun- cil agreed there should be some, but less severe restrictions on the number of strip lots allowed on rural roads. Council expressed support for an idea to allow four lots automat- ically and two more lots every year per parcel. But the Council did not commit itself to those numbers, merely to the idea of some restrictions, with major roads facing more severe limits. Donald Collins spoke against the idea, arguing that farmers face a loss of value and land equity if they are limited in strip develop- ment. The reason is that major subdivisions with interior roads cost more money, far more mon- ey. He argued that farmers faced with tough times ought to be able to sell lots to get by. He said the county was not giving anything to farmers, but was simply taking. That's a position that Cole dis- agreed with, but Collins did not waver. "When a guy is down and out, a guy can not wait three years to pay the fertilizer bill," he said. "How about if that one lot could save you?" Dukes suggested allowing a hardship clause, prompting assis- tant County Attorney Dennis Schrader to say "the problem is hardship is sort of like [trying] • Manufactured homes--Also a delicate issue, the county reached consensus to allow dou- blewide homes in .one acre lots in General Residential Districts. Planning and Zoning Commission member Robert Wheatley said the bigger issue was whether manu- factured housing should be treated like stickbuilt homes. He said such blanket approvals on smaller lots (five acre lots were previously required) "is not fair to the people that are already there." That prompted Delaware Manu- factured Housing Association Ex- ecutive Director Marcene Gory to say she knew more about the issue than Wheatley did and that "it is like any other housing, if it is cared for it appreciates." She said treating the housing differently is "pure discrimina- tion." The county has introduced an ordinance to limit those homes al- lowed on one acre lots to homes meeting certain requirements, such as siding in an effort to make homes look more like more tradi- tional housing. • Sunsetting----Council reached consensus that subdivision ap- proval would sunset or end if sub- stantial development had not oc- cured within five years after ap- proval. The measure would affect sub- division approval, not zoning changes. Council also said exist- ing subdivisions should be grand- fathered. ° Transfer of development rights--The county agreed to study this. Governor Tom Carper re- ceived a wildlife print from Ron Annett, the president of the Sussex County Associa- tion of Realtors during the association's meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Carper spoke on the issue of land use planning. MOBILE HOME INDIAN LANDING -tx NORTH "LONG NECK RD."00v #52 BAYSIDE DR. WATERFRONT Huge 3 bedroom, 3 baths, Porch & Deck A UC110NEER'S NOTE: This is probably one of the top waterfront homes in the entire Long Neck Area. Dozens of custom features. L,, - -I" -x -','" ..," . , a,  / II 1:00 PM • PRIVATE DOCK "166" OF WATERFRONT BULK HEADED (Enough To Dock 4+ Boats) "TOOL SHED 12' X 8' • WATER FREE WITH LOT "PUBLIC SEPTIC "CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING • OIL HOT AIR HEAT • GAS RANGE AND FIREPLACE "ALL ANDERSEN THERMO WINDOWS "CEDAR LOG SIDING "HUGE ROSE GARDEN "RAISED FLOWER BEDS "VEGETABLE GARDENS • CUSTOM HOUSE ADDITION (()RIG COST 60,000+) INCLUDING: Custom Cabinets • Trash Compactor Top of the Line Appliances • Breakfast Counter • 42" Long Living Room • Huge L-Shaped Porch AUCTIONEER'S NOTE: You will not get a better chance to buy a Beach Area Mobile at bargain prices than this sale. Waterfront for 3 boats, t E M M ERTd00AU00ON "We Bring Buyer & Seller Together; 1302) 227-2714 Night • 1302} 227-1433 Day * 13021 227-3946 Fax TERMS: A 10% deposit to be required on day d sale with the balance due and payable in cash or certified check in 30 days when good unencum- bered marketable titk ll be delivl. All homes lo be sold a is d subjva to Pa-k Lease R!