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November 30, 2012     Cape Gazette
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November 30, 2012

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20 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30- MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2012 NEWS Cape Gazette center, according to county code, Housing but the proposed location of the development was six miles from Continued from page I Laurel. He said the smaller lots and homes would also have an ad- George Cole, R-Ocean View; and verse effect on surrounding prop- Joan Deaver, D-Rehoboth Beach, erty values. During public hear- voted to back legal counsel's ad- ings, neighbors also complained vice while Vance Phillip& R-Lau- the development would have a rel; and Sam Wilson, R-George- negative effect on property values town, voted against, because most homes in the area "I don't believe we did anything are on large lots. wrong and certainly not to the de- During testimony, Jim Fuqua, gree that warrants a $750,000 pay- attorney representing the land off - even if it is from our insur- trust, argued the subdivision is a ance policy," Phillips said. ' ddi- permitted use in an AR-1 district tionally, I believe that elements of as authorized by the county's the decree are discriminatory in land-use plan, and the project re- and of itself. Sussex County is ex- quested no special considera- emplary in its efforts to help dis- Lions, waivers or exceptions. advantaged homeowners and He said the applicant was not those seeking affordable housing, seeking participation in the coup- This lawsuit is another example ty's affordable housing program. of our federal government run He also said county officials have amok." a track record of approving subdi- Under terms of the agreements, visions in Level 4 areas, which are Sussex County admits no wrong- considered locations where the doing, and no penalties or fines state does not support growth. have been assessed. However, the county agrees to allow Diamond County begins compliance process State to resubmit its subdivision "We are pleased that we are able plans, if it so chooses, for recon- to come to this agreement, and to sideration before the Sussex put the matter behind us for all County Planning and Zoning parties involved - most of all for Commission. the taxpayers and residents of Sus- "Today's groundbreaking set- sex County," said Council Presi- tlement recognizes the impor- dent Mike Vincent. "This settle- Lance of the obligation to affu-ma- ment avoids further litigation and Lively further fair housing in the investigatory proceedings by the activities of local governments. DO] and HUD; it ensures Die- Actions that establish or continue mond State can move forward barriers to full, fair housing choic- with its plans, and it protects the es deny Americans equal access taxpayers from paying anything to housing," said John Trasvifia, toward the settlement of this cam- assistant secretary for Fair Hous- plaint. That was among the most ing and Equal Opportunity. important priorities for the coun- cil throughout these discussions." Planners deny application In the coming weeks, county of- Sussex County Planning and ficials will be working closely Zoning Commission denied [)ia- with federal housing officials, mond State Community Land who initially received the cam- Trust's subdivision plans, voting plaint, about developing a plan to 3-1, on July 14, 2010. On Oct. 19, build upon the county's affordable county council denied an appeal housing efforts, said county of planning and zoning commis- spokesman Chip Guy. sion's decision by a vote of 4-1. Sussex County's Community The cluster subdivision plan, Development & Housing Depart- on 42 acres east of Laurel near ment already administers more Trap Pond State Park, included 50 than $1 million annually in federal single-family homes ranging in block grant funding to help reha- size from 1,350 square feet to 1,900 bilitate low- and moderate-in- square feet and ranging in price come, owner-occupied housing from $115,000 to $150,000. Under and assist with sewer connections the plan, homeowners would in the county. County govern- have owned the home while pay- ment provides funding for staff in ing a $40 monthly lease to the that office and directs an addi- land trust for the lot. Land trust tional $70,000 annually toward officials said this would be selling housing rehabilitation costs. 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Some developers have expressed inter- est in the programs, but to date no houses have been built under ei- ther program. "Despite many of the claims in this case, we believe Sussex County has a solid track record of doing its part to help foster an environment for affordable hous- ing and equal opportunity," County Administrator Todd Lawson said. re you orover? Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware Friday mornings, January 18-February 8 Prominent speakers on the media, politics, marine science and opera Held in Rehoboth Beach Only $25 for the series ($20 for UD alums) www.fifelongleorning.udeLedu/lewes 302-645-4111 sistant county attorney, saidthe one; the agreement does not say I~~~ applicants request for a cluster hire. It could be an intemal, exist- development must be in a town ing candidate," he said. o VISIT US AT OUR NEW LOCATION 17370 Coastal Hwy. 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