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Lewes, Delaware
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May 23, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 23, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE,-Friday, May23--May 29, 1997. 15 Final land use recommendations expected to bring legislative flLurr)r By Michael Short The summit was on Monday, but the real story will be what hap- pens in the next few weeks. Summit II was expected to be the culmination of months of ef- fort by the Delaware Public Policy Institute to develop land use rec- ommendations. A committee of nearly 100 Delawareans have toiled since the first summit in March to develop the 77 pages of recommendations. So, what did they come up with? What they came up with are dozens of recommendations, many of which are proposed as legislation. Most aren't terribly surprising. The group favored spending money to purchase farmland development rights, sun- setting of zoning decisions, more involvement by school districts in land use decisions and more fund- ing for transportation needs. But not all of the recommenda- tions were expected. There is al- ready speculation that the legisla- ture will be bombarded with land use legislation in its final days, a prospect that makes county offi- cials more than a little uneasy. Here is a look at some of the recommendations and how they contrast with what Sussex County has proposed or has included in its land use plan. Intergovernmental coordina- tion-The recommendation is that the towns and counties coordinate (and notify) each other of devel- opment within one and a half miles of town boundaries. Sussex is considering a one mile boundary area. Transfer of development Land use :Continued from page 1 Dukes said many of the issues like traffic are hardly new ones and he trotted out a 1961 inter- view with then Governor Bert Carvel to make his point. "This ar- ticle really could have been dated 1997," Dukes said. Dukes agreed with Pepper that one size doesn't fit all. "We would be making a mis- take if we think local issues can be resolved in Dover," Dukes said. Dukes thinks the chances that ma- jor land use legislation will pass this year's legislature are slim and growing slimmer. Dukes dis- cussed the issue at a May 6 meet- ing of County Council. "I think they are two years too late," he said of state land use ef- forts. He added that Sussex legis- lators say they are going to listen to constituents, many of whom ar- gue against sweeping change. Sen. George' Bunting (D- Bethany Beach) is one of those Sussex legislators and he was call- ing for the gentle and delicate art of compromise. "Ultimate deci- sion making must be with those elected as the municipal, county and state levels . . .We, as Delawareans must work together to find common ground," he said. rights between properties-The state group supported TDR's. Sussex County has decided to study the issue. Buildouts-The state group supports a mandatory "buildout/carrying capacity" as- sessment and is recommending legislation to do so. Consultant Charles Siemon of the firm Siemon, Larsen and Marsh said "it does not necessarily mean there is a cap." Sunsetting of rezonings and major subdivisions or develop- ments-The state group called for sunsetting of seven years or less, meaning approval for such rezon- ings or projects sunsets or ends if not developed. Mike Tyler of Lewes questioned whether the time frame should be less. Siemon said there was support for that, but a consensus that seven years should be a maximum. Sussex County has passed sun- setting for subdivisions after five years. The county will soon intro- duce sunsettings for rezonings, but that could be for a longer peri- od of perhaps ten years. Agricultural land-This was the most controversial element of any state or federal plan and concerns whether efforts ought to be made to limit development of farmland. "Isn't anyone going to ask if it's a cop out?" asked Siemon. Levity aside, both the state group and Sussex County side- stepped this issue which has raised the ire of farmers. The state committee's report says in part "the study committee considered a number of alterna- tive approaches in regard to agri- cultural preservation, however, Continued on page 16 Make The Decision Now! I II I I Increasing numbers of residents enjoy the Plantations so much, they say it's Th( Perfect Place to live. Why? Because of the quality of life, the extensive variety of homes, the sweeping beauty, the ease of maintenance and the instant availability. Isn't it time you decided to make Plantations your home, too? The variety of homes is as impressive as the quality is depend- able. We have newly designed Villas with garages, spacious Courtyard units, Carriage Homes with garages where you own th0 land and custom-built Single-family homes. Each property is constructed exclusively by Country Life Homes, the  Diamond Builder award winner in Delaware. Visit Plantations and tour our models. Prices start at $99,500. For more information, call us at - 302.645.2727 or 800.777.1530 Ooen 7 days a week I ..................... Fiii Riiiii ;iiiiii ia i ..................... t Midway Shopping Center traffic light | ....................... I onto Postal La., thht st 275. J