As a member of the community, you can help shape the future of Sussex County in many ways. It can be as easy as reading the website, sending an email, or attending a public meeting. Visit this page to learn more about upcoming meetings and review materials from past meetings.

Also, visit the home page to submit a comment or question on the plan. When you share an idea, it’s officially recorded, and all the ideas are compiled and sent to the decision makers for their consideration. Please note that all comments are part of the public record and subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

Public input is a vital piece of the Comprehensive Plan. Your comments and insight will help guide what the county will look like in the future. Please visit the Contact Us section on the home page or click here to go there to leave your comments and vision for what the county should look like in 2045.

Results of Land Use Public Survey

The Sussex county anonymous land use public Survey is now available.
View the Land Use Public Survey

Comments received from the Website

Capital Improvement Plan


What is the status of the 23 ordinance changes called for on page 2-10 of the current Sussex County Comprehensive Plan approved in June 2008? Has sufficient progress been made to show this was a meaningful plan developed to be implemented rather than one developed to meet a requirement and then sit on a shelf until the next required plan is developed and ignored?

Maximizing Sewer Infrastructure Use
The County, in an effort to maximize sewer infrastructure use and limit the need for duplicate infrastructure is leading an initiative to develop shared use agreements between the County, Municipalities and Private Providers. The agreements can be two or three party agreements allowing each party to send flow to the others facilities using the same infrastructure. This would eliminate the need for duplication of sewer infrastructure lines in the same locations, increase efficiencies and reduce costs to the consumers.

My background is in economics, and specifically development economics. For years, I worked with engineers and regional authorities to develop transport plans for their communities and regions and would like to know whether the Commission might use my expertise.

when planning new residential development require builders to build roads to state standards

In reviewing the 2008 Comprehensive Plan, I did not see any significant references or actions addressing Global Warming and Sea Water Rise.

I am willing to assist the county in any way possible to address the concerns.

Fred Hudson Highway is a very busy road. Bikers, walkers and runners use a lovely path that ends at McCoys Way that parallels the Highway. Heading east from that point is dangerous due to the lack of a paved path. We would like to see the addition of a paved path on this stretch of Fred Hudson Highway included in the Comprehensive Plan.

1. Set up a Sussex County Parks Department and start spending more county funds on purchase of land for County Parks and Open space as in Kent and New Castle County DE.
2. Invest County funds received from real estate transfer taxes for purchase of open space, ag land preservation, recreation and conservation.
3. The state does not have enough money to improve our roads, Sussex County has a surplus from the real estate boom it is now experiencing. With so many people moving here for lower taxes how will you supply services needed unless you use County funds to pay for services usually provided by the state. The huge imbalance between state income and County income needs to be addressed.
3. A good place to start would be to set up a County parks department with funds to purchase land for parks while it is still available. Our road need the same attention.
4. Unfortunately, a Transportation Improvement Distirct will not solve this problem either as DELDOT and the County have an incentive within the TID to increase density. The more units per acre approved the more money DelDOT gets to build roads. This will only exacerbate the problem we already have of too much congestion on roads. Instead the TID needs to protect areas in need of conservation to mitigate the flooding we are now experiencing along our waterways
Stormwater drainage is also grossly inadequate as evidenced during the recent flooding. Stormwater drainage regulations need to be greatly improved and our Conservation district needs to be expanded and funded so that they can enforce the regulations.
Regulations without enforcement do little good.

I would like to see a community rec center like Kent County has. I currently visit the new center in Dover about once a month to play pickleball and it would be good for our community to have something like this
Thanks

Sussex County needs an indoor recreation center such as the one located in Kent County. We have a lot of pickleball players who would utilize the center.

Given rise in popularity of pickleball in our area we need a recreational center in Eastern Sussex which will all for play all year round.

I can’t find the survey. Please advise.

Need to wide Rt 26 to 4 lanes
Canals in South Bethany need to be dredge ASAP
City roads need to be checked for flooding and resurfaced if needed.

As you approve plans for large and small developments, you must, I repeat, must, charge the developers not only for the costs for roads, sewage and water in their developments, but for the impact they will have throughout the county and state with additional traffic and drain on our utilities. They must pay for State and County Highways expansion and upkeep, as well as the added need for schools, fire departments, police, etc. It is essential that you do this and not allow them to build house and roads in their subdivisions and leave everything else for us citizens to pay for. Property tax alone on the new houses will be insufficient. New and improved roads and schools paid for by bonds lets the developers off the hook and all of us residents hooked into paying for costs we had no say so in approving. Do your job and charge them for the costs up front and spare us the burden.

As residents in the Cat Hill community of South Bethany, my wife and I have seen increasing cut-through traffic through our small residential streets. these streets were never designed to carry so much traffic. It has become a danger to pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, in just a 1 year period recently, there were 5 near-misses of vehicles hitting pedestrians, including 2 small children. The town and DELDOT are aware of these incidents. road plans need to be implemented to divert this ever-increasing traffic from our community. Allowing future building without improving road infrastructure is irresponsible for the health and well-being of its citizens.

I am concerned about:
Residential Development
o Large-scale, 5,000+ housing units are being approved within 5-10 miles of South Bethany?
o Approvals made without requiring comprehensive infrastructure (e.g., roads) improvements?
o Building moratorium(s) necessary to curb the growing traffic problems and achievement of development alignment with the infrastructure?
Commercial Development
o More unplanned runaway Route 1s, like in Rehoboth and Lewes?
Water Quality
o Dredging/maintaining back bay waterways surrounding South Bethany?
o Aquiculture, clean rivers and bay waters, agriculture and non-point specific pollution/runoff from farms, commercial and housing areas?
Traffic / Roads
o Traffic studies needed so new subdivisions and commercial growth and areas are in sync with road development, maintenance and other infrastructure?
o Right sizing roadways: Routes 54 and 26 – why only expanded to three lanes?

I our ‘Refuge’ HOA meeting yesterday, and found out the need to beg the government for more monies to build a better instra-structure (widening roads, providing emergency evacuation routes, limiting building etc.) in light of all the building that was going on. It’s a perfect storm, and something has to be done about it soon.

I wish I knew what the people here are thinking about with all the development along Rt 54 and 26. The amount of homes being built is crazy without any infrastructure to support growth. Any summer you can how land locked it can be. With the homes being built and more families moving into the area, it’s going to be summer traffic in the middle of winter. Stop the growth or build new roads!!!!

My concern is with the comprehensive infrastructure
plan for Sussex Co. The roads we currently have
are not able to handle the traffic that has increased
due to the housing market boom. It can easily take
30 min. to take a 4 mile trip to the beach from my
neighborhood during the summer. Road usage
needs to be studied and addressed before
any new housing project permits are issued. The
county can’t go on issuing permit after permit for
huge housing developments without studying the
impact on out roads and traffic.
Additionally we are lacking in good health care
providers to take care of the increasing number
of new residents. We need to find a way to recruit
professionals to the area.

Sussex County should pass an adequate public facilities ordinance to give the county more clout when it comes to requiring developers to provide road improvements. Both New Castle and Kent counties have these ordinances in place.

Sussex County should adopt an adequate public facilities ordinance.

Please strive to retain existing forested canopies and understories.

Allocated land about two to three acres
A building with HVAC, great lighting, bathrooms existing or renovated
Fee schedule to cover costs of running the facility at reasonable rates for seniors and families.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, especially among the 55+ age group, and there has been an explosive growth of Pickleball Players in Sussex County. We are asking help to build an indoor Pickleball facility to serve the senior community of over 500+ seniors now playing (and growing fast!). Pickleball offers a great opportunity to keep seniors active, hold tournaments in the County, and fill hotel beds and seats in restaurants. Sussex County residents of all ages would benefit greatly if we had an indoor facility with dedicated pickleball courts. The current utter lack of pickleball courts is a struggle, as the rank of local (and visiting) pickleball players has swelled from a handful to several hundreds, with no end in sight. The community at large has no access to a safe and conveniently located indoor facility to play pickleball. The population to be served are the residents of Sussex County and its surrounding areas. Also, the sport has become so popular that nearby municipalities and towns as will residents from other states — will travel to play, bringing tourism dollars with them. As noted by numerous press reports, Sussex County is a fast-growing retirement destination. ([Delaware] is one of the best places to retire. ~ CNBC; Beaches, waterways, and outdoor recreation have helped make Sussex County one of the most popular retirement destinations in the Northeast. It doesnt hurt that the area is more affordable than surrounding states .~ Wall Street Journal; The First State is one of the tax-friendliest states for retirees. ~ Kiplinger). Delaware Senior Population in Sussex County is growing by leaps and bounds:
1990 23.3%
2000 28.6%
2020 (projected) 30.9%

Sussex Countys 38,400 residents aged 60 and older represent approximately 29% of the states 134,500 total senior population.

DE population 60+ is projected to more than double from 111,109 to 245,605 125% increase by 2020
*Senior Center Research on Healthcare Policy from IPA and University of Delaware
www.ipa.udel.edu/healthcare/srcenters

The 55+ community in SUSSEX County, most of whom are mostly living on a fixed income, has very few (if any) affordable venues for physical activity. People may have the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation to be physically active, but if they do not have access to the necessary places where they can be active, they may be restricted from being physically active year round. This situation leads to a mostly sedentary lifestyle, which research has shown can lead to shorter lifespan, have a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. (State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014) It behooves the County to encourage and foster physical activity and well being among its year round residents. Part of pickleballs appeal is its brief learning curve, and it offers a great workout with much less physical strain on joints than most racket sports. One of the greatest draws of the sport is that it does not require great athleticism but can escalate to high competitive levels. Its a fun activity that accommodates people at every level of fitness. By providing dedicated pickleball courts in a heated indoor facility, Sussex County will ensure its residents have a safe, conveniently located place for the growing community of pickleball players of all ages.
Fastest Growing Sport in the United States and in Sussex County
Promotes an Active Lifestyle
Easy to Play
Appeals to former tennis or racquet players
Also played by new to sports people.
Fantastic way to meet new people.
Its an easy path to good mental and physical health for young and old

Explosive Growth of Pickleball Players in Sussex County

I believe that Sussex Co should build both an indoor recreation center with Pickleball courts and outdoor Pickleball courts. Adjacent counties have them and we should as well. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US and a large number of Sussex Co residents either play now or are starting to learn how. These recreational facilities would significantly improve the lives of your residents and attract additional residents!

I would love to have dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest rooms. Having played Pickleball in many venues, a surface that is body friendly is the art of any facility today. Ocean City and Kent county’s Recreation centers are excellent.
Research has shown that tere are many health benefits from playing this game such as improved agility, balance, stamina, focus, and laughter. Also include losing weight… because pickleball is so much fun it becomes a good reason for losing weight that makes sense; others automatically begin losing weight just from the increased activity alone. Research also site people getting off of their diabetes medication, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. Our aging brains need a good diet, exercise , and a social community. Pickleball offers great exercise, instant community, social inclusion and contributes to overall emotional well-being.
As construction developments are being built, Pickleball courts are also. But, we need an inside and outdoor courts for all populations in Sussex County. I support youth programs and something for our young adults and young families. Ocean City, MD is a wonderful example of indoor and outdoor facility.
Invest now for the present and future of Sussex County. Go Board Members!!

I retired in 2012 and moved to Delaware 18 months ago. I have always been active and I found a new sport that I absolutely love. It would very beneficial for our community to have dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent Pickleball courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest room facilities. I believe these courts are critical to the population playing this sport. Example of fantastic courts can be found in Ocean City and Kent county’s Recreation centers. There are many health benefits from playing this game such as improved agility, balance, stamina, focus, and laughter. Many seniors automatically begin losing weight just from the increased activity alone. In addition, we have heard of people getting off of their diabetes medication, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. Our aging brains need a good diet, exercise , and a social community. Pickleball offers great exercise, instant community, social inclusion and contributes to overall emotional well-being.
This community is a year round destination that requires indoor recreational facilities for the many who have retired here and live here year round. We want an active adult recreation center that features a large number of permanent pickleball courts In addition, permanent outdoor pickleball courts with lighting would offer extended play and great summer fun.

We need dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent Pickleball courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest room facilities. There is a large population of mostly +60 year old retired people playing this sport. The growth of players in Sussex County has been rapid going from about 100 in 2014 to more than 1000 players in 2016. This will continue to grow with the rapidly growing retirement population. It is also imperative that the courts have surfaces that are body friendly to support our bodies. Good examples are the community recreation centers installed in Ocean City and Kent County. The Senior Olympics Pickleball tournament was played in Kent County Rec. Center in 2016 that is an excellent facility.

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport in southern Delaware’ enjoyed by all ages especially seniors. Pickleball offers many lifestyle benefits, social, fitness and community support. More Pickleball courts are needed for our growing Delaware population. Council should plan for this important, growing sport.

Ms. Cornwell,
I am very worried related to the growth and land usage in Sussex County. I live in Paynters Mills and have been extremely concerned regarding the growth and development in our county. The main ideas I have listed below seem to be consistent with many regarding this issue. I am unable to be at the meeting today as I am an RN and an instructor. The health of our community is at the forefront of my issues-safe water, environment, and traffic congestion making emergent trips to the hospital are a few ideas.

Too much traffic Congestion/Inadequate Infrastructure
Preserve Open Space/Farmland
Protect Water Sources/Watersheds
Development Density is too high
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Regards,
Lois

To Whom it may concern,

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the Planning and Zoning meeting. I would like to be on record that I do agree that there’s too much traffic. We need to preserve farmland and protect our water sources.

Thank you,
Lisa Held
Paynters Mill

Sussex county minimum wage of $22 per hour. If that is the minimum required for p
rople to purchase a house.

I find it fascinating that the same issues concerning traffic in Sussex county, mainly from Route 1 at 5 points to Rehoboth, Route 9 (404) to Route 1 and Route 24 from Millsboro to Route 1, that were concerns and written about in 1972 and are still a topic of discussion today. I also find it troublesome that I don’t see a priority list of major issues in the development of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. What is also mind boggling is the lack of proactive input from DELDOT, who is the biggest contributor to the success of the Comprehensive Plan. The lack of the P&Z to realize that the infrastructure of Sussex County is the limiting factor to the systematic growth of the county, only shows the lack of understanding of all those concerned. DELDOT’s reactive approach only increases the cost of short term fixes and long term fixes by ten fold. P&Z must demand from DEDOT their Plain on how they will meet the needs of the 2018 – 2045 growth demands. The same demands must be asked of all the utilities, otherwise you will have what you have now and much worse by 2045.
I am an engineer and I know that you need a systematic approach with a list of priorities (in order of importance) to carry out the tasks at hand to be successful. This worries me because I don’t see it in the P&Z 2018 Comprehensive Plan. I sat and listened for 2 hours about the historical issues in the plan, which is low on the priority list, however important in preserving. Nothing was discussed about affordable housing, development of clean industry, expansion of public service transportation or changing the zoning on farms to AG-1, to maintain the agricultural industry.

I am a new homeowner in Paynter’s mill (condo owner) and a young person in my 20s. My concerns include:
– too much traffic congestion, especially in the summer months

– preserving the farmland as agriculture is what sussex county mostly revolves around
– protecting the wildlife
-the rising cost of living in sussex county as I am a young person who wants to stay in the area and eventually raise a family here

To all concerned Pand Z commissioners. We responded to the first meeting concerning the development of Tall grass estates. Several home owners reported heavy flooding on Will King rd.The topic of poor soil conditions also came up.The only question to the developer was if he could have a covered bus stop.
You can check the minutes of the meeting.All of the problems that were written in the letter have now happened. The contractor ran heavy equipment over proposed septic fields which now alter the type of system to be used,A contractor used soil from the site to create a mountain of dirt that forms a channel that is flooding the rear of Chapel Green homes.Only recently have silt fences been repaired. A neighbor on Will King rd told me he had his water well tested and high nitrogen levels were found. Disturbed soil from a property that was farmed for 20 years is the reason.After looking at soil conditions a contractor did not develop this site.Another issue is the fact that the sediment ponds retain water in a dysfunctional manner. The conservation district has been monitoring this site for months and it is a real concern.The county agencies that have to fix these issues are doing as well as they can with limited manpower.I realize that transfer taxes play a large role in the county,When you are warned that there are serious issues to consider with a proposed development you have the obligation to listen and react. In this case your Zoning commission has failed. All homes on the perimeter are being degraded if construction is not monitored.The people who purchase these $20,000 septic systems that could fail due to flooding are harmed also, Maintenance of these systems yearly is $600. The history of this project is what is wrong with the rubber stamp method that is being used. Oakwood Village located across from Chapel Green has similar issues. It would be prudent for the contractor to tie into the New sewer district as Hans Medzlar suggested, Please surprise me with a real action plan.Remember the agencies are just trying to fix what was dropped in their lap.

I live in Paynters Mill, in Milton, near Lewes, at the corner of Caves Neck and Route 1-the traffic is so terrible already and there are frequent accidents. Please preserve what little agricultural open space is left for both environmental and safety reasons. Additionally, none of the retail space in our development has succeeded, it’s been one failure after another and they sit empty- it would be an even worse eyesore to build a big shopping center near us that would only ruin the landscape, provide only minimum wage jobs( which are already plentiful) and increase the traffic congestion and pollution even more. There is TRULY no need for such a development in our area.
Thank you for your careful consideration.
Amy Feinberg
Paynters Mill

To whom it may concern,
I have attended two of the meetings concerning the 2018 Sussex County Plan, and found them lacking in identifying priorities. The estimated 18,600 residents and ~46,500 additional people on top of the existing 2015 estimated 131,418 residents of Sussex County, worries me. Today Route 24 and Route 9, the only east/west roads and Route 1 north/south, in southern Sussex County can’t handle the traffic and are a nightmare for emergency vehicles to navigate around traffic during the weekdays and exponentially worse during summer on weekends. In my opinion before a growth plan can be developed we have to have a plan for our roads. At the last meeting I attended the DELDOT representative explained that DELDOT was reactive and not proactive; this statement was in it self a show stopper. The 2018 Plan must prioritize infrastructure first, which means DELDOT has to be proactive and plan the Roadways first.
Unfortunately I can’t attend the March 29, 2017 meeting due to a previous appointment out of state, however I am very concerned about the grow of Sussex County and how it will affect the residents.

Thank you for your efforts and concerns,

Martin Peltz
Secretary Hart’s Landing Board of Directors

‘The definition of successful
people is simply ordinary people
with extraordinary determination.’
Mary Kay Ash

The increase in traffic as a result of development is not sustainable.

Efforts need to be made to preserve open space and farms.

Water sources need to be protected.

Development has become so dense that the quality of life in Sussex County is steadily diminished.

Sincerely,
Clive F. Getty
Milton, DE

To: Sussex County Planning and Zoning

From: Phoebe Cottingham, 23793 Samuel Adams Circle, Millsboro DE 19966, 302-945-2227,

email: feebster@me.com

Re: Comments on the 2018 Sussex Comp Plan. (Sent via SARG for inclusion at the March

29, 2017 meeting)

Date: March 28, 2017

The 2018 Comp Plan for Sussex County should take as ‘the’ number one priority the support of

existing and future economic opportunities possible throughout the county. These opportunities

do differ by the natural resources and existing economic differences across the County, as shown

by the investments already made by individual land owners, companies, and the county-state

government agencies. Those differences need to be respected and allowed to evolve.

The County should not attempt to control or road-map economic possibilities by applying rules

or standards that the State may want for other counties, or that planners from other localities

promote. I have many professional associations with planners. Thus I have a friendly, but

healthy skepticism of the viability of the ‘big plan’ or ‘smart plan’ ideologies of the past.

Nor should the County take a particular group’s interests as ‘the key issue’. Rather the economic

history and data analysis presented clearly show that Sussex has had two main economic drivers

— the agriculture and tourism. Eastern Sussex is currently experiencing a third driver, residential

communities of retirees. It is likely that new economic development (jobs and businesses) will

soon take place in health care and associated services. There is a fourth area of economic

activity that is promising on the horizon, given the lower costs of bringing in new businesses

here versus nearby states, if not constrained by more regulatory checkoffs. This would be in

technology development and associated light industry that exports beyond Sussex.

As a resident of one of the newly built Eastern Sussex communities on farm land, I urge keeping

the plan ‘simple’. Avoid schemes from elsewhere that limit innovation and new opportunities.

Let the market signal what works here. We will see transitions take place, as competition clears

out what was not viable.

I come at the 2018 plan deliberations with a PhD in economics and ‘city planning’. I researched

freeway planning and then the intersection of economic development and policy attempts to

intervene.

More pertinent, since moving here in 2010, I have been very active in land use deliberations, I’ve

attended three information sessions on the 2018 plan, the recent workshops in the Chambers, and a number of SCC and P&Z meetings. This started for me back in 2011-2012 when an

application for a music festival was contested by people in proximity and withdrawn.

From listening to many comments and the past six years attending meetings, I urge using the

individual land use application process, rather than the plan, to deal with proposed changes in

land use. Avoid taking on a new plan full of impossible regulations or ‘zones’ in an attempt to

control or protect x or y.

This means removing from the 2018 plan any 2008 plan details that never worked or were found

detrimental. Move forward only with very modest changes that have clear, practical impact and

justifications. Do not create ‘visions’.

Most of all, keep the following steps in P&Z and SCC deliberations as part of the regular order:

– Continue with the public hearing process to make decisions that are appropriate for the location

and type of activity.

– Use ordinances to clarify the activities that Sussex has learned have costs on others that

outweigh the likely economic change sought.

– Streamline the permit process to allow new opportunities to move much more quickly into

place.

– Cost out better the changes needed in roads so that an application has already taken into

account the changes in traffic flows and agreed to contribute to the additional costs.

– Keep the focus on identifying water system weaknesses (both in sewer-drainage systems and

the water consumption needs) and expect changes in the future that will impact on the 2018

Plan implementation.

– Work closely with the State Department of Transportation on road status and plans for improvement.

For the record: we have lived in lewes for more than 22 years with locations in historic Lewes and now in Wolfe Pointe. The unplanned ,poorly designed and thoughtless development has damaged our quality of life, safety, mobility and environmental safety. I do not see much about flooding, flood risk areas and evacuation planning in the plans as they are submitted. We have fought developments as they have come up and can see no reason that some controls cannot be effected at this point…..late but perhaps not too late. Certainly development in environmentally risky areas must be stopped immediately! Proposed mall on route 1 being the worst offender! Sally Packard

Living close to Route 1, in Lewes, we are constantly confronted with increasing traffic year round. The quiet community that we chose to retire to 14 years ago is no more.
Our roads are unsafe with not only the quantity of traffic, but the speed at which people drive, and the deteriorating roads.

No community will ever stand still, but the rapidly increasing new developments is frightening. Our farmlands are disappearing, and with the constantly changing weather situations across the country, what are we going to do when we need these lands for growing crops?

Of course, with increased populations,comes increased pollution, and litter. Frequently these help to contribute to the continuing issues with our marine life.

Please slow down on the rapid growth of Eastern Sussex County. We do not need more shopping centers. If we need to build, let us give our youth recreational facilities. Where are the Tennis Courts, Swimming pools, etc.that will keep not only the young outside, but those who are trying to stay young at heart, and healthy

Thank you,
Mike and Trish Baines
Pondview Drive,
Lewes De

I am Sheila Handley and I live off on Rt. 5 in the community of Stonewater Creek. At total is my immediate community it is now proposed a total of approx. 700 homes when built out. We have another huge community directly across the street, Pelican Pointe, with approx. 400-500 homes to be built. Right up the street is the community of Independence, another large community. Off of Harmons Hill road is Fernwood Homes’ community of Liberty. All these communities alone off of Rt. 5 with no change in infrastructure. And with all these mentioned communities our only access points to Rt. 1 businesses, medical facilities, most of the restaurants and shops are Rt. 24, Rt. 9 which are heavily traveled now and Rt. 23 (Beaver Dam rd.) which now has two new residential communities. All these main thoroughfares are two lane roads. I don’t think having ‘turn’ lanes is sufficient enough to make a dent in the time spent in cars in back up traffic thus affecting our quality of life. This does not even factor in the summer seasonal traffic. To allow all this development without infrastructure improvements in tandem is, in my opinion, either stupidity, greed or both.

Ms. Cornwell,
I am very worried related to the growth and land usage in Sussex County. I live in Paynters Mills and have been extremely concerned regarding the growth and development in our county. The main ideas I have listed below seem to be consistent with many regarding this issue. I am unable to be at the meeting today as I am an RN and an instructor. The health of our community is at the forefront of my issues-safe water, environment, and traffic congestion making emergent trips to the hospital are a few ideas.

Too much traffic Congestion/Inadequate Infrastructure
Preserve Open Space/Farmland
Protect Water Sources/Watersheds
Development Density is too high
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Regards,
Lois

To Whom it may concern,
Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the Planning and Zoning meeting. I would like to be on record that I do agree that there’s too much traffic. We need to preserve farmland and protect our water sources.
Thank you,
Lisa Held
Paynters Mill

Dear Sir/Madam:

Thanks for the opportunity to comment regarding the above subject.

Having owned property in Sussex County now for over 15 years, it has become clear that the County has become something of a hot spot in the region. Yet the County has reacted somewhat slowly to the growing population and development issues currently beleaguering its leaders.

A great deal of time and effort was spent fighting the unwanted proposed development of Overbrook Town Center, a bad idea from the start because of size, traffic and environmental issues. Thankfully, the County Council voted the project down, although the issue may not yet be dead. The State seems intent on spending millions to build overpasses to nowhere, yet it will not approve an extra traffic light on Rt. 1 at Cave Neck Road, for fear of ‘impeding traffic flow.’ Nonsense! It’s a safety issue, folks!

It is true that a growing population will demand additional services. That does not mean large shopping centers. I would argue that a development such as Five Points in Lewes, which combined different forms of housing along with more useful shopping options (i.e., supermarket, optician, drug store, etc.) was an excellent idea, rather than a huge shopping mall with 5,000 parking spaces and multiple big box stores.

There is much evidence that existing storefronts are not being filled. The County should be studying the reason that smaller businesses are failing before committing to larger developments. Eventually, when planning fails, resources are used up, and communities are left holding the bag for local governments’ failure to see a bigger picture. Smarter, more thoughtful development is the right way to go. No one wants the County to stand still, but neither do we want to lose the rural feeling that brought many of us down to Sussex County in the first place.
Sincerely,
Bruce Karp
Paynter’s Mill
Milton, DE

I am writing for my concern for responsible growth only in eastern Sussex County where I reside. Un-responsible growth creating a negative impact to the environment, traffic and my and my neighbors way of life needs to be avoided. Commercial or residential development that creates negative impact to the environment, traffic and our way of life should not be encouraged nor assisted by any committees or appointed groups. Sussex County Government should protect the way of life of its residents by only allowing reasonable growth that does not negatively impact any of its residents or the environment that which we live in. Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this very important issue.
Paul Jones
Payntors Mill
Milton DE

Climate Change should be the lens through which the entire Comp Plan is prepared–otherwise, this plan is obsolete before it is even written.

Excellent to include the community in the planning effort.

to go forward I assume you have to know what the present road capacities and traffic currently is. When are peak summer traffic studies planned to use actual June-august data. Rt 54 is very bad

The County (and the state) should promote a self governing strategy of encouraging incorporated towns expand their boundaries to deal with their own areas. Additionally, unincorporated areas that are not adjacent to a town, should incorporate themselves. The county has done a poor job of representing the people on development. A Councilmember who lives over in Bridgeville has no clue as the the struggles of the Eastern part of the county and vice versa. What might be good for Rehoboth/Midway, might not be good for Millsboro.
-East west corridor either needs to be greatly improved or just admit the county has no interest in tourism.
– Stop building in flood prone areas that we all know are going to flood. If its been flooding for the last 20 years, it’s only going to get worse.
– Implore DNREC, the State and Army Corps of Engineers to revisit their strategy of constant dredging as a cure for coastal erosion.
– While we remove outfall pipes from the bay, we now need to address all the other issues causing the toxic conditions. All run off is contributing to this problem. Both farms as well as residential developments need a better run off strategy.
– A focus on organic job growth would be refreshing instead of focusing on enticing others to move here. We do very little as a community to promote local entrepreneurs to stay here.
– Create a fresh water wetlands code. Those wetlands are important too.
– I know it’s impossible, but create actual zoning other than just the entire county being AR-1. This is a hodgepodge strategy which has led us to where we are today. There should be commercial zones so people will know where they can conduct business without needing a variance and help cut down on conditional use applications
– Stop the current paradigm of county approving projects, projects get built, traffic forms, blame deldot. We currently have development occurring in areas where there is NO plan for what is going to happen to the feeder roads once the project is built. This is idiotic and I hold the county more responsible for some traffice nightmares around here more than I blame DelDot.
– Speaking of which, the ‘improvements’ to the Cape High school intersection are a JOKE. DelDot will have to come back once Senators and everyone else fills in back there. Plan ahead instead of after the fact.
– Consider some sort of resort tax on hotels and short term rentals to pay for some of this stuff. I pay $5 a day resort tax in FL to pay for road improvements and a trolley that runs up and down I-Drive. I am not suggestion $5, but if tourist dollars are so fantastic for the county, we have very little to show for it based on how tourists are treated here with traffic conditions.
Thank you for putting these presentations together. I doubt public input will sway the developers pave over everything and move on strategy we are currently employing.

When will the June dates be posted and when will the Elements be included for each of those dates?

Also, when do you anticipate the Survey forms being posted?

Thanks

The current growth in Sussex County is not sustainable unless the effect the current growth rate as on roads, sewer, water and general quality of life for residents and visitors. I have been a property owner since the mid ’70s and have seen first hand espeically in the past 15 years how the quality of life has been negatively impacted by the uncontrolled growth. I am not one who is saying I have mine so stop prospective new residents from also enjoying the beauty and opportunity this area has to offer. I am for growth but in a positive way with consideration and improvement of the infrastructure. Traffic clogged roads, salt water intrusion into wells and pollution of the waterways are caused by uncontrolled growth. Start now before the beautiful county is damaged to the point of no return.

I would like to see stronger development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. I would also like to see infrastructure fees implemented. More and more people are moving to Sussex County and the developers should pay fir infrastructure needs not the tax payers.

Please stop the building in the south east part ot the county. You are destroying our county. Also the roads are a mess as a result of you actions. What are you going to do about the them?

We love Sussex County, but since we have moved Since we moved here 21 yrs. ago, getting around has been a big problem. On the weekend we don’t venture out of Lewes. The roads have not kept pace with all the housing that has been allowed plus the tourism that has taken place. Please make strong development standards and regulations to prevent more traffic problems.

Please planning and zoning commissioners we need strong development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. The eastern side of the state is not a cash cow for new revenue.

The Meanness of Sussex County For all practical purposes, any and all new construction within Sussex County must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. It follows from this truism that Sussex County government bears sole responsibility for 15 years of aimless, uncontrolled and unplanned development sprawl that today threatens to ruin our quality of life. Despite this reality, state and county officials steadfastly and unabashedly heap blame for our present-day tsunami of new construction on: Residents who failed to oversee in a vigilant manner requests for building permits and land use Residents who failed to understand the intricacies of DELDOT rules and regulations The most recent reactions to present day circumstances are: I am open to new ideas if they work well (Arlett) and DELDOT plans to study new traffic counts next year (if the County makes it an aspirational priority)(McCLeary). The sum total of resident protest at meetings and “coffees” attended by hundreds over the last several months has rendered these “action” statements. Good grief! One is left speechless at the madness of our elected and appointed officials. The late urban activist Jane Jacobs said about modernistic urban planning: There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder and this meaner quality is the mask of pretended order achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served. To assist the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, and our state representatives who may be allegorically challenged by Ms. Jacobs’ turns of phrase, they, collectively, are the “mask of pretended order achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order.” We, Sussex County residents, are the “real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.” To date, public meetings and hearings have been a sham. Either residents are lectured on procedures for opposing building permits, informed their concerns are 10 years past due or simply told their observations of crowding and congestion are “too weedy” for our elite team of comprehensive planners to incorporate into their “thinking.” Whatever the forum or content, searching for relief from this band of officials is futile. They simply cannot admit they made our infrastructure mess and hence, quite logically, they cannot agree to clean it up. Hopelessness need not carry the day. An independent study reviewing the permitting, land use and zoning decisions of the County over the last 15 years and how those decisions impact our infrastructure today would be a welcome addition to the County’s planning tools. Moreover, an independent study could provide specific recommendations to remediate existing damage to our infrastructure and provide solutions for achieving in the future a balance between sensible growth and maintenance of a good urban quality of life. Such an independent study would be a formidable asset to assist with concluding and finalizing the draft comprehensive plan currently in process. The absurdity of public statements by our County Administrator that the draft plan has received nothing but positive comments underscores the draft plan’s lack of gravitas as a planning document. To our County Administrator and Board of Supervisors, your residents are demanding “to be served.” Can you not find collectively the will to carry out the public purpose that would be furthered by a truly independent review of how we got here and how we get out? James Angus Frankford, Delaware December 1, 2017

The comprehensive plan must address the vagueness with which zoning applications are handled by both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. The general welfare and public safety are over-riding constructs in state statutes and local ordinances that should guide all zoning decisions. And yet, approvals by both public bodies are supported by only general comments regarding these comments, such as “this request will not adversely affect the community.” Any approval should address with specificity the discrete facts and empirical analysis that supports the underlying conclusions, i.e. schools, roads, public safety, fire and police protection, natural resources, neighborhoods affected by traffic cutting through residential streets, property values from such traffic patterns, affect of quality of life. Sussex County Board of Supervisors Re: Objection to Change of Zone No. 1827 Filed on Behalf of Fenwick Commons, LLC Objection to Conditional Use No. 2098 Filed on Behalf of Fenwick Commons, LLC Objection to Conditional Use No. 2075 filed on behalf of Burton’s Pond, LLC (Burton’s Pond Section II) Dear Supervisors: I begin these remarks with the confidence that Delaware statutes and Sussex County ordinances governing zoning, mandate that zoning actions undertaken by the County Council shall “promote, in accordance with the present and future needs, the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of Sussex County, Delaware ….” Of course this statement of purpose is followed by common sense references to schools, police and fire protection, roads, safety and other indices of the general welfare of the residents who live in Sussex County. Against the overarching principles in state law and local code each zoning request must be measured. No. 1827 and No. 2098 A few short months ago many area residents protested to elected representatives at multiple meetings over the traffic chaos that will occur on Rte. 54 with the completion of a new convenience store/service station and an adjacent 80 unit townhouse development. The culmination of these protests was a November 5 meeting at the Roxana Fire Hall attended by about 300 residents. Whatever the pleas of area residents at these meetings, they have been arrogantly ignored by those we have voted into office. Remarkably, on October 26, a few days before the penultimate firehouse meeting but well within the zone of public unrest over congestion, our very own Planning and Zoning Commission (appointed by the Board of Supervisors) approved a two part zoning change to allow 52 townhomes to be built just up the road a bit at the corner of Rte. 54 and Sand Cove Road. It is the findings of the Planning and Zoning Commission that are stunning in their blindness to daily life in Sussex County: three of the four members decided that this addition of 52 townhomes will “promote the orderly growth of our County in an appropriate location” and all four members decided “the rezoning will not have an adverse impact on neighboring properties or the community.” I defy any person to replicate such unanimity from any random sample of 25 Sussex County residents. These phrases “promote orderly growth” and “adverse impact” have an innate magical quality. Like Dorothy clicking her heels together three times, petitioning attorneys merely utter these phrases and, abracadabra, their client’s petition is granted by our county government. According to the overarching principles that guide the Sussex County Council, there are other voices that should be consulted or at least heard before zoning decisions are finalized. For instance, does the addition of 52 homes have any relevance to promoting orderly growth and avoiding adverse impacts on the larger community, i.e. schools, fire and police protection, roads, public safety, and the like? Children will be added to our schools, which means resources for school transportation, school buildings, furniture, supplies, heating and cooling, food preparation, service and disposal, and (I must be missing something) oh yes, teachers, with salaries, pensions and benefits. I could not find an analysis in this application regarding the orderly growth or impact on our schools. Then there is the matter of fire and police protection. There will be predictable instances of medical emergencies, vandalism, domestic disputes, lost kittens, noise complaints, burnt turkeys, barbecue grill mishaps, missing children and all the other inevitable grist of daily life. Again, I could find no analysis in this application regarding input from fire and police authorities on their ability in an orderly manner and with no impact on resources to protect the lives and safety of these 52 new townhomes. These new residents will bike and walk which raise the issue of bike lanes and sidewalks on Sand Cove Road and Rte. 54 allowing access to nearby shopping and recreation. Yet, there are no plans presented in this application for either bike paths or sidewalks allowing such access. Public safety as people navigate to and from this subdivision on foot becomes a troubling aspect unaddressed in this zoning application. Now we already know these new residents will not spend much time most of the year on Rte. 54 because of over-crowding so they will skitter invariably off onto secondary roads which here in Sussex County are all too often two lane ribbons with ditches for shoulders and telephone poles for guardrails. With GPS technology drivers will discover our “gems of short-cuts” to the Atlantic Ocean through local developments in Fenwick, Bethany Beach and South Bethany Beach. Such added use to country lanes and development streets will surely upset DELDOT’s maintenance schedule and local condominium budgets, adding costs in maintenance and materials. Moreover, added traffic in private developments certainly impacts their residential nature and upsets settled expectations of homeowners who have made a significant investment in their quality of life. The application has no mention either of how the addition of these 52 townhomes will promote orderly growth or impact program schedules for the “safe” maintenance and use of public and private roads or fulfill the life style expectations of homeowners in other developments that will sip coffee looking out at “zip through traffic” on their quiet residential streets. The Planning and Zoning Commission has concluded that this zoning change “promotes the orderly growth of the County in an appropriate location” and does not have “an adverse impact on the neighboring properties or the community.” It is certainly heartening to know that such conclusions have been reached but it would be more comforting if the empirical analysis for these conclusions could be shared with the public at large. On January 23, 2018 the Board of Supervisors when considering this application for final approval, the Board should table the matter until a legitimate analysis can be presented that addresses the effect this zoning change will have on our community and our expectation for orderly growth. It is clear that both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Supervisors have a myopic view of the proper evaluation to undertake when evaluating the effects of development on the community when zoning matters arise which increase density (and profit). We are in a rapidly expanding urban area that shows signs daily of the strain on infrastructure as it fails to keep pace with the voracious appetite of developers to build-sell-profit, and then build-sell-profit some more. The Board of Supervisors is not serving the best interests of residents, and voters, by staring into the maw of this appetite and feeding its every want and desire, all the while whistling they are “promoting orderly growth” and acting responsibly such as “to not impact our quality of life.” Of course, this letter touches upon the larger requests for zoning changes that are yet to come: and there will be many, adding “bigly” to our population boom. It is indeed good that quality of life issues are in the deliberative mix of the zoning approval process; the problem is that there is no evidence that either the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Board of Supervisors or those persons who advise them understand what “promoting orderly growth” and “adverse impact” mean, let alone what facts establish their presence or absence in a zoning application. At the raucous November 5 Roxana Fire Hall meeting, the October 26 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting and the November 14 Board of Supervisors meeting, the voice Sussex County residents needed was that of Paul Newman echoing back to government authority: What we got here is a failure to communicate! (Cool Hand Luke). As each supervisor knows full well, elections and redistricting are in the not too distant future. At that time our democratic method of communication (the ballot box) can bring an end to this zoning nonsense that allows changes to zoning density at the “whim” of a developer and the “artful dodge” of its attorney. No. 2075 I incorporate by reference all of the above into the application for 100 townhouse units to be placed on 31 acres of land, more or less, in Sussex County. With an approval, the Board of Supervisors must cite to empirical data establishing that the addition of 100 townhouses will not affect orderly growth or adversely impact the resources required for education, public safety, police and fire protection, roads or natural resources. Sincerely, James Angus Frankford Submitted to Sussex County Administrator by email January 17, 2018

hopefully you come to your see senses and vote against Overbook. it’s not needed as well as will further created traffic concerns which already afflict us all. Time for preservation of space forestry and land!

I’m concerned about the gross amount of litter in the area, especially along Log Cabin Rd and Hudson Rd Milton. I would appreciate a call. Thank you.

Why bother to “update” the required Comprehensive Plan, when all the powers to be will allow massive zoning changes anyway. Just rubber stamp the existing one and stop wasting tax payers money. There is no real planning taking place here, it “appears” to be cut and dried. There are some people on the Commission that actually care about our beautiful local and the impact on the environment. Why are we allowing developers to almost clear cut all the trees down, with the climate changes going on?

This is an overall comment for the comprehensive plan. In 2045 I daresay this county will look quite different from what it is today. I hope by that time that the roads will have improved so that not only emergency vehicles but also average citizens can travel safely. That being said, those roads need to improve now.

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I would like to unsubscribe, do not live in Milton, DE anymore

Community Design


Good morning I and the Project Lead for both the Sussex County Health Coalition and the Lead on the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative across the state.
I would venture that our work in some ways minimally would compliment each other and at best support each other. Would be interested in connecting.

Is it possible to get a printed copy? I would be willing to buy it. I cannot print it myself

When approving developers plans for multiple residences, you must also consider the impact of these development on our bays and waterways. Sussex County is a vacation destination and our communities derive significant monies from our visitors. The ocean, bays and waterways are our most important asset. You must keep this asset in as pristine condition as possible. Significant setbacks from the shoreline must be imposed. A bay whose shoreline is nothing but a mix of different houses is not an asset but a liability.

This comment probably comes under Community Design, Housing, Land Use, Transportation and Utilities. I wish to express concern that in Southeastern Sussex (possibly called coastal Sussex) that a very large number of housing units are continuously being approved. This development is good when the infrastructure is available or at least included in the planning. Many roads are without shoulders or bike lanes and have narrow car lanes. Public sewer is not available in many areas and in this inland bays area it should be mandatory. Hope that future development approvals take in to consideration all the necessary infrastructure that is needed to support the growth. Going back to correct is very expensive.

Freeboard is needed for unincorporated Sussex as back bays are the areas that most flood. Back bays have salt water intrusion, pollution. Developers fill in and build, build, build and next everyone floods, floods, floods.
There seems no flood plain planning and hazard mitigation.

As a full-time resident in West Fenwick along the route 54 corridor,, I am concerned about future housing developments overwhelming our roads with added congestion (particularly during summer months). Will our water and sewer systems handle the expanded capacity? What about the electric grid? I certainly hope that, as a taxpayer, I will not have to pay for any of this. Please do not let any development occur until all infrastructure and transportation improvements are in place (not afterwards).

I am a registered Landscape Architect that lives and works in Sussex County. I implore you to seek design professionals when reviewing and critiquing any new development plans, or to help in establishing design guidelines for such communities. All the professions must be engaged and work as a team in order for a cohesive and sustainable design to emerge. Special focus should be given to ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ design solutions. If possible, conditions should be required for future improvements where zoning changes or variances are requested (such as the inclusion of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable paving, biofiltration, etc. and the projects should be focused on pedestrian circulation – not vehicular.

Within the next 10 years I’d like to drive down Route 1 and not see any Billboards. I’d also like to see the Route 1 area from 5 Points to the Rehoboth Canal beautified with trees, perennial plantings along the side of the roads and in the medium. Let’s clean this area up.

The recent P&Z comments regarding truck traffic breaking up community roads misses the point.
The solution is the roads must be built to standards for their intended use. The ordinance that allows roads built to county standards is the problem. All roads need to be built to state standards that would support trash & delivery truck traffic. The ordance must be changed.

You have got to stop building off old landing road. There is way to much building to allow for any kind of access in and out of the small roads. We need a plan that makes sense and not one that satisfies builders and Realtors

An Op-Ed in the Cape Gazette states that the 2018 Comprehensive Plan does not address sea level rise in any way. It is imperative that the Planning & Zoning Commission consider the impact of sea level rise and include efforts to mitigate such impact. The situation is urgent. Thank you.

This goes along with my other comments regarding land use, but I feel that, new communities especially, need to be more centered toward the idea of a ‘micro community’. Existing rural housing also needs more strategically placed shopping centers to help cut down on commuting to achieve simple tasks such as purchasing food, fuel, or other essentials. The ability to access these hubs via bicycle or alternative transportation such as golf cars would hopefully encourage more use of sustainable transportation and achieve the overall goal of reducing traffic.

As a landscape architect and land planner, I would like to see additional planning for ageing-in-place development, especially with our ageing population and the older citizens that are relocating here. I like the tiny-house program, but I think it would be more successful if marketed to ageing-in-place residents. Also, more sustainable practices need to be accommodated in any new developments. both residential and commercial.

An Adequate Public Facilities program must be developed to assure orderly growth and development in the County. Proper planning of Roads and Utilities must be considered to guarantee adequate capacities. Developers must be required to adhere to the APF requirements and provide required improvements, etc.

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I have lived in Sussex County for 18 months now and have observed the communities in my area. It is obvious that these communities were developed with little regard for current infrastructure loads. While the interiors of the communities may be be very nice with various amenities, getting to them and out and about in the surrounding community is not. Roads are crumbling due to the constant heavy equipment required to construct these communties.

Borrowing from a recent version of Kent County De. Comprehensive Plan under their Community Facilities section : . Require developers to pay for or provide the added public facilities necessary to support their developments when normal County facilities programming will not result in the timely provision of the services that will support the proposed development, including, but not limited to, schools, parks, roads, wastewater.

Conservation


How to preserve Farm Land and Farming; and Woodlands

With more and more of our wooded areas being destroyed for housing, my concern is for the wildlife that live there. What are we doing to protect them? Are they being killed? What is happening to our image of a beautiful beach town with trees? Why are we allowing these contractors and their attorneys to win? Who is lining whose pockets in Sussex Co.? Soon we will be the ‘East coast San Francisco or Los Angeles…a human ant farm in a cement city!

Please do not allow any developer to build near our wetlands. Please create a huge buffer for the wetlands so that there is no runoff of lawn herbicides or pesticides from new developments. Sewers must be installed before any new building continues in Sussex county. Thank you.

The Ocean, Bay and water quality are very important to me. I would like to see continuing efforts to keep the ocean and bay areas pristine, clean and people friendly. I believe ALL beaches should be unrestricted to ALL people – with the limited number of world beaches, everyone should have access to them. No private beaches!

I believe there is TOO MUCH
I believe in renewable energy and support wind and solar panels and recycling as much as possible
I would like to see home windmills allowed.

Under Transportation – There is no easy transportation for lower income people to access offices of aid (Court House in Georgetown from the coast) and places of employment, as the Chicken Factories running shifts 24/7.
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In a May 26, 2015, article in the Cape Gazette, Don Flood reported that ‘the Cape Region and the state are burdened with polluted streams and Inland Bays. Even our ground water is affected.

‘In January 2014, Gov. Jack Markell, speaking before the General Assembly, threw down the gauntlet. Water is the foundation of our tourism industry, Markell said. It’s vital to agriculture, manufacturing and everything that we do. Yet a century of pollution has impaired nearly every waterway in our state.’

Legislators did nothing, Flood reported. In some areas residential water is unsuitable for drinking or washing.

I agree with Don Flood. And we all know that the more housing that goes in, the greater the chance of ever more water pollution. The Commission and the County Council need to consider our river, streams and inland bays when approving new developments. They should sit down with DNREC, the Center for the Inland Bays and other environmental groups and seek advice on reducing pollution of our water.

Preserve our trees — Loblolly Pines, Virginia Pines, Oaks, and many other types of trees. Our farmland is important, too. It’s a big part of our economy, especially with our poultry industry.

Trees, woodlands and forests keep our air clean, provide habit for animals, and joy to visitors, runners and walkers. Once a tree is cut, a forest cut into or levelled, they’re gone. Tree planted by developers and residents are good but not a replacement for what is no longer in the earth and up above the earth — the large trees. These can’t be replaced.

One example of a leveled forest is the beautiful community of the Bayfront at Rohoboth. I enjoy walking through this community. The people are friendly, the homes are beautiful, the grass is green and well kept and the landscaping is beautiful. Some of the large pines remain but the forest is gone.

Hundreds of acres of forest had been there. Part of it was a hunting preserve. It was a great place to hike right up to the wetlands on Rohoboth Bay. It took over a year of cutting and bulldozing to clear the forest. Now it’s gone.

Fortunately, Camp Arrowhead, owned by the Episcopal Diocese, is intact. Its hundreds of acres of forest still there. And fortunately, a state owned preserve covering hundreds of acres is still there, stretching out to the entrance of Herring Creek.

The County Council needs to protect our woodlands and forests. Our farms are important too. But let sensible development go in on farm land and limit development of our woodlands and forests.

My wife and I are concerned with all of the housing developments popping up everywhere and all of the farms that are for sale. The infrastructure is not in place to handle this. During the summer months traffic is already horrible on route 20 and 54. This area has such charm to it. Hopefully this is not going to turn into another New Castle County. If development continues like it is it will ruin this wonderful area.

Establish No-Wake Zones in the Headwaters of the Nanticoke River to stop the boat wakes. Boat wakes range from 1-2 ft which tears up this fragile ecosystem and is dangerous. One mile north of the Seaford Ice Plant, where the river takes a horseshoe bend and narrows to less than 100 ft is where this signage should occur. HO are hardening their shorelines ( if they can afford it) to protect their shoreline. Trees are suffering severe erosion to the point where several feet of soil in these forested wetlands are gone leaving the trees tottering on a single tap root, eventually falling into the river. This loose soil then smothers and kills the river grass.(habitat and filters). A No Wake Zone would significantly curtail this ongoing damage.

Please consider conserving the open space we currently have. Developers are ruining the landscape that we all once prized. Simple economics states that demand and supply dictate final selling price. If there is less land to sell, all homeowners benefit from rising property values while also preserving our open spaces. Road and general infrastructure, including police and fire, are already struggling to keep up, if not completely lagging behind the growth of Eastern Sussex. Please consider preserving our open spaces before making it open season for developers.

Thank you

An ‘elephant in the room’ seems to be that no one is tackling the flooding issue and the fact that the Back Bays are polluted, erosion along the banks… and more frequent and serious flooding. The lack of any storm water management in the unincorporated areas of Susse along the Back bays is concerning. Also, these areas have no flood elevation/freeboard requirements. Developers are laughing as they fill in to 4 feet, build on a slab and then dump water on everyone else – just look at the mess created on Route 54.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan must be incorporated into the comprehensive plan.

I think the county needs some form of tree ordinance to check clear-cutting of parcels for developments. Developers who plan to remove most of the trees from a wooded parcel should have to mitigate that action either through a contribution to an agency that plants trees or through a process to reforest an area in the county. I’m sure the consultants and staff can find examples of other tree ordinances used by other counties.

Policy Statement:
Brownfield Development
HBADE supports efforts by the State of Delaware to clean up and encourage redevelopment of vacant, abandoned and underutilized sites through the use of grant money.
HBADE agrees with the University of Delaware Study that found that each dollar invested in brownfield redevelopment yields approximately nineteen dollars back into the State economy.
HBADE believes that additional measures at the municipal, county and state level should be developed to further encourage clean up and redevelopment of these sites.

Please take action to protect our water and lands. As a seashore community we need to be able to tell tourists and residents alike that our water is SAFE!
Please pass legislation to keep our environment safe and sustainable.
Kindly
Siobhan

Clean water is very important to my family. I am surprised Delaware doesn’t have any rules in place to protect freshwater wetlands. Sussex County should have mandatory buffers for all wetlands and all waterways. There is so much construction in this County and I would like this Sussex County Comprehension Plan to include protecting our freshwater wetlands and clean water. This is better for our health and environment. Clean water will continue to help bring in thousands of tourists to the area every summer. Thank you.

Please make protecting our water a priority. Clean water is necessary for a healthy ecosystem and survival of many species. In particular, protecting fresh water wetlands with inviolable buffer zones needs to at the forefront of planning. Development is rife in Sussex County; without planning and protection of the natural beauty that makes us unique, Sussex County will become a concrete wasteland.

Save our fresh water wetlands



Please accept the below as public record of public comment for the Sussex County Comprehensive Planning regarding conservation and thecounty vision.

The recently updated Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) must be a part of the Sussex Comprehensive Plan as it addresses the immediate flood hazards as mapped by FEMA and suggestions to mitigate hazards for human safety, property damage and infrastructure damage.

And, FLOODING must be listed as a top issue.
Nowhere is flooding mentioned.

Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage in Sussex County and exposed many vulnerabilities. While much has been done to promote recovery, additional work is needed. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the County’s comprehensive plan helps the County to build resiliency to future storms and other potential natural disasters.

The vision statement does not address any vision or goal to mitigate the threat of additional flooding.

The HMP prepared by consultants hired by Sussex County addresses population changes and the need for services, the extraordinary flood hazards from Back bays in particular that are faced in Coastal Sussex County, the new FEMA Flood plain maps, as well as the planning, zoning and codes and enforcement necessary to mitigate hazards for public safety and health.

Currently, Sussex is rated as ineffective in many areas (8 out of 10) so is the vision to stay at this unacceptable levels of services? theneed for addtional funding and services was outlined inthe HMp. Where is the vision?
The HMP also includes a national rating system scoring on the effectiveness of Sussex County in dealing with such things as codes enforcement (8 of 10, 10 being the lowest ability to deal with such issues as codes enforcement)

The HMP cannot be a ‘stand alone’ but must be part of the comprehensive plan and any decision making going forward must incorporates its goals and objectives.

Likewise, any vision for a coastal high-flood prone community must include a vision for resiliancy and effectiveness in dealing with the flooding to come.

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We condo unit owners in Mallard Lakes are still without certificates of occupancy, five years following the devastation of Sandy.

Where is the accountability?

We know first hand the heartache and hardship flooding can bring.

Thank you for making this part of the public record and comment for the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and details.

Phil and Melissa Golden

Mallard Lakes

I’m worried about the effects of climate change, such as beach erosion and increased sea levels. I’m also worried about the water quality of our bodies of water, especially the pesticides and chemicals used in conventional agriculture.

There should be more green initiatives. Climate change is a real threat that jeopardizes our coastal state. Rising sea levels, and unpredictable storms will endanger Delaware more most other states. Sussex County should offer more incentives for businesses and homes to use renewable energy. In my community, the HOA does not allow homeowners to install solar panels on the front of their house within the community. Such restrictions like this should be illegal. Governor Markell’s Executive Order 41 is a good guideline as to how Sussex County should plan for the next ten years.

1. Please incluse climate change in this plan. With coastal seashore boundries, this change needs to be included
2. If agri-business is going to remain important, land use must be preserved for farmers. Limit development and charge builders for the county cost of infrastructure (roads, schools, etc)
3. Future employment will be focused on technology. What is the plan for providing both training for new jibs and access to broadband for all? I hope you have some young visionaries working on this one.

Preserving the tree canopy in new and existing developments has many benefits, such as: air and water quality, lower heating and cooling costs, mitigates soil erosion, improved property values, and even reduction in crime! Delaware Forest Service measures local progress through de.gov/treecanopy.

The Sussex Comprehensive Plan is deficient and shortsighted in failing to include goals in its plan that relate to combatting climate change. The failure of Sussex County to follow through on the promises made in the 2008 plan to protect coastal resources and residents makes the failure of the current plan to address climate change even more disastrous. Ordinances and regulations recommended by environmental scientists to mandate effective buffers on tidal and non tidal waterways and to preserve environmentally sensitive areas must be included in the new plan to preserve the quality of both our drinking water and prevent further pollution of our rivers, streams, lakes, and bays for recreational use and for commercial fishing. In addition, specific steps to combat sea level rise must also be included in the plan.

Protect and preserve all fresh water wetlands. Sussex has 47% of wetlands and no protection.

Stop development east of Rt. 30
Preserve open space and increase protected farm lands – purchase developmental rights.

Improve Storm water Mgmt and Wastewater Mgmt.

Increase and enhance water quality buffers to 100 ft as in Kent county.

There are two sides to every story and so it is with how the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan addresses environmental issues. Comments to the Planning & Zoning Commission have included exaggerations of potential sea level rise, the causes and solutions for high nutrient levels in the Inland Bays, and a minimization of the progress already made to protect our water resources.

Summary of Recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan
1) Prepare a list of sewer expansion priorities in case increased federal infrastructure funding becomes available, perhaps at 100% funding levels.
2) Encourage low cost practices that result in actual sequestration or removal of nutrients from estuaries, such as, wetland creation, cover crops, and fertilizer management. Continue the requirement for 50 foot buffers for tidal wetlands.
3) If not already doing so, consider the use of EPA Bayfast maps that come with modeling to determine the cost and benefits of various land use options.
4) Minimize new environmental based ordinances until the results of our significant progress in nutrient management are known. Progress has been made with tougher storm water management requirements, a vastly expanded central sewer system, the removal of most major point sources of pollution, and the wide adoption of better farming practices, such as, poultry manure containment, targeted use of poultry manure as fertilizer, and the use of cover crops. The primary remaining issue appears to be the masking of the impact of these improvements by high legacy groundwater nutrient levels that take 20 to 50 years to flush, and exploding wildlife populations such as migratory geese.
5) Do not consider unproven, exaggerated estimates of global warming and sea level rise. Do consider the impacts of potential coastal storm damage, and the historic average of modest sea level rise.
6) Beware of potential unintended consequences of new ordinances.

Discussion
Representatives of DNREC continue the drum beat of a potential sea level rise of 5 feet by the end of the century. We also note DNREC continues to base policies on the United Nations Fifth Assessment of Climate Change while ignoring the updated Sixth Assessment which lowered estimates of global warming and sea level rise, and basically disavowed any proof rising temperatures are connected to increasing extreme weather. The latest estimate puts potential sea level rise at 1 to 3 feet with 2 feet the most likely based on a lowered expectation of future global warming. Even that rise is not supported by actual global temperature increases over the last three decades (0.3 °C) compared to computer model projections (0.9 °C) shown in the graph below, and that is for a period that saw 55% of the rise in manmade atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is smart to plan for potential storm damage and a limited amount of sea level rise that has been occurring since the end of the last Ice Age 9000 years ago. That 6 inch per century rise is mostly offset by sedimentation, and the build-up of plant matter that tend to raise land levels, think archeology where we dig down to find historic artifacts. It is not wise to listen to wild exaggerations. Until real proof of rapidly rising temperatures is available, the county should assume minimal impact from climate change.

As a member of the Presidents Environmental Protection Agency Transition Team, I received briefings, and got to question the top people working on water quality. I also did outside research in preparation for the briefings, and now pass on some of the useful information obtained.

– The EPA has found thirty-five foot forest buffers have a positive impact. Grants are available to pay farmers for planting and to cover annual lost production from the reduced acreage. Adoption depends on how well a Soil Conservation District Agent pushes the idea. Sussex County already requires 50 foot buffers for tidal wetlands, suggesting no expansion of buffers is needed.
– The EPA reports Delaware is meeting phosphorous and sediment goals, but still exceeds nitrogen targets based on EPA models. The EPA has not incorporated University of Delaware revisions to annual poultry manure production of 262,000 tons instead of 1,500,000 tons which would dramatically reduce the estimate of nutrient loading in the models. The EPA has also not incorporated recent UD findings of a naturally occurring phosphorous remineralization process that raises phosphorous levels. These same issues can impact estimates of nutrients going into the inland bays and other estuaries.
– The EPA has created one meter resolution land use maps for the Chesapeake Bay estuary that are available for local land use planning. The Bayfast map comes with modeling to determine the cost and benefits of various land use options. Parts of the bay estuary are in Delaware, and the concepts probably hold true for other estuaries in the county.
– Annual water quality measurements have to be adjusted for rainfall totals to account for nutrients from runoff. The EPA also uses three year averages to further round off any one time events. A recent example of misreporting were quotes about improving annual bay water quality between 2014 and 2016 that didnt account for the fact 2015 was a dry year and 2016 was even dryer.
– Water quality in the shallow, poorly flushing Inland Bays has barely budged in decades. This is despite tougher storm water management requirements, a vastly expanded, and still expanding, central sewer system, the removal of most major point sources of pollution, and the wide adoption of better farming practices, such as, poultry manure containment, more targeted use of poultry manure as fertilizer, and the use of cover crops. The primary remaining issue appears to be the masking of the impact of these improvements by high legacy groundwater nutrient levels that take 20 to 50 years to flush, and exploding wildlife populations such as migratory geese.

The county needs to be cautious of imposing expensive water quality ordinances until the results of existing improvements are known. In other words, some patience is required. Below is an EPA generated table of the cost of various remedial steps that can be taken and their cost per pound of nitrogen reduced. Keep in mind these steps are focused on reducing runoff. Storm water retention reduces immediate runoff but the nutrients dont disappear. The nutrients just get moved to the top of the groundwater pipeline. Reducing nitrogen costs $92 to $200/pound through storm water practices, but less than $5/pound through cover crops. Cover crops keep the nutrients in place for next years crops. DNREC refused an offer from the Delaware Home Builders Association to support a $600 per home fee to be used to reimburse farmers for cover crops to return to an earlier version of storm water management practices that would save $10,000 per home, making homes more affordable. The fee would have paid for 100% cover crop use in the state, and would have a much larger, permanent impact on nutrient levels. Instead, the state has reduced cover crop payments to zero.

Policies often have unintended consequences. DNREC requires inspections of all septic systems within 1000 of the Nanticoke River when a home is sold. DNREC provided no testing guidelines. In practice testing is done by septic installers who use an unrealistic 500 gallon/hour flow test and fail 70% of systems. This is an obvious conflict of interest. Banks wont give mortgage loans if a home has a failed system. A new system with a nitrogen box costs over $21,000 compared to less than $7000 for a standard septic system. Sussex County should avoid similar missteps.

Nutrient management policies should encourage low cost practices that result in actual sequestration or removal of nutrients, such as, wetland creation, cover crops, and fertilizer management. Sussex should also continue to expand its central sewer system. The Trump Administration is considering accelerated infrastructure spending. There is a possibility additional money may be available for sewage system expansion, and it may pay 100% of the cost instead of the customary 80%. The county would be wise to prepare a list of priorities to be ready for this eventuality.

We need to preserve open spaces and parks with recretational facilities

I counted over 22 published studies on how Delaware and Sussex County can plan to deal with rising ocean levels along with associated flooding. One of these is especially useful and should be examined carefully for ideas to be included in the Comprehensive Plan. Its is called ‘Coastal Delaware Resiliency’ and was published in February 2017 by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the University of Delaware.

Comments from Joan Flaherty and Charlie Garlow of Rehoboth Beach, DE

Suggestions for Sussex County 2018 Plan
– The Comprehensive Sussex County Plan 2018 needs to add an entire section Jon Climate Change and Resilience Planning to the Comprehensive Sussex County Plan of 2018. Refer to Coastal Delaware Resiliency Report of 2017and incorporate the section on Recommendations for resilience planning into the Comprehensive Sussex County Plan of 2018. See link: https://www.deseagrant.org/products/delaware-tourism-resilience-report

– Bicycling make Sussex County #1 county in the U.S. for cycling with improved bicycle infrastructure and bicycle safety measures; support active transportation
o Separate bikeways physically from motor vehicles with curb protection
o Develop raised and protected bike lanes along Route 1
o Add bicycle signals at intersections
o Install bike racks along Route 1 which may lead to increased sales for businesses
o Adopt Back Vision 0 policy develop map showing every bike crash for the last 10 years – 2006 2016; reduce traffic speed by 20 mph
o Pay for costs associated with biking and pedestrian improvements via special tax on developers to help with infrastructure improvement, gasoline, and safe routes to school programs in Sussex County and red light cameras
o Initiate bike ED classes at Sussex County Elementary Schools and plan an annual bike fest in the county. Bicycles should be provided to all elementary students who complete a training on bicycle maintenance, paid for from gasoline taxes.

Land Use and the Environmental Element:

– Air pollution related to growth and transportation patterns
o More cars lead to more pollution and represent a large portion of the smog-forming pollution in the County
Is Sussex County currently in attainment for the current Ozone standard from the Clean Air Act?

– Reduce vehicle miles traveled and traffic congestion:
oOffer more bus transportation with bike racks/fast bus lanes (put bicycle racks on the front of the buses, so a passenger can get her bicycle off the bus and keep going on to her destination on her bicycle) with buses powered by clean fuels and encourage public with media campaign, explain health benefits
oIncrease pedestrian sidewalks; increase safe street and parking lot crossings along route 1
oIncrease rideshare matching, transit subsidies, vanpool subsidies, shuttle services, parking management, guaranteed ride home, education
oInstall infrastructure (charging stations) for alternatively fueled vehicles, such as electric vehicles (EVs)
o Institute idle restrictions for buses, trucks
oAdjust business hours, encourage alternative work schedules, encourage businesses to schedule deliveries during off- peak hours
– Consider creating telecommuting centers along Route 1 if stores close down (many stores are predicted to close in the future due to increase in e delivery service (Amazon))
– Expand Broadband consider financing systems via Federal government
– Provide small business help for innovative start-ups in rural areas
– Promote healthy diet and physical activity behaviors
– Increase and promote online learning
– Plant Trees wherever the tree canopy needs help, such as along Route 1.
Preserve and protect Sussex County for future generations:
o Flooding/gradual sea-level rise
– Prepare flood management plan/drainage plan
– Provide green infrastructure to reduce the water
– nature based solutions with plantings
– Ban new home construction at the waters edge and in the flood plain.
– Use natural barriers to sea level rise, such as mangrove trees instead of much more expensive sea wall.
– Promote renewable energy. Require all new construction to have sufficient solar panels to provide 30% of the projected energy use of the new building. Or to buy renewable energy credits to cover the 30%

Nitrate in groundwater has not been adequately addressed. By ordnance areas of nitrate contamination or prone to should be identified as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones or Groundwater Management Zones subject to additional regulation limiting fertilizer use, well depth or other water treatment requirements. It should be required that Home buyers be informed of the contamination in the well they purchase.

Conservation is the closest topic I could find. The plan doesn’t seem to stress the water quality issues facing Sussex County. As you know, there are a major water threats to water quality created by chicken processing plants. The Mountaire plant in Milford has destroyed the water quality for surrounding residents, Clean Delaware in Milton has contributed to massively high Nitrate levels 8, 9 10 times the 10 mg/liter deemed to be safe. And Allen/Harim is planning on spray fields in Milton that are scheduled to handled 1.5 million gallons/day of processing wastewater. Water they pledged to clean until they saw the price tag. If water quality is effected the quality of life is negatively effected and the building boom and tourism will become a trickle. These are issues that should be dealt with in the Comprehensive Plan. And yet there seems to be the idea that we can let DNREC do it. DNREC has presided over the polluting on 90+% of Delaware’s waterways. They are not up to the task of controlling polluters. According to DNREC’s own numbers 90+% of Delaware’s waterways are unfit for swimming, fishing and/or eating the fish caught. The Sussex County Comprehensive plan needs to control the expansion of the chicken processors bebore Sussex County becomes the ‘chicken crap’ capitol of Delmarva. We are already on our way to that ‘honor’. Either the processors pay to clean up their mess before spraying or injecting it into Sussex County lands or we citizens pay for water treatment systems to protect our homes. It would seem that the Comprhensive Plan should do more to prevent the pollution thn rely on DNREC to monitor the damage!

The buffers for any tidal wetlands, ponds, etc. should be at least 125 feet and should include all previously approved developments by county council and P&Z. No spray irrigation near our wetlands. No nitrogen should be used on lawns near water. Thank you.

There is still concern that there is no consistency with how Sussex County deals with hazard mitigation of flooding. It is as if no one wants to acknowledge that we are the lowest lying state in the country and Sussex is at high risk of flooding. Is Sussex putting people at risk of flooding? What is the accountability for lack of planning for flood hazard or lack of following flood hazard mitigation plans of Sussex and DEMA? the previous plan had a goal of reducing flooding, yet homes were allowed to be built with no elevation in high risk flood areas but filling into base flood elevation. Please address the following issues: 1. DEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan says not to fill in to base flood elevation and building, yet Sussex has allowed this with no storm water management plan. DEMA HMP overrides the Sussex plan, so there should no longer be any areas filled in as is being done at The Overlook. With Route 54 elevated and The Overlook filling n marshland, older developments such as Mallard Lakes, that flooded in Sandy, are in a soup bowl. Consultants advised it was only a matter of when, not if floods occur. 2. There is inconsistent or non-existent freeboard in flood hazard areas. Rather than filling in and building, these developments should have elevated homes above BFE and at least 8 feet of free board 3. Back bay flooding, water quality, erosion. etc. are serious issues needing study. 4.. Wetlands maps need updating as Sandy has changed the landscape 5. A procedure needs to be in place for inspecting all damage, condemnations and declarations of substantial damage that follows the FEMA/DEMA protocols. It s too late to correct that developments along the back bays of Route 54 were filled in and built in flood hazard areas with no freeboard. But this can be put in to place for the future. Flooding needs to be top of mind in our coastal area. Respectfully submitted, Phil and Melissa Golden

Demographics


How come there are no maps or demographic data on the website?

Vision Statement – How can Sussex County envision itself as a leader in agribusiness. For example there are 3 new developments on what used to be farmland on Harmons Hill Road. Is the definition of agribusiness the growing of houses??

Smart investment of infrastrucure and the protecting private property rights – I view the protection of private property rights to include the right to be able to hear the natural sounds of the area vice the aircraft buzzing to homes in the area of the airport. It seems as though the extension of the runway in Georgetown allows more small planes to practice flying rather than to help PATS to grow its business.
Is there more infrastructure planned to make our homes even less saleable or are there noise abatement plans in the 2018 plan.

The roads are in terrible shape (after the roads in Georgetown were torn up for new waterlines, the roads are in serious need of re-paving) Are there plans for such so that tourist do not consider the area as third world??

Traffic is a main concern…it takes twice a much time to get to the communities east of Route One than it did a few years ago. This is very discouraging to the populace of Sussex County not to mention what the tourists think of our lack of infrasture concerns, but yet money is spent on bandaids to the problem rather than a well thought out plan to fix the problem. Can the new plan help??? or just spend more??

I applaud Jeff Stone for bringing this to our attention in the newspaper. I won’t even go down to the beaches because it is so congested. Impossible to park, long lines to eat, Rt 1 nightmere traffic. This is not a pleasant outing, even for a day! I used to rent in Dewey — not anymore. My beloved beach communities are deluged! It’s not fun.

Economic Development


Do you have any interest in educating the unemployed or underemployed through software programming skills. There are 100,000s of jobs open of which many can be done remotely. I am retired IT exec and am willing to volunteer and contribute to such effort.

The primary role of government is to be a steward of economic growth and vitality. The common link between citizens and government are taxes, which are directly related to jobs/income, which are directly related to the economy. Please be sure to develop the comprehensive plan update where economic development is addressed throughout, not just in one chapter of the plan.

I am worried about the number of new developments, their affect on the wetlands, the pressure on a roadway system that is severely outdated.
Intersections at Rt. 5 and Rt. 9 are a daily nightmare for commuters, morning, noon and night.
Before long there will be no mature woods as they all are being destroyed by new developments.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, slow down the developments and increase our county roads so they can sustain the present traffic and the future traffic. Before Long, it will be like living in DC again.

Do you have any postcard sized handouts we can distribute to interested people?
Thanks

I attended the meeting on March 8, 2017, and not once was there a discussion on Economic Growth. Currently the economics of Sussex County is based on agricultural jobs, low paying retail employment and dinning services. Even with the resort businesses higher paying jobs are not available.
In order to entice companies, that bring higher paying jobs, you need to improve the infrastructure i.e; roads, hospitals, schools and possibly a small commuter airport. Companies need to either receive product or ship product; they require easy access to and from major hubs; New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, etc. Currently to reach any of the aforementioned areas requires 2 to 5 hours, this is where the commuter airport is required. These companies will also pay for the infrastructure though taxes, and higher higher employee salaries.

Sussex County Comprehensive Plan Comment

Economic Development

Comment: Within the coastal community areas and within the east areas of Sussex County, much of the commercial and housing land development is happening without the provision of necessary infrastructure to provide for adequate and safe roads, highways and streets for automobiles, pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as the other provisions necessary to relieve street and road congestion, especially during the peak tourist periods. Without adequate and safe access roads, workers, tourists and local residents cannot safety and efficiently move about in the economically critical coastal community areas. Failure to provide adequate transportation alternatives is a major economic and sustainability issue, which will have a serious negative impact on the economic drivers for eastern Delaware. This will impact tourism and the related economic growth in Sussex County.

Suggested addition to The Sussex Plan

Sussex county should, when considering issuance of permits for any housing or commercial subdivisions or developments, work with DelDot, State and Federal Agencies to identify, in advance, the need and funding required to provide and/or improve all public infrastructure (including roads and streets) necessary, and shall implement provisions to provide for safe access and to relieve street and highway congestion to, from and within the Coastal communities for workers, tourists and local residents.

In reviewing the presentation slides for the Economic Development element during 3/22 public hearing, I am concerned about the level of attention paid to tourism. While tourism is mentioned, the context is sometimes negative (referring to low paying jobs) or vague and in specific. I would encourage the County to recognize and strategize ways to promote and maintain a healthy and diverse tourism industry.

From an economic standpoint, we must support education and those who work in education. It seems like our educational institutions are always left to beg for money, and the job insecurity for those who work in education is palpable, even though it’s one of the largest employers in Sussex (1,500 people work for Indian River School District, for example.) The people who work in our learning institutions are the backbone of our society. We have simple dreams– we want to be able to afford housing, feed our children and have enough economic security that we don’t fear for what comes next.
Sussex County, whatever their plan, needs to ensure they take care of their own. I worry that we build too many communities for people that don’t live here year round, while forgetting that the hard working year round residents can hardly afford to live in the communities they grew up in.

First, by asking any commenter to choose a category, you are minimizing the ability of citizens, at the outset of a planning project, to make the comments that actually allow the formulation of a VISION and discouraging the kind of comments that could help frame any document that deserves to be called comprehensive. Please don’t pigeonhole people trying to participate . I suspect that the comments in any sector, whether economic development or transportation are then routed to a working group or individual in that area and the impact on the overall vision is discounted.

That said, I only checked economic development because it is a key driver, along with other factors, in creating a plan that not only sustains Sussex County but addresses the quality of life in the county while doing so. A good example is the piecemeal but relentless development on Route 1 to the point that a great many residents and visitors simply assume that there is no plan and no controls either on where development takes place, the impacts of the development, or the conditions under which it will be allowed. I believe a good vision for that part of the plan would be to ensure that starting when the plan is in place and until 2045, development on Route ! will proceed according to a plan for such development, standards for such development, and limits on it which address the quality of life for all who must use the highway. As is is now, a trip from up north to Bethany Beach is just assumed to be a nightmare and to be endured. There is a fatalism existing that the highway is moving relentlessly toward 100% development of commercial areas without meaningful limitations on the nature of the development. A strong vision will include the integration of most of the categories of planning and encourage citizens to think about the plan in that way. Sussex County has very little credibility with respect to the challenge of dealing with growth in a balanced manner and considering quality of life issues so this is the chance to gain some traction in doing so.

I would like to see less focus on housing development and more focus on industry, manufacturing and technology. Let’s attract more families that need jobs and who will improve our schools rather than retirees who don’t want their taxes raised. As someone born and raised here with a college degree in engineering, it was and is very difficult to find jobs in this area and for others like me to return and improve the community in which they grew up.

In the tourism section, please change “Visit Southern Delaware” to “Southern Delaware Tourism” as the DMO for Sussex County. That is the official name of the organization. Thank you.

COMMENTS SUBMITTED BY: Bonnie Ram, University of DE (bram@udel.edu) May 22, 2018 at Georgetown Public Hearing Also includes background materials and suggested language for the Economic Development Chapter. Testimony on the Economic Development Chapter: Thank you for the opportunity to make public comments on the economic development chapter today. We were pleased that some of our comments on the cost effective and fast growing renewable energy technologies were included in the utilities section of the draft plan. Providing the right mechanisms, including ordinances and economic incentives, for the most cost effective renewable energies will help support the continuing Delmarva energy transition from coal to natural gas to a mix of natural gas and renewable energy technologies. This transition is already happening — in partnership with our electric utilities & cooperatives — so today we have a simple message. How can Sussex County reap some of the benefits of these renewable energy industries and how can the Comprehensive Plan highlight these prospects for the future? It is very interesting to note that in the current economic development chapter you highlight “wood for bio-energy as a developing market” and that it “could provide landowners with another market.” We would like to draw the Council’s attention to another energy market that also deserves to get highlighted in this chapter on economic development. In fact, we want to draw your attention to two of the fastest growing industries in the nation, specifically land-based wind turbines and solar installations. (REF: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm). In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – between 2016-2026 the solar PV installer jobs will grow 105% and wind turbine service technicians will grow 96% — exceeding even health care workers that are growing at about 47%! As the County assesses their options for economic development strategies, clearly the clean energy industries need to be included in these forward-looking analyses. These employment opportunities are good paying jobs such as installing PV technologies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We also have in-state education and training at UD, DSU, DelTech that support these current and future jobs over the next decade. How can Sussex County position itself to reap these benefits? But we also recognize that DE is a small state without a lot of available land and precious agricultural land use and coastlines —- to install utility-scale cleaner electricity technologies on our electricity grid. So we also want to highlight the growing offshore wind energy market now along the Atlantic Coast. There are 13 commercial leases up and down the Atlantic from Maine to South Carolina. This is real and this market is about to take flight. The Governor, in cooperation with DNREC, has convened an offshore wind working group to evaluate the options for buying offshore wind and /or setting up a procurement strategy for future purchases of this clean energy. The billions of dollars offshore wind market investment could portend a boom for DE if the proper incentives and procurement strategy are designed and implemented. Sussex County is strategically located between large development in NJ and Maryland and VA. We have the wind resources off our coast and we have developers interested, but the state is behind the 8-ball so Maryland has stepped up to lure these economic developments. Sussex County needs to include these ideas or we will miss the boat. The utility chapter discussed the potential renewable energy markets briefly. But it is essential that the County recognize the very real economic development opportunities associated with wind -both land-based and offshore and solar technologies. DE legislators already passed a Renewables Portfolio Standard. The RPS requires retail electricity suppliers to generate 25% of the electricity sold in the state from renewable energy resources, with at least 3.5% from solar photovoltaics by 2025. However, the state does not require utilities to buy renewable energy credits from businesses located in DE. RECs and SRECs from out of-state wind & solar projects account for a largest portion of Delaware’s RPS requirements. We are providing incentives to move toward clean energy power, but not providing incentives to invest those dollars with installations right here in Sussex County. Our policies are providing incentives to site wind and solar projects in neighboring states. Our policies are allowing Maryland to develop an offshore wind farm off the coast of DE without DE capturing any of the benefits. This does not seem to make good economic sense. We need to consider seriously and soon how to attract high growth industries such as the land-based wind and solar PV as well as newer technologies such as offshore wind. It seems that it could benefit the County needs to recognize these tremendous potential economic benefits and find ways to attract these new investments in partnerships with current state programs and economic development organizations that are already mentioned in the current draft. These new energy technologies also link strongly to our range of educational institutions that are prepared to train the millennials and folks of all ages in these new industries. Below we point to some related Goals already in the economic development chapter that could also include some language on renewable energy technolgoies. This vision also complements the current goals such as Goal 9.1: Maintain and strengthen the economic base in the County but in the Objective 9.1.2: it states, “Establish, maintain, and anticipate the necessary infrastructure including, but not limited to housing and transportation, communication technology….etc.” Comment: But this infrastructure list is too narrow as it does not take into account any of these high growth clean energy technologies. For example, new infrastructure to support these growing renewable energy industries would perhaps include substation upgrades and port facilities for the new offshore market (with the important role of examining relevant ordinances and rules to support these possibilities). And goal 9.2 Encourage economic diversity and expansion could highlight the possibilities of diversifying our electricity grid and our employment options that will take advantage of the 2 fastest growing jobs in the nation—wind technicians and solar installers —and new energy sector along the Atlantic Coast, i.e., offshore wind energy. If the County Council sees these opportunities and believes including these prospects are in the interest of the future economic development picture, we would be happy to provide some language to include in this chapter. Thank you. Suggested language for Goals 9.1 and/or 9.2: Some businesses, schools, and other institutions are choosing renewable energy for their energy needs (already a sentence in section 7.4-3). These activities are helping meet the state’s RPS goals. It seems like good business sense to examine how the County can explore further the potential economic development opportunities of these renewable technologies, including anticipating the associated infrastructure needed to strengthen the County’s economy. The County should encourage these developments in relation to the long-term sustainability of the County’s valuable shorelines, beach communities, and vital agriculture and tourism sectors. Considering wind turbines and solar PV technologies, for example, may link well to other proposed goals of eco-tourism and agro-tourism. Extra materials: As mentioned in other sections of this chapter, it is important to mention that the County would have to examine any relevant codes and ordinances that may support or inhibit these renewable energy activities, e.g., setback rules, height restrictions, and designated land uses, in order to “enable renewable energy projects that are compatible with existing land (and shore—added by author) uses” (Note; This partial quote is from the utilities section 7.4-3) The need for the County to encourage citizen involvement in siting renewable energy is critical because we know from many decades of research that local siting of wind and solar needs to involve the surrounding host communities. Wind energy on agricultural land: A UD study found that land-based wind in the agricultural sector could make good economic sense. The sustainability of family farms is one of the critical economic priorities in Sussex County. Farmers considering ownership of renewable energy or leasing land for wind or solar developments have the potential to provide significant economic benefits to the agricultural sector. Until recently, it was not economically feasible to install land-based wind turbines in Delaware, other than along the coast. This was mainly due to the low wind speeds, but recent technology innovations that increase the swept area of the blades allow the taller turbines to produce significantly more energy at lower wind speeds. Wind farms and solar arrays can be complementary to existing agricultural land uses and may provide a stable source of farm revenue, promote greater local self-sufficiency in energy use, and back-up power during extreme weather events. Solar rooftops for poultry businesses need further exploration as well. Offshore wind: Offshore wind energy is the largest utility-scale renewable energy resource in the Mid-Atlantic and proposed projects located on ocean leases in federally-approved waters off the coasts of Delaware (Deepwater Skipjack) and Maryland (US Wind) are now moving forward. We are pleased to see that Gov. Carney has formed an Offshore Wind Working Group to explore these costs and benefits. The cost of this renewable resource is still higher than comparable fossil fuels or land-based wind, but the market costs continue to decline rapidly with an over 46% decline in the European market over the five years and 22% in the last year alone (Bloomberg New Energy Finance and NREL Offshore Wind Market Report 2016). Offshore wind has the potential to bring significant economic benefits while meeting in-state renewable energy goals. For example, redevelopment of the Port of Wilmington, service boats for scientific surveys, and good-paying union jobs are possible. As the regional market develops off the Delaware, MD and NJ coast over the next several years, we hope that the local and state officials recognize these opportunities and do not miss the boat!!

Mister Vincent, Wilson, Burton III, Cole, & Arlette, The Council must seriously review the benefits of, and vote on, an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance for inclusion into the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. Shame if residents of New Castle and Kent Counties have their tax dollars augmented by funds obtained by A.P.F.O., while residents of Sussex County continue to be assessed at tax rates necessary to supplement the minimal contribution required by development companies. It is widely agreed that business and residential development has greatly exceeded infrastructure development in our part of Delaware. The cost of providing services necessary for growth is plainly out of balance. How can we possibly wait another 10 years to rectify this? I strongly urge the Council to enact a meaningful A.P.F.O. for Sussex County this year. Thank You Very Much, James E. Rodgers

Historic Preservation


Thanks for your work on developing a comprehensive plan for Sussex County! I am a Sussex County homeowner (Rehoboth) of property that has been in my family since 1951. I have been appalled to see so many tear-downs in Rehoboth and other areas of Sussex County, where historic homes were demolished and replaced with structures that have no class, no style and no connection to our heritage. I wish that the approach taken in Lewes (regulations calling for preservation of historic buildings) could be imitated throughout Sussex County. I also wish that Sussex County’s new plan used county-wide planning goals (similar to the statewide planning goals used to guide land use planning in Oregon) that included historic preservation as an important guiding principle for all land use decisions in the county.

Please, we need help desperately in the town of Millsboro.

I just read that the Counsel has already approved to destroy the former library, now the art league building, that was donated by the Atkins. I don’t know the deed restrictions of that donation but they want to demolish and erect a 2 story building with lots of glass.

Traffic patterns and lack of consideration for residential neighbors and properties are also being altered in favor of commercial and religious property owners, as well as, preferential traffic patterns and disregard for road and residential safety by emergency services and related vehicles.

Not only has this resulted in decreased property values and appeal, but the methods of implimentation (especially without consulting adjoining property owners and residents) have resulted in taking away of property rights and enjoyments.

These consistant behaviors over the years not only results in property destruction, but has dramatically increased pollution and reduction in air quality caused by evident increases in chemical dispursion, fumes, noice pollution and dramatically increased traffic patterns.

My first priority is saving the historical property donated by the Atkin’s to the town for the people’s benefit. I hope you can assist in this matter.

Respectfully,

I volunteer for HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey) and I think there are many historic places in the county that should be on the registry. This does not restrict any form of improvements or new construction, it simply states that the place is historic and documents its importance in our history. I think there should be a discussion on what places should be on this list. (Farmsteads, cemeteries, large landscapes like Trap Pond, private gardens, etc.)

Housing


The county needs more affordable housing to attract younger people who in turn would create more jobs in the area.

Sussex County needs a building moratorium. Infrastructure has not kept
up with all the people moving to Sussex
county. Have you ever fought the traffic on a summer weekend?

Are there specific plans for improving the availability of affordable housing for those families and individuals experiencing homelessness? What are the details?

When approving developers plans for multiple residences, you must also consider the cost of utilities needed to service these plans. There is no reason to continue the usual course of action causing current residents to be required to pay for the expanded need for water, for instance. My water company is Artesia. When Artesia needs to expand its services and ability to provide quality water, they ask the county for increases in charges made to us residents. Why should we pay for those costs? We didnt ask for expanding need for water and processing. The developers get off scot free while adding the financial burden on current residents and increased profit for them. They should also pay, in advance, for the need to replenish our fast depleting aquifer. Steps should be taken like those currently be employed in Seaford to return water cleaned by sewage plants to the aquifer. The developers should also pay, heavily, to the county for the expanding need for sewage treatment.

The consultants hired for the Hazard Mitigation plan (page 123) rated Sussex 8 out of 10 (10 being the worst) on the nationally recognized BCEGS Building Code Enforcement Grading Scale for enforcing building codes. What is being done to correct this? Are new, qualified personnel being hired to keep up with all the development? Are fines being levied or stop order for failure to follow codes? It would seem to be a liability if codes are not enforced.

I would hoping to see the draft comp plan.
Thanks.

Policy Statement re residential sprinklers:
HBADE is a Professional Business Association that promotes safe, affordable and innovative new homes.
HBADE stands by the fact that Delaware new homes are safe! We also understand that, any product line or industry can add features to make their end product more appealing to the consumer. It is the consumer who decides what to purchase!
Like other businesses and industries, the new home consumers needs are determined by the free marketplace. New home buyers are the most informed and educated in history, due to technological advances and smart devices. Home builder businesses must cater to the demands of the home buying market and, understand product designs in safety, aging in place, lifestyle, maintenance, amenities and much more to remain competitive in business today. Fire sprinkler plumbing systems have been available to any new or existing home owner, or buyer for 20+ years. The most prudent home buying consumer in history is not demanding these plumbing systems and believes in the safety of their new home!
Building code requirements are intended to be a minimum standard… only!
Presently, 46 States including Delaware choose not to force the home buying public to purchase and install a fire sprinkler plumbing system in each new home against consumer demand. We believe that Delaware new home buyers are smart, and should be able to choose their needs above minimum building standards.
Delaware fire statistics indicate the older stock of homes without updated electric services, hardwired smoke / carbon detectors, proper egress access and fire rated materials is where the life safety issues should be addressed in Delaware.
HBADE believes that government mandates or intervention forcing a product on new home buyers is inappropriate and damages Delawares business competitiveness. It would be government telling the most educated home buying market we know what is best for you! This is a slippery slope with no end. How many other products of safety will big government force the public to purchase? Delaware mandating a fire sprinkler plumbing system installed in each new home is a $50 million annual business tax to the Delaware home building industry. In 2015, the Delaware Legislative branches passed a law mandating 120+ Delaware business owners, change their New Home Sales Agreements, in order to distribute 5,000+ private product brochures (fire sprinklers), to sell said product. This is Government intervention in product placement.
If organizations, product suppliers, elected officials or individuals are saying you need this plumbing product! Ask if they have installed a system in their new or existing home. You may find yourself in a do as I say… not as I do situation.
Let the consumer decide!

I think the local zoning laws and housing laws need to change so that we can develop more affordable housing options for Delawareans who are making about $10. to $12. dollars an hour. In Delaware, the 2017 housing wage is $21.70 a hour. This means that in order to sign a lease or a deed in Delaware, you need to earn at least $21.70 an hour. Many, many people are not earning this amount per hour, so more and more are falling into poverty, despair and homelessness. We must develop housing that is more affordable for our low-wage earners. Many, many people are now living in their cars. For example, the zoning laws need to change so that ‘micro-housing’ can be approved and constructed. The housing would look like small sheds with plumbing and electric. But the housing would only cost about $150 – 200 per month. Our society must find a way to help our most vulnerable populations afford a place of their own. Also, we must work together to reduce the stigma of addiction, mental illness and poverty. All human beings need a place to sleep, a place to work and someone to love. We need spaces in the community in order to accomplish and empower these basic human needs. If we change the zoning laws, we could save millions of dollars that are being spent at the prison, at the hospital or in social services costs. We can teach people how to cope with challenges and to learn a better way of life but the first step is a place to sleep. We could have a better community if we work together to create spaces for all of our citizens.

I would like to see zoning which will allow for tiny homes, affordable housing for everyone who cannot possibly afford traditional housing. So many cannot afford to even have a roof over their heads no matter how much they work. Please, please!!! This can be changed. This can work. No one should live on the street! Other states have managed to do it. Please, do the right thing and make affordable housing available to all people. It’s about humanity. Help people to help themselves. Help them out of homelessness and such desperate poverty. If we can’t pay people a true living wage, then we must find ways to make living affordable. It is not fair or just to trap people in a never ending cycle of poverty, homelessness and hopelessness by turning a blind eye. I beg of you, please do whatever must be done to make tiny house communities and affordable housing a reality for all!
Thank you. Shannon Franklin

Sussex County is lagging far behind in encouraging low income and affordable housing. More needs to be done on both sides of the county.

Slow down development east of 113

Although section 8.3.5 of the Housing Element states “Sussex County has an Affordable Housing Support Policy, and supports the development of affordable housing in Sussex County”, at the present time inclusionary affordable housing ordinances are not mandatory; they are NOT part of the 2018 Comp Plan housing element. This is the crux of the problem. As long as the County maintains its position that providing its residents with affordable rental and housing purchase opportunities is optional for all stakeholders, the housing problems currently confronting Sussex residents will only continue to grow. Contrary to the position recently voiced by one of our Councilmen, it is possible to create affordable inclusionary housing in all areas of the County. To ignore this reality merely reflects a profound lack of imagination, as well as a historic lack of political will to address the housing needs of all segments of Sussex’s population. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan must lay the groundwork for our Council to draft, and adopt, mandatory ordinances to address Sussex’s work force housing needs.

The process for considering and approval of group homes and or half way houses. The overall impact to communities that are currently dealing with these issues to include safety, quality of life and home value impacts.

I just wanted to make a comment on how disappointed I am with the council’s constant approval of new town homes. The over development of what we all know and love as a small town is destroying that.

Can we do something about the roads, sewer systems, etc., before the council keeps approving new developments. It is absolutely ridiculous! You can go over to the Lowes or Home Depot, unless it’s 7:00am, because it will be a 2 hour trip, it just does not make sense! Someone has got to standup to the builders!

I have a new house which built in 2015 and garage raddles and shakes I need the building code # to have the builder fix the door to make it 100 mile per hour safe for Sussex county code .My garage has no support bars crossing over width of the door and Akers to hold door down from wind damage.The new doors for new house that been put in and Ryan near Walker also have 100 mile per hour new garage doors on.please help John Morris is should correct

October 15, 2018 Janelle M. Cornwell, AICP Sussex County Planning and Zoning Director 2 The Circle Georgetown, DE 19947 CC: Councilmembers Michael Vincent, Samuel Wilson, Jr., I.G. Burton, George Cole, and Robert Arlett Submitted electronically via https://sussexplan.com/ RE: Sussex Housing Group Public Comments; Sussex County Comprehensive Plan Dear Ms. Cornwell: I am writing on behalf of the Sussex Housing Group with public comment regarding the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan submitted to the Office of State Planning Coordination in August 2018. The Sussex Housing Group is a coalition of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, corporate partners, and dedicated county residents committed to improving housing, access to services and community conditions in Sussex County through hands-on community development and equitable policy creation. The Sussex Housing Group strongly supports the housing comments put forward by the State of Delaware in the September 20, 2018, memorandum entitled “PLUS review 2018-08011; Sussex County Comprehensive Plan.” We urge the Sussex County Department of Planning & Zoning and the Sussex County Council to recognize the importance of affordable housing throughout the county, and to enact a final Sussex County Comprehensive Plan that reflects the remarks put forward by the State. Future Land Use In the September 20, 2018, memorandum “PLUS Review 2018-08011; Sussex Comprehensive Plan,” the Delaware State Housing Authority states: The Future Land Use Map does not adequately show the distribution, location and extent of the various categories of land use. As written, the proposed Future Land Use Plan Chapter is prohibitive to medium to high-density residential development in areas where the acute need for affordable housing is well documented and the County’s stated intent is to encourage most concentrated new development, including higher density residential development…. The only criteria for medium and high density should be its location on central water/sewer, and proximity to job centers. Applying additional criteria to medium and high density development to be similar to the surrounding density and surrounding uses in a resort area of mostly single-family detached units will almost certainly prohibit proposals that enable affordable housing. Including these criteria in an adopted Comprehensive Plan will provide legal justification to deny the development. The Sussex Housing Group understands the acute need for affordable housing across Sussex County, particularly in Eastern Sussex County’s resort areas, and we concur that the current Future Land Use Map put forward in Chapter 4 is overly restrictive towards multi-family residential development, and the density needed for these projects. Furthermore, we believe that the data supports this conclusion: • Housing Alliance Delaware reports that in 2018 the 2-bedroom housing wage in Sussex County was $17.31. Put differently, a household in Sussex County must make $17.31 per hour in a full time job to afford a 2-bedroom rental unit without spending more than 30% of their income on housing expenses. • The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that Sussex County has a shortage, or “gap,” of 2,655 housing unit affordable and available to households at or below 50% of the county’s Area Median Income. • The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that 48% of households making between 50% and 80% Area Median Income in Sussex County are “Cost Burdened,” paying more than 30% of their monthly income on housing expenses. This figure is much higher for Sussex County Extremely Low Income households, those making 30% or less than Area Median Income; 77% of ELI households spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. The Sussex Housing Group suggests that you follow the Delaware State Housing Authority’s suggestion that “the only criteria for medium and high density [in growth areas, including Town Centers, Developing Areas, and Coastal Areas] should be its location on central water/sewer, and proximity to job centers. Housing and Community Development The State of Delaware submitted multiple comments regarding the need to support equitable community development practices as strategies to address several of the Comprehensive Plan’s complementary goals, including around workforce and economic development, environmental conservation and population trends. • “Goal 4.4: DNREC supports infill and redevelopment strategies that relieve development pressure outside of growth zones, as well as continued brownfield redevelopment” – page 7 • “Encouraging mixed-use or cluster-style development where applicable. This strategy preserves open space (section 12.2) but also reduces sprawl and has air quality benefits.” – page 12 • “Allowing opportunities for the increased use of public transit (section 12.3.10) reduces tailpipe emissions and improves air quality. Expansion of the current bicycle and pedestrian networks (section 12.3.10).” – page 12 • “DSHA recommends further incorporating the 2016 Impacted Communities Study. This is an excellent study and outlines needs for each isolated rural community. While this study is discussed in the narrative of the housing section there are only two strategies listed.” – page 15 • “There are several strategies throughout the draft Plan to evaluate the County’s density bonus program to determine ways to encourage better use of the program. DSHA recommends adding ‘provisions of affordable housing’ as an option to the density bonus program.” – page 15 • “Placing emphasis on the redevelopment of land and businesses, utilizing/improving existing infrastructure (offering incentives in this area if possible.” – page 17 • “Housing and infrastructure improvements are needed to allow for additional housing/long term care facilities for the 65+ population.” – page 18 • “How are we addressing the need to provide attractive, safe and affordable housing to individuals just starting out in their career? Housing is key to attracting talented employees. Is housing available in eastern and western Sussex?” – page 18. The Sussex Housing Group supports these comments because we believe that housing is integral to all Sussex County households for the promotion of health, for the development of wealth and assets, for the access to high-paying jobs and well performing schools, and for the equitable participation in our society. We ask the Sussex County Department of Planning & Zoning and the Sussex County Council to fully consider the state’s comments regarding housing and to incorporate these suggestions in the County’s final Comprehensive Plan. Sincerely, Lillian Harrison Sussex Housing Group Co-Chair Carolyn Quinn Sussex Housing Group Co-Chair

Intergovernmental Coordination


I am the chair of the South Bethany, Planning Commission.

October 29 is four years since Sandy and Mallard Lakes affected units remain uninspected for building codes and have no CoOs. How is Sussex working with the HOA corporation? What is the accountibility procedure in Sussex for small businesses (such as HOAs) with improper permitting and code violations? Has there been an internal review and written report within Sussex as to what went wrong and how to improve?

Thank you

The Overbrook Town Center (OTC) zoning change request process showed a serious disconnect between DELDOT and the County. The County makes zoning decisions and DELDOT is responsible to provide the necessary transportation enhancements. Historically, the necessary enhancements are provided long after the need and/or not fully provided. The TID program may help in this regard, but here are some of the examples of problems made evident in the OTC process.
1. A largest commercial project in Count history was proposed, but DELDOT did not propose to provide service roads to enable local residents to have safe access to Route 1.
2. The developer wanted to maximize use of the property for business, so he with DELDOT approval proposed use of multiple one and two lane traffic circles, in violation of DELDOT written policy.
3. The massive addition of traffic from the OTC would have made additional lane(s) necessary on Route 1, but DELDOT did not plan to provide.
4. DELDOT policy calls for the developer to fund the necessary traffic enhancements, but DELDOT’s wait till later approach leaves the taxpayers to pay for the enhancements or not get the enhancements at all.

Conservation – Believe in great water quality – keep ocean, bays and water pristine, clean and public safe.
Too many contaminates from agriculture and factories. Should have strong consequences for violators and enforced.

ALL beaches should be public – No private town beaches. ALL people should have access to ALL beaches, worldwide.

Too much development going on in lower Sussex Co. Can’t speak to other areas, but we are losing our natural habitats, animals, birds and beauty. Need to preserve for future generations. There’s a lot of greed.
At least in lower Sussex, Delaware has too many dilapidated buildings, left and abandoned. Would like to see them cleared away. They are eye sores.

Transportaion: No easy ways to consistently, publically travel from the coast to Georgetown and Seaford to help lower income people make reasonable efforts to get aid and assistance. I spent a full day driving a young man applying to Job Corp to get all his information and clean up his record. The office he had to go to in Seaford was in an industrial park and he would never have found it on his own. Late Shifts at the local Chicken Factory are hard to find affordable transportation back to housing.
Utilities: I suggest private, small home windmills. Would love to have one and think they would help energy affordability. Believe in renewable energy and support wind and recycling efforts.

Local Govt: Would like to see small towns combine and share their police departments! Too many have overlapping facilities – monies could be better spent on education of our children.
I support law and order and appreciate the safety provided. Think there is too much profiling of people of color and mistrust. Would like to see much better training on handling of racial issues.

As a resident of Cat Hill in South Bethany we are very concerned about all of the development to the west of us and what is being done to handle all of the additional traffic. It was very disappointing that South Bethany had to close the entrance to Cat Hill from Kent Avenue during the summer months to keep the excess traffic out of the neighborhood. We now have to go down to Route 1 if we want to get back into our own neighborhood.

Little to no enforcement of building codes through building code inspection. Little accountibility when codes not followed.

No Freeboard for unincorporated Sussex Back Bay areas-this is where the flooding is, but development fills in to 4 ft and builds, builds,builds. Next is floods, floods, floods

More coordination between Emergency management, DNREC, DEMA, FEMA for flooding issues. Wetlands maps need to be updated since Sandy changed the landscape.
Much of Sussex is in flood plain.
HOAs need stricter oversight to follow codes and report emergencies – they are becoming private kingdoms .

county officials should pass an adequate public facilities ordinance to give the county more power to require developers to provide more road improvements. DELDOT should update traffic impact studies for the intersection of Kings highway and Gills Neck road and the intersection of Wescoats road and Ocean Highway.

DelDOT needs to be more understanding of the traffic buildup on our county roads. For example, the last Transportation Impact Study for the Kings Highway-Gills Neck Road intersection was done in 2006. It was reviewed by an outside consultant in 2008.
Since then more houses, town houses and an elder care have been added in the Gills Neck Road area with a new shopping center to come to come in.

ithout a traffic study, the traffic congestion will be out of control. Even now, during the tourist season with ferry traffic coming in, the traffic backups create long waits to clear out onto Ocean Hwy. DelDOT and the County need to work on these matters.

I agree with George Cole. He said that the county council, elected officials, and the county commissioners, appointed ones, do not yet have a shared view on how the county should look into the near future. He said that the current land-use plan favors developers in the county. He’d like to see the 2018 plan favor the people who live here. He said the 2018 plan should be sensitive to development that fits in with character of the area. Right now, the council is changing the character of some area.

Commissioner Marty Ross said that in years to come stricter federal-water quality standards will for the county to expand central water service to more unincorporated areas including properties that border municipalities. I agree. Providing county sew er to these areas would block future annexation of properties and limit expansion of their tax base.

Commissioner Wheatly said that commercial rezoning and site plans should be considered at the same time, Now they are considered separately and only by the Commission, not by the Council. Once the zoning is done, developers can do anything they want so there is no predictability how the development will turn out.

Cole said the plan should include an ordinance that when a rezoned commercial or residential project sunsets, the land should revert back to base zoning. This is not specified under current code. I agree.

Janelle Cornwell, the planning a zoning director appointee, said that the plan will focus on the big picture — not specific details. The plans should look like up to 2045. She said the plan should lay out broad goals with ordinances to implement these
goals. This makes a lot of sense. I agree.

Developers flock to Sussex County because they don’t have to pay impact fees. In Maryland and anywhere else in Delaware, they have to pay these fees. At two units per acre, Sussex County has the least restrictive zoning of any county on the Delmarva Peninsula. Two units per acre is plenty. Please don’t approve higher densities.

Concern is about enforcing building, zoning codes, flood plain ordinances and, as a coastal area with much land in flood plains, coopera tion with Delaware and U.S. government ( DEMA, FEMA, NFIP,etc.) Recent Hazard mitigation plan by national consulting group rated Sussex 8 out of 10 (10 being the worst) in Enforcing building codes and being politically able to handle future emergencies such as the #1 concern-flooding. This is leading to numerous lawsuits and substantial liability for Sussex as codes are to protect the health and safety of residents. The plan then must include a look a current codes and enforcement – how can resources in terms of budget and staff be dedicated to consistent code enforcement?

Agree that there are continuous negative comments that ‘they do things differently in Sussex County’ and Sussex Officials do not seem to cooperate or coordinate with state officials – or FEMA with regards to flooding hazards.

Also, does not seem that departments cooperate or hold people accountable. For example, there has been no investigation, accountibility into how Sandy was handled, lack of coordination between flood manager, building codes, planning zoning… why codes were not followed and condos STILL have not been inspected, have no certifications of occupancy… yet, there has been no action against the HOA, contractor for violations.

Please keep in mind, 24 residents living in the Mallard Lakes Community remain without Certificates of Occupancy. Our buildings had no inspections and continue to get wet during Nor’Easters and/or high tides. After Hurricane Sandy, we were not restored to current FEMA elevation requirements.

What rectification/strategy does the County have in place to keep their citizens out of harms way?

Who is ultimately responsible for HOA’s lack of keeping their residents safe?

If a person is injured while residing, working, visiting a home with no CoO, which county and or Delaware entity is responsible and should be held accountable?

We are addressing the same problems which the 2008 Comp plan did. Very few ordinances came out of that plan therefore we still have the same problems. If all we do is encourage or suggest nothing changes. We will have the same problems only bigger in 10 years!
If we have a plan we all agree on we should enforce it not ignore it.

why was the issue of coordination with Maryland / ocean city and their traffic and people danced around at the meeting in Frankford? People from all surrounding states flooding to Ocean City far exceed the Delaware local traffic. All main arteries starting with Rts, 404, Rt ,1 13 and 113 to are a mess on the weekends. Improvements to Rt 1 on the northern end will kill Sussex Co. due changing traffic patterns.

I am deeply concerned that the new Comprehensive Plan, however it is eventually formulated, will be violated by County Council, much as the current Council violated the current Comp Plan. No plan will work if it is not rigorously and lawfully followed. The Council has rezoned in disregard of current plan directions for growth zones; the Council has accepted voluminous public comments over the past several years, but then, in its official actions, disregarded those comments in violation of law and the current Comp Plan. I am discouraged and fear the new Plan, however thoughtfully prepared, will meet the same fate.

How do I contact the Preliminary land use service (PLUS)?

First page rankings on Google We can put your website on 1st page of Google to drive relevant traffic to your site. Let us know if you would be interested in getting detailed proposal. We can also schedule a call & will be pleased to explain our services in detail. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks!

Land Use


no more big communities ….or shopping centers ……..Sussex cannot handle the infrastructure ,traffic , congestion …or support personal for all these people …..including doctors etc …

I am attaching a letter I have sent to my County Council representative and Planning and Zoning. Though it is a local issue, I think it should be considered in any county planning. Though the entire county shares transfer taxes, the Fenwick, Bethany, Rehoboth/Lewes portals to the coast bear the majority of the problem caused. Thank you.

Ive been a year-round resident of Sussex County for over ten years now. I live right by the Roxana fire sub-station that is on Route 54. Overall, I am very happy about living here in the eastern end of the Selbyville postal boundary (constant Northeasters excluded!).

Once the weather gets above 50 degrees, I start bicycling every day it isnt raining. I roam the area from my house to Selbyville and Dagsboro. One of my favorite rides is going down 54 to either Williamsville Road or West Sand Cove Road and head down to the Point in Bayside. Most of the streets I travel in there didnt exist when I first moved here. Its a pleasant ride. The area (though a little tight between residences) is so nicely kept with great looking common areas. And it is certainly booming now. From the spring of 2015 to now, I can barely recognize some of the areas. However, there are other aspects I notice while riding.

Two springs back I saw the beginnings of expansions in the Williamsville Road to West Sand Cove Road area. The next thing I noticed was that the rustic house at the corner of West Sand Cove and 54 was demolished and the site improved. I remember thinking that was a smart move to improve the aesthetics of what was becoming a more common entrance to an expanding development area. Soon after, even more of that area was cleared.

Then, about two months ago I noticed that the road side of Drum Creek Pond on Sand Cove Road had been partially cleared, paved with shells, and a sign was posted that it was the property of a development and for its residents only. I have watched locals fishing at this pond for years. Again, I dont know if this was part of any original development plans.

More recently, rides down Williamsville Road have revealed major acreage seemingly being cleared for additional expansion.

In early July, I was bicycling back east on 54 when I saw one of those small zoning meeting public notices. This one was posted in front of a corn field and barely noticeable. I stopped and looked. It stated that the developer was requesting rezoning approval for that property from agricultural – residential to medium density housing. I believe medium density means town homes and connected villas. The first meeting listed was schedule for July 28; the second for August 30.

I know this was not part of any original approved plan.

When I got home, I checked Sussex County Online and found some background information from 2000 and 2001. It reported the contentious negotiations over development size and density. There were many interesting reasons reported for rejection of the original capacity request, but the most common was that the infrastructure of the area could not support that increase. It certainly hasnt gotten better over the fifteen years. There were voices then that did their best to keep a balance of growth. Additional research indicated approved requests for rezoning and expansion have occurred.

The notice sign did not reveal the acreage of the request. I checked the Planning and Zoning agenda online; nothing was listed at that time. I checked again on July 28, the date of the Planning and Zoning meeting. It listed the request on the agenda, the size of the parcel in question is 12.313 acres. It could hold a great deal of medium density housing.

Why my concern? Ill mention only two. On Friday, July 1, I went bicycling west on Route 54 at about 11:30 a.m. The traffic was stopped from Coastal Highway to the Magee farm stand in Williamsville; thats 5 miles. Five miles of stopped traffic. The intersection at 54 and 20, the main entrance to Bayside, was gridlocked. It went north on 20 farther than I could see which was past Arrington Woods. The traffic exiting Bayside to 54 was deadlocked down Americana Parkway into the canopied wooded road section past the Harris Teeter entrance/exit. The backup even curled well back into the Teeter parking lot.

Additionally, the road through the two Swann Cove communities, West Fenwick Blvd.(behind Food Lion), was backed up from the light at 54 to just past the Food Lion entrance road. Cars were having difficulty getting out of the Food Lion and Walgreens parking lots due to that gridlock. The amount of homes in that community has increased drastically, also.

My second concern is that the request is being made by the developer; they have already purchased the land. When I last bicycled past both edges of the parcel on the afternoon of July 28, the parcel was staked. There were stakes labeled curbs both on 54 and West Sand Cove. The positioning of the curbs on West Sand Cove seem to indicate the shape of a possible entrance. It seems that it will extend to Drum Creek Pond. The problem: these property markings were placed there before the meeting on July 28. Preparations before the first vote?

I really dont have any agenda; Im not anti sensible growth. Everything about this may be perfectly normal. Heck, my home is in one of the communities that sprung up in this area in the early 2000s. And, in fairness to this request by the developer, land for sale/approved for lots signs and new developments are all over 54. But I wonder if the spirit of original agreements is being honored. I wonder why a project seems to have started before the meetings to determine its approval. I wonder if we are not long from having Selbyville, Roxana, and West Fenwick completely overwhelmed.

Unlike all of the retirees coming down here, I plan to retire elsewhere. The main reason is lack of rational land use. I remember about 10 years ago a development was approved near Bay Vista even though it exceeded the density approved for the area. The County Engineer went on the record saying there was sufficient capacity in the West Rehoboth sewer district to handle the extra units (as if sewer was the only consideration). Now we lack capacity and have to build a line to connect to another sewer district. I have seen apartment complexes approved without adequate parking with the argument made that they wanted to preserve permeable material. Why not require porous pavers or Coregrass technology. Now the council is bending over backwards to keep developers’ projects approved even though no work has been done. The argument is that it will create jobs. All it does is keep the connected developers from bankrupting an LLC. If these projects had to start all over again, there is a chance some would go to Sheriff’s Sale and create more affordable land for projects to actually proceed.

certified planner since 1976, practiced in southern NJ, happy to help out

My husband and I are very concerned about ALL of the large housing developments that are being built in Lewes and Rehoboth and the current infrastructure in these areas being able to support all of the new residents. And, we feel that that we have major traffic problems year round now, which will certainly get much worse in the near future,

Regarding the Upcoming Public Meetings posted above:
1. Can a resident of any district attend and speak at any of the meetings, or only the one they live near?
2. Will there be a sign-up page at the beginning of the meeting, or how does one get an opportunity to speak?
3. Is there a particular topic (or topics) for each meeting?
Thank you.

Major concern is the 114 Acres across from Cave Neck Road at the Route 1 Intersection.
Thanks for all your efforts

We have a home in Long Neck and look to retire (some day) in Sussex County. We are interested in learning more about future proposed plans.

We do not need any more development in Sussex county. Our infrastructure- roads, highways- can not handle the traffic that currently travels the roads. Stop development!!! Improve what exists for the current residents!!

Change the development code requirements to require the building of roads in new developments to meet state standards. Development plans that are approved by county council that allow builders to create communities with narrow private roads where two trucks can not pass are a disgrace! The county council needs to get with the program like other counties have to bring Sussex code standards up to state standards instead of continuing to approve subpar quality.

it is time for a plan that will keep the residence of sussex county safe is put into place . serious issues of flooding and emergency services in my area are of great concern . in the summer emergency vehicles are delayed , if additional homes are built it will not only be a problem in the summer but year round

The full development of the Comprehensive Plan should be transparent. In 2008, the plan was developed but afterwards ~20 requests for changes to various classifications were presented to the County Council. The Council approved at least some of these requests without sufficient public input that would have revealed significant problems with these actions. One of the approved changes was to the property that became the site for the Overbrook Town Center (OTC) controversy. When the OTC developer attempted to obtain a zoning change the public presented myriad problems that should have prevented this reclassification in the first place. This practice seems to be a back door approach for developers to obtain classification changes without public scrutiny and it should be prevented.

The full development of the Comprehensive Plan should be transparent. In 2008, the plan was developed but afterwards ~20 requests for changes to various classifications were presented to the County Council. The Council approved at least some of these requests without sufficient public input that would have revealed significant problems with these actions. One of the approved changes was to the property that became the site for the Overbrook Town Center (OTC) controversy. When the OTC developer attempted to obtain a zoning change the public presented myriad problems that should have prevented this reclassification in the first place. This practice seems to be a back door approach for developers to obtain classification changes without public scrutiny and it should be prevented.

Rehoboth Beach learned that Route 1 had so many potential commercial locations that it was not wise for any one property to have unlimited depth- Route 1 could not handle the resultant combined traffic. They created a depth restriction for commercial use of 200 yards.
The proposed Overbrook Town Center (OTC) location is a property with narrow frontage and much greater depth. It is difficult and expensive to add the resultant traffic to Route 1 without great disruption.
I propose that any property used for commercial purposes north of Five Point should have the same 200 yards depth restriction used on Route 1 south of Five Points to prevent unmanageable concentrated development.

The property proposed to become the Overbrook Town Center (OTC) was reclassified from category 4 to category 3 by the 2008 comprehensive plan. The related zoning change request allowed by this reclassification revealed numerous problems with many aspects of the commercial use of this property.
1. Environmental- The OTC application did not comply with DENREC environmental recommendations, relying on an expensive and not fully reliable runoff treatment system.
2, Agricultural- Adjacent farms could not spray their crops.
3. Traffic- The added traffic would make portions of every day worse than a summer Saturday.
4. Airfield Impact- The nearby airfield would have economic impact from flight restrictions.
5.Emergency Response Time Impact- The increased traffic and delays could cause loss of life and property during emergency responses.
6.State Classification-The state has determined that the proper rating for this property is category 4. State funding for a Sussex County ‘category 3’ rated development, especially roads may not be available.
THIS PROPERTY SHOULD BE RETURNED TO THE PROPER CATERGORY 4 CLASSIFICATION.

I am concerned by over development and the size and density of the proposed projects.

There is a very significant amount of development, commercial as well as residential, contemplated in the plan. Given the current density and road conditions, especially around the Rt 1 corridor, there is high risk that water quality can be negatively impacted. Additionally, the plan should also consider the impact of such development on quality of life. Many of those who live in the impacted areas, as well as many of those who would seek to relocate there, are interested in a less developed, less congested, and less polluted environment. Ironically, the plan seems to undermine those essential features with its extensive development. These are also things that cannot simply be addressed by bigger or more roads and facilities. Sometimes, enough is really enough.

As owner of a home in Rehoboth (which has been in my family since 1951), I am very concerned about sprawl along the Delaware shore. In the Rehoboth area, sprawl has eaten up excellent farm land, caused traffic problems and created eyesores. I would very much like to see urban growth boundaries established, and then urbanization kept within those boundaries (as under Oregon’s land use laws). Honestly, I think that the Lewes-Rehoboth-Dewey-Bethany area has reached carrying capacity in terms of residential and commercial construction. The roads and city services are overloaded, and the quality of life is endangered.

Please consider removing all billboards for a reasonable distance from the coast toward Milton on Rt 1. The gateway to the shore towns looks like Myrtle Beach and this is not good.

I feel like one of the main driving failures of the current land use plan and zoning designations is that there is no difference between agriculture and residential. All agricultural lands are viewed as potential residential developments by-right. When in fact, agriculture is a business (and a big one in our county.) Agriculture and tourism are the two leading economic drivers in this county. I do not know what the answer is to correct this, however i think that having farmers and realtors on the planning commission and council is an obvious conflict of interest since their decisions on any land use application has the potential to affect them financially.

The Arbor Lyn development should be restricted to 2 single family housing units per acre. Warrington Road is a contginuation of Plantation Rd. and then Airport Rd. It also is used to get to Route One. The volune of traffic on Warrington is heavy any time of the year. Mjultifamilly units already exist on Old Landing Road and are continuing to go in. The latest area of interest to developers is the golf course at the west end of Old Llanding Road.
As of September 20, 2016, the developer proposed a density of 5.7 unitgs per acre.
In April 2016, the zoning Commission votged to re commend MR zoning or 4 units per acre. I cannot understand how they could allow that density. George Cole went along with that recommendation. The traffic buildup in this area are heavy and time consuming for drivers. Two units per acre should be the absolute limit.

Kent and New Castle counties have transportation improvement districts (TIDs). Sussex county does not but needs to adopt them especially in the Lewes and northern Rohoboth Beach, areas that are growing rapidly. Jennifer Cohan, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary, said that Sussex county should work with the DOT to create up to six TIDs and work with the state to draw up a fee structure that would fund transportation improvements — wider roads, turn lanes, even bus facilities — without having to depend on any one developer’s timetable. An impact fee schedule for developers would fund these improvements. The Cape Gazette report on Cohan’s recommendations in September 2015.
TIDs are not popular with land owners because they fear that developers will pay less for their land, if they have to pay impact fees. But TIDs need to be implemented, especially in Lewes- and northern Rohoboth Beach. Roads are becoming more and more congested. Driving is becoming more hazardous and nerve racking. Please work with the state to implement TIDs..

In February 2016, Sussex Planning and Zoning approved a density of 7.5 units per acre for Corrillion Square Apartments along Long Neck Road. Pot Nets is on Long Neck Road and other housing communities. They all must drive to Route 24 to go anywhere. The intersection of Long Neck Rd. and Route 24 is very busy any time of year with long backups during the tourist season. Giant Food is about a half mile west of the intersection. Also a new Wawa. The County Council needs to have a traffic impact study done before allowing this high density at Carillon.

The Delaware Supreme Court recently affirmed the decision of a lower court. The Supreme Court said the New Castle County had the right to require a single developer to provide millions of dollars to improve roads to avoid excessive traffic backups in the area off a proposed development. The developer, Toll Brothers, claimed that the road costs should be spread out over all developers in the county. The Supreme Court said no, you must do it.
The citizens come first because the New Castle’s law is clear on this issue.

Kent also has a law that requires developer to pay the cost of road improvements to keep traffic under sensible control.

Sussex has no such law.. Sussex County Council, please do the sensible thing. Show the citizens of the county that we now finally come before developers — pass a law that will require developers pay the costs of road improvement.

Backups on Route 24, on Route 1, On Warrington Road, at Five Points, on Kings Highway, on Rohoboth Avenue, on Plantation Road and other roads in northern Rohoboth and Lewes, also on Route 113, ARE HAPPENING. I see them and am stuck in them day after day, even in this time of year, December 2016. Slow the pace of development.

Yes, the county gets a large portion of its budget from developer. But the County Counsel has to bite the bullet and implement a law that required developers to pay for the improvements before they develop on privately owned land in the county. Some landowners won’t like it. Do it anyway.

The Belle Terre Development now proposes cluster housing. The County Council needs to keep Belle Terre at 2 units per acre with large buffer zones to protect Lenz Pond and Love Creek and surrounding wetlands.

Love Creek is already polluted. Our Inland Bays are polluted to some extend. I would not swim in them. The Lewes Beach and our ocean beaches are where I swim. Water quality is good. The inland bays, Love Creek, Herring Creek, and surrounding wetlands need continued protection.

Keep development in Belle Terre to 2 houses per acre.

It appears that the home building in the Rehoboth and Lewes area is proceeding unabated by the authorities allowing developers to apply for and be granted high density zoning changes. Why bother with the Comprehensive plan? They should have to pay an impact fee of $10,000 or more per new home and keep the i/2 acre lot size. If not people will stop coming here.

When and where will public meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission be held that are completely devoted to the 2018 Update process?
When/where will joint meetings of P&Z with County Council be held for that purpose?
Thank you.

RE: Burton’s Pond Development
1.Lot sizes are too small, not consistent with developments in area.
2. Lack of planning for management of Burton’s Pond is an issue.
3. Just adding a light on RT24 will not solve the problem of capacity. Rt 24 is already overloaded.
4. This plan benefits the developers not the community. Uncontrolled development along this corridor is choking us. Complete the Comp Plan before any new developments are approved.

Shuttle Rd can’t handle any additional traffic.There are times in the summer when we don’t leave our house due to traffic.Its not uncommon to wait 20 minutes to get Rt 1

I agree with the Cape Gazette saying that passing an adequate public facilities ordinance could give Sussex County officials more clout when it come to requiring developers to provide road improvements. With a public facilities ordinance in place, Sussex officials would have authority to require upgrades to specific roads and intersections to meet expected levels of service. DelDOT county coordinator Bill Brockenbrough said that levels of service at intersections are rated as passing to failing based on how long a driver has to wait during peak hours. Kent and New Castle counties already have adequate public facilities ordinances in place. These counties cannot rezone a property unless the developer takes appropriate action to maintain the current level of service.

The Belle Terre Development off Mulberry Knool Road and the Estates at Middle Creek on Angola Road contain 583 lots in a cluster development design. Each of these developments will pout more traffic on Route 24. Route 24 will become even more congested than it is now. Existing roads cannot accommodate the ever expanding development in Sussex County by the shore. Why won’t the County Counsel take some common sense action to address what is becoming a very difficult traffic problem for county residents in the Bay and Ocean shore part of the County?

I agree with Janelle Cornwell, our planning and zoning director appointee. She and other county staff have proposed eliminating the three current commercial districts and replacing them with seven zooning classifications. Janelle explained that more specific districts would provide more predictability and rein in the number of uses in each district.

I agree with George Cole who wants county staff to look at sunset regulations for rezoning so that a parcel would return to its original zoning classifications if a proposed use does not transpire.

In its January 17, 2017 edition the Cape Gazette in stating that the Truitt convalescent home, because it exceeds the scope of decisions normally hear by the board of adjustment, needs to be open to further public input.

I’ve been checking this site to see what the County is proposing for Land Use issues for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan for months AND HAVE NOT SEEN ANY UPDATES. When could I expect to see them?
Thanks

My wife and I have had a residence in Lewes since 2002, and we ended up building our dream home here as well…sound familiar? In a matter of 15 years you have allowed a quaint rural seasonal area, become the leading growth in the North East.
Every time I hear you talk about land use…the residence immediately go to traffic! Why doesn’t the councils minds go there too?
How many more homes are you going to approve, before you begin infrastructure remodeling? Route 24 and now all of the side roads have gotten so busy we now close roads anytime there is an accident! If you continue down this road you will start to see an exodus as well as a sudden housing stoppage! My neighborhood is already seeing people leave all due to traffic!
Since moving here traffic has gotten horrendous in the winter, my taxes have increased by a third, and everywhere I go I see more developments, schools, police buildings, city halls, and last but not least…minimal healthcare growth!
When are we going to attack that future crisis…healthcare professionals ? I have been on a waiting list for two years…are you kidding!
Folks you have failed this county, by ignoring infrastructure, you are failing the thousands of citizens moving into the state! Without infrastructure you have chaos…wait, that’s what we have now…We’ll Done!

The plan to promote growth on the east side of the county while discouraging growth on the west side of the county is unacceptable because it will aggravate already serious traffic and safety problems on the east side while limiting critical economic growth on the west side. The county should instead plan to focus economic growth in the Route 13/113 corridor, which is accessible to residents throughout the county.
There should be no more upzoning east of Route 113. Roads cannot be built wide enough to account for the traffic that will be created if all available land were built out as it is already zoned, so upzoning in this area should not be part of the plan going forward. Allowing more than 2 units per acre in eastern Sussex will result in the same gridlock people come here to get away from, and Sussex will lose the qualities that make it a vibrant, attractive community.

It is both urgent and important that we agree on a sophisticated balance point between real estate developers and other Sussex County stakeholders.

Wow, the 2018 mission statement for Sussex county does not even mention what full time residents love(d) about southeast Sussex County, most of us will not say overgrowth! Besides the obvious draw of the ocean and bays, we love the beauty–the dwindling wide open farmland that is not only a food source but brings about a feeling of calm and serenity as we watch it change through the seasons. The vast array of wildlife, especially the wide variety of birds landing on this farmland and what little sanctuaries the wildlife have left. And, very important was the break we got from traffic, congestion and noise in the off season. If we don’t get a handle on this overbuilding, we will lose what makes us so very different from a city. The typical response is usually, well we can’t stop farmers from selling their land, very true, but a cop out response. The planning, zoning and county council could agree on only approving so many developments a year, offer incentives to farmers to continue farming, land trusts to preserve some open spaces, and how about some parks instead of a development, etc. As a full time resident, we would gladly pay more in property taxes, to preserve this area.
Because once its overbuilt, once the land is gone, the wildlife will leave, the beauty will be gone and we won’t be able to get it back. Hindsight is the worse, people always say why didn’t we think or do this, after the fact. Please, respectfully, consider some options other than the constant building of developments, strip malls, etc. Most of us will regret it, I’ve seen it before. The people moving here are moving to get away from their overbuilt, congested, high taxed areas. And yes, taxes will go up. More people, more schools, more infrastructure, all costs money… So please think about what’s really great about southeast Delaware, and lets try to preserve it, while we still can. Thank you!

Policy statement:
Nutrient Reduction
HBADE acknowledges that nutrient enrichment is one of the leading causes of poor water quality.
HBADE believes that current regulations governing residential building and development require extensive nutrient reduction methods. Additionally, many builders voluntarily reduce nutrient enrichment through various green building practices, such as rain gardens, rain barrels, buffers and landscaping.
HBADE believes that measures to further reduce nutrient run-off from residential properties are expensive and have very limited efficiencies.
HBADE acknowledges that the majority of nutrient inputs are from agricultural properties.
HBADE believes that reducing nutrients on agricultural properties can be done much less expensively and achieve greater water quality benefits at reduced costs.
HBADE feels strongly that additional regulation to reduce nutrient run-off from residential development will increase the cost of housing, exclude buyers from the market and hurt the business climate in the State.
HBADE believes that a Nutrient Management Fee imposed on each residence in exchange for reduced storm water quality management could be used as a Nutrient Management Fund implemented by the Department of Agriculture to fund cover crops, buffers, created wetlands and other water quality improvement measures in agricultural areas.
HBADE believes that this would reduce the cost of housing while removing much larger quantities of nutrients in an effort to improve water quality in the State waters.
HBADE acknowledges that the World Resources Institute has calculated the cost per pound of Nitrogen reduction is several hundred dollars in residential development and less than five dollars per pound of reduction through agricultural practices. Using these numbers, dollars provided to the Nutrient Management Fund by builders could reduce 40+ times the amount of nutrients over on site practices

Policy statement:
Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
HBADE acknowledges that over the last 110 years, the rate of Seal Level Rise and Subsidence in Delaware has averaged about 3.35 mm per year.
HBADE believes that over the next 100 years, at this rate, that we can expect an additional 0.34 meters of rise.
HBADE also acknowledges that if there is an increase in the rate of sea level rise over the last 100 years it would be prudent to plan for a doubling of the rate of sea level rise or 0.68 meters of rise in the next 100 years.
HBADE believes that this is consistent with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and NOAA estimates of 0.50 meters of sea level rise over the next 100 years.
HBADE supports a close monitoring of the actual sea level rise over the next twenty years in order to determine if the 100-year trend will exceed 0.68 meters of rise and that estimates then be revisited based on the data
HBADE believes that publishing maps on the State website depicting the areas inundated by 1.5 meters of sea level rise is excessive and has the potential to hurt the economy of Delaware by discouraging people and businesses from locating in the coastal areas of the State.

In reviewing the presentation slides for the Land Use element during 3/29 public hearing, I am concerned that the plan will not be as comprehensive as it should be. The presentation does not mention Lewes, Long Neck, Bethany or Fenwick at all, and mentions Rehoboth only once referring to Route 16. (Which connects MD via Milton with Prime Hook, not Rehoboth.) Of equal concern is a discussion of transportation corridors which fails to list Route 1, or Coastal Highway. I would encourage the County to pay close attention to the Route 1 corridor as well as the Coastal Communities, as they represent significant population, revenue and land use.

Regarding Investment Level 3 in Environmentally sensitive areas, the current plan says’suggest special scrutiny’ but to the average citizen, that is not occurring. Towns are allowing development on marshes(ex Bethany, Lewes and Seaford) and no matter how much fill is trucked in, the houses are sinking and the walls are cracking. These marshes/wetlands are our protection against flooding and critical spawning areas for the resources that attract TOURISTS! New development in Seaford with DE’s backing is paying out-of-State developers to not only build on top of marshes but build right on the stream banks (as there are no set-backs)where all rain from roof falls right into the river. In DE there is no recommended vegetative buffer zone around bodies of water to filter and absorb run-off. Towns complain about stormwater run-off legislation but continue to add to it. The Nanticoke River is filling up with polluted sediment , destroying the valuable river grasses, and reducing the viability of this precious resource. The state needs to protect one of the few DE rivers that actually has eatable fish with reasonable buffer zones, set-backs, wake/speed restrictions in the Headwaters where the river narrows to 150′ or less.
Also, in developing areas, the rampant clear-cutting that is cheap for developers and contractors is destroying SC for those who call SC our home. Out-of- State contractors have told me that PA , NJ and NY would never allow what SC is allowing in terms of cheap, ugly growth. We are allowing this CUG to ruin what makes this area so attractive to tourists and allowing SC to look like any cookie cutter developed town that will never be able to keep up with increased cost no matter how much building occurs. Then the tourists will go to another area that they were seeking here in the first place,

Please accept the below as public record of public comment for the Sussex County Comprehensive Planning regarding the use of land in flood zones.

The recently updated Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) must be a part of the Sussex Comprehensive Plan.

And, FLOODING must be listed as a top issue.

The HMP prepared by consultants hired by Sussex County, contains much information about population changes and the need for services, the extraordinary flood hazards from Back bays in particular that are faced in Coastal Sussex County, the new FEMA Flood plain maps, as well as the planning, zoning and codes and enforcement necessary to mitigate hazards for public safety and health.

The HMP also includes a national rating system scoring on the effectiveness of Sussex County in dealing with such things as codes enforcement (8 of 10, 10 being the lowest ability to deal with codes enforcement)

Flooding is the #1 hazard faced by Sussex County and seems to be the ‘elephant in the room’ that no one is talking about. No one is talking about whether the HMP was followed for Sandy and there has been no call for a report or investigation into how Sandy was handled by Sussex County.. The HMP cannot be a ‘stand alone’ but must be part of the comprehensive plan and any decision making going forward.

.

We condo unit owners in Mallard Lakes are still without certificates of occupancy, five years following the devastation of Sandy.

Where is the accountability?

We know first hand the heartache and hardship flooding can bring.

Thank you for making this part of the public record and comment for the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and details.

Phil and Melissa Golden

Mallard Lakes

Traffic is ridiculous here and building is out of control. Someone needs to really think about the consequences of not having the roads to support all the people and cars. If there is an emergency in the summer and evacuation is needed there will be loss of life

We need to plan for climate change/sea-level rise.
South Bethany, Lewes and Fenwick Island have all incorporated sea level rise in their comp plans. We should use their ideas for all of Sussex County.
The center for the inland bays has also made suggestions which we should follow. To plan for increased development in an area which will be prone to flooding or under water is not forward thinking and
sets the county up for a future disaster. Now is the chance to mitigate the damage.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 2018 Land Use Plan for Sussex County.

It seems that developers have free reign over the common interests of the general public. Currently there 20 Commercial projects that have been approved.
There are 17 Housing projects currently being built (over 2,500 homes).
There are 14 housing projects approved to start building (over 2.500 homes).

We are extremely concerned about this rapid unplanned growth, the major traffic issues and total lack of environmental protections that exist in the 2008 Land Use Plan. The 2018 Plan can and must do better.

How can a land use plan for a coastal county not even mention sea level rise? This will be a major challenge in the years to come. We are already seeing flooding at high tide, even without storms. There are no wetland protections in Sussex County none at all. New Castle and Kent counties use at least a 100 foot buffer around wetlands, Sussex uses 20 feet, if used at all. We strongly urge you to align with Delawares other counties and adopt at least a 100 foot buffer.

Thank you.

Will the presentation from May 2017 Public Forums be available on the website of the Sussex Plan?
Thanks,
JA

DO NOT SUPPORT THE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OF ‘NEW DALE’ IN ELLENDALE ON SOUTH OLD STATE ROAD!!!!!

THIS IS AN ATROCIOUS USE OF LAND AND CONTINUOUS DESTRUCTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.

Until Sussex can correct the below dismal ratings, perhaps there needs to be a moratorium on land use and development issues.

1. CRS is 8 out of 10, 10 being the worst . The Hazard Mitigation plan for 2010 said the Community Rating Scale was a high priority for improvement. The result? Worsening in 2017 to 8 out of 10 – with 10 being the worse. The CRS affects flood insurance discounts. On Page 140-141 of the plan is the amount Sussex could be saving on Flood insurance with a better score, better management of Flood Hazards.

2. Also, the Building Codes effective grading (BCEGS) is a dismal 8 out of 10. This also measure how effective the county is in enforcing building codes.

3. The Hazard Mitigation plan also looks at numerous capabilities and makes an assessment – fiscal, political, working with other governments and agencies, etc. It analyzes the exploding population and lack of numerous capabilities and resources to manage the influx of full time residents.

Perhaps it is time to limit go-go development and implement a moratorium on Land use, new building and development to regroup on so many issues and the new FEMA flood plain maps are sobering.

Every employee and member of every Sussex Committee needs to have a presentation on the contents and ratings with a charge to work together for improvement and needs to have this HMP plan as a desk reference.

As well, we need accountability for lack of progress since the 2010 plan, particularly in light of the Sandy debacle the county now finds itself involved in.

THE HMP MUST BE PART OF THE SUSSEX COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.Once we look at the data, we can acknowledge our issues and begin corrective measures.

Thank you again for considering this feedback, meant as constructive so no one EVER goes through the nightmare that was Sandy and its aftermath – still ongoing for Mallard Lakes Condo owners without Certificates of Occupancy.

As the HMP consultants said, it is only a matter of when…

My comment is on the the zoning of the County. I believe that the zoning of the county should be substantially changed to limit the population density of the county in order to protect quality of life, sustain the County’s critically important agricultural economy, and encourage the protection of wetlands and forests. I would like to see the development of growth zones around existing communities where development is allowed at densities of two units to the acre or higher to a degree reflecting the character of the community. Outside of growth zones, rural low-density zoning of 1 unit to 5 or 10 acres should be the norm. A model county in this respect would be Kent County, Delaware. I believe that the current pace of development in eastern Sussex has exceeded the capacity of infrastructure and is degrading quality of life in the County particularly in the Lewes and Rehoboth area. I’m concerned that that sea level rise impacts to roads and utilities could cause severe transportation and environmental quality concerns in the near future. Furthermore, beaches and coastal parks are overcrowded now and will soon be terribly so if they can be sustained with sea level rise. Limiting density now I believe will preserve quality of life and reduce social costs of sea level rise near the coast in the future.

Please slow the number of zoning changes made.

PLEASE CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGE THIS:
Route 1, 113, 13 have crape Myrtle trees planted in this center with seasonal blooms on the banks of the overpasses. All billboards are gone and all other signs are lowered. It is a beautiful place to live, shop, and enjoy. And the prices of homes (your ‘roof tops’) have increased, thus providing more Transfer Dollars to work with. And each of our Town Centers will have a single major Recreation/Entertainment/Museum/etc. All major Town Centers in the County working together to ‘celebrate Sussex County’. Transportation will run along these major corridors as developments are created along them. And the visitors will come to this well organized, easy to get around, and beautiful place for vacation and make it a spot for future living. Let’s think ahead on this one and make it work!

Consideration should be given to creating new regional corridors for high growth opportunities. This would allow inclusionary zoning policies to create higher density housing/building, with varied price points. Also, our parking ratios are out of date, and should be drastically reduced with modern living. Asphalt eats up valuable real estate, contributes to pollution and lack of mobility. We need LESS parking spaces, more public transportation between housing developments, and to reward developers with plans for higher density communities. The opposite creates unaffordable lots and housing. The old way of thinking was auto oriented, and that is 2 dimensional zoning. Need to guide development with walkable streets with shared parking off the main ‘strips’.

As you look at the comprehensive plan if there is a way to balance development against open space and long term full year positive living. I know that summer beach traffic will always be an issue but if there is a way to balance open space against housing.

I would like to see more creation of ‘micro communities’ to alleviate some of the traffic issues. I certainly do not mean more housing. But rather, if there were more small grocers and other highly frequented stores placed local to existing housing, less commuting would need to occur to accomplish simple tasks such as getting food or fuel.
In addition, more small business opportunities could exist alongside more established businesses.
Finally, the ability to perhaps even access these areas via bicycle or golf car from the existing communites, would allow for the option to reduce the burden of vehicles on the roads.

The what appears to be uncontrolled growth in Sussex County can not continue with serious consequences. I live off Rt 24 and the traffic on is roadway is clogged most days year round. Alternate routes such as Beaver Dam is becoming equally as bad. New developments on both of these roads continue. Before another subdivision is approved the impact on this and other roadways the impact on the roads should and needs to be considered.

I want strong development standard and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. Sussex County has been destroyed in one generation.

I want strong development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. Lewes is to small to have all of this overflow of people. There is not enough infrastructure to handle this inflow of population.

We live off 54 3 miles from the beach. Ave owned since 2009.
In the past year developments from RT 20 to RT 1 along 54 have multiplied.
54 can only handle 2 lanes crossing existing causeways to the beach. What plans are in place to remedy the traffic backups that happen because of these 2 bottlenecks? 100 townhomes are being built across from Harris Teeter and a number of townhomes next to Bayville Shores. Add 2 cars for every home and 54 will be impassable. How would emergency vehicles pass through this traffic? I am also concerned that our property values will decrease because this area will no longer be a great place to live. I live in the same neighborhood as our state senator Ron Gray. Please pass this email to him also. Something must be done to slow the growth or more important what are your plans for making 54 safe and passable.
Thank you and I look forward to your response.
Carol Jones

I have been living in Lewes for 10 years having moved here from Bear. I don’t believe I have seen such tremendous pressure our land use and infrastructure as I have in the last 2 – 3 years. Somebody or some branch of government has to reign in our Sussex County council somehow to stop this unprecedented and unfettered growth.

We need strong development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. The removal all stop lights on del1 seems to only benefit the beach communities at the expense those of us full time residents that need to cross del1.

I am concerned with the excessive, uncontrolled growth in Sussex county. There is gridlock everywhere you go and infrastructure and services can’t keep up. It appears that Sussex County Council will approve anything & everything (especially on the East side of the county), without regard to quality of life and excessive, uncontrolled growth still continues.

I recently read an article on Delaware online by Jeff Stone regarding land use and traffic issues. I agree with him 100%. The growth in Sussex County needs to some to a halt and COMMON SENSE needs to prevail. Traffic has become out of control in recent years. I will retire in 4 years and my wife and I are planning to move out of Delaware to a much more desirable location in our country’s southern states.
I hope we would be able to remain here but with the senseless growth we will not.
Thank you for considering my thoughts that I share with many of my neighbors.

we need stronger development standards and regulations to prevent the traffic chaos

We need to slow development and plan for smarter growth. Our roads are clogged, our water is polluted, and our quality of life has been degraded. Get SMART and get SERIOUS about Sussex County’s future livability!

Continued growth adjacent to existing incorporated towns is understandable since existing services (utilities, roads, police protection,etc.) are available. I am concerned,however, that this policy encourages or requires continued annexation by the Towns and takes the control away from the County. How can this situation be mutually controlled?

I am a life long Delawarean. In the early 1940’s, my family were squatters and purchased two ocean front lots from the State for $400. In 1960 we built a house on Lewes Beach.
You can tell by now that I have seen many changes over the years in Sussex County, and all of them not good. I just retired after 30 years of being a Realtor and Appraiser in Eastern Sussex.
I have always been for improvements, while protecting the heart blood residents of our county and the environment. Things have gone way past this and are out of control.
In my opinion there should be a Building Moratorium in place in Eastern Sussex County, from Georgetown East, for at least five years. The roads are maxed out with no way of funneling the traffic to get people to their destinations in a reasonable amount of time. It’s like trying to put 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5 lb bag.
DELDOT’s idea to make Belltown a Commercial Hub is the most ridiculous idea ever. The Five Points Intersection is the most ill conceived traffic hazard. Where were their heads? Untethered growth is not only a Villain in Sussex County, it is a Cancer that will swallow us up after everything we value is ruined.

We only have 250,000 of unimproved land left in Sussex County. Much of that is farm land to the west of Route 30. We need zoning reform so that the unimproved land east of Route 30 is not lost only to development. At least two thirds of the unimproved land east of Route 30 should be preserved, meaning that for every one acre of development there should be 2 acres preserved and protected from future development.

Aqua-farming should be an integral part of land use in Sussex County. Shellfish are essential for clean water in the bays. Sussex County should aggressively encourage aquafarming. For a blueprint of how to do it, we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Simply look to Chatham, MA on Cape Cod and copy their aqua-farming methods. From licensing, to land use, to regulations, to seeding bay areas, they are simply the best on all of Cape Cod. Do what they do and we can enjoy an abundance of oysters, clams and mussels and improve water quality dramatically.

I was reading through the draft paln and saw no evidence that the plan takes into account Sea Level Rise. Am I missing something? How can a 10-year ‘comprehensive’ planning document not take into account the effect of Sea Level Rise? DNREC can provide estimates and help with planning for future Land Use, placement of Utilities and roads. As a Delaware tax-payer I find this omission to be appalling! Please contact/listen to DNREC’s assesments for Sea Level rise. I apologize if I’ve missed the inclusion of Sea Level Rise in the draft Plan. I will continue to look for evidence of it.

Please accept these comments for the March 21, 2019 Public Hearing on the Sussex Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Thank you for your work towards developing a Future Land Use Plan for Sussex County Delaware. This section seems to neglect to incorporate Hazard Mitigation, particularly Flood Mitigation, Sea level Rise and Changes in Topography into the Comprehensive Plan. One of the basic premises of Hazard Mitigation is to discourage development in High Risk, Hazard Prone areas – in this case, flood hazard. As stated in this section, development is rampant in coastal, high tourism areas that are also high flood risks. Yet, there is nothing in this section of the plan that addresses this. It would seem that Sussex is creating hazards that risk public safety by not coordinating Hazard Mitigation with Future Land Use Planning. Allowing developers to pave over wetlands, fill in wetlands to BFE (Base Flood elevation) and Build, Build, Build will soon be Flood, Flood Flood. Please note from the Plan “Requirement §201.6(c)(4)(ii): [The plan shall include a] process by which local governments incorporate the requirements of the mitigation plan into other planning mechanisms such as comprehensive or capital improvement plans, when appropriate.” “It should be noted that Sussex County has limited land use planning and zoning authority, so the County has few opportunities to incorporate this Plan into other local mechanisms, such as zoning and subdivision ordinances, or comprehensive land use plans. SCEOC will work with individual municipalities to incorporate the recommendations of the Plan into local comprehensive planning and capital improvement programs.” “Other Local Planning Mechanisms Update Implementation Plan Monitoring And Maintenance Sussex County All-Hazards Mitigation Plan Page 7-5 Participating municipalities in this Plan will work to incorporate the goals of this Plan into the next update of relevant plans and regulations, including comprehensive plans, zoning codes, and capital improvement plans.”

Can we do something about the roads, sewer systems, etc., before the council keeps approving new developments. It is absolutely ridiculous! You can go over to the Lowes or Home Depot, unless it’s 7:00am, because it will be a 2 hour trip, it just does not make sense! Someone has got to standup to the builders!

Bee friendly planting’s along Road right of ways. 🐝 Bees populations are threatened world wide. All agriculture needs Bees to pollinate our food. One problem identified by scientists and farmers is monoculture farming with no flowers to provide nectar. We need bee-friendly plants for bees and other pollinators like butterflies. I drive on Rt 404 and see lots of small yellow flowers, milked Black-eyed Susans. They look lovely but more importantly, they help the bees. Also when you don’t mow so much, you save on gasoline usage which saves money and reduces pollution including carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas. We could use a lot more such planting’s along Rt 1 and other roads in Sussex County.

Hi Janelle, I hope you had a good holiday! Does the PDF file titled DRAFT Comp Plan as Discussed by County Council reflect all of the edits made at the most recent Council Workshops ? Thanks, Rich Borrasso

As far as I can tell the draft plan does not seem to take sea level rise into account. How can this be? Sea level rise will effect everything in Delaware in the future. Where we can put our roads, houses, businesses, water treatment plants, utilities…everything. How can Delaware plan for 10-years in the future without taking sea-level rise into account? It astounds me that it doesn’t even seem to be mentioned.

Will there be a Comp Plan workshop held on Tuesday, July 17 after the Council Meeting? Thanks, Rich

For the record I believe that we must regulate development setbacks and preservation of wetlands. Our water table is rising and for every tree removed 300 gallons of water is going into the water table. Developers keeping existing trees and contributing land to our nature preserves will continue to keep the bays clean and our damage from water manageable. At such a fast rate of growth the relocation of wildlife and the preservation of our bays must be foremost for us to continue to be blessed to live on Delmarva.

Recreation & Open Space


Begin a five dollar fee for all motel and hotel room rates and use it to improve education in Sussex County and reduce Sussex county school tax.

I am interested in the development of more recreational facilities for senior citizens.

Why not have a recreation center like Kent County does.
We had to take our Delaware Senior Olympic Games to Kent County rather than to Sussex County where here in Sussex we have the largest group of seniors and pickleball players in the state?
As member of the Delaware Senior Olympics and pickleball Chariman for the State we need a Recreation center for all ages not just seniors. Sports at the Beach will give us the land and run the facility if you are ready to support us with our Tax money to build it.
We need a facility that will support 25 pickleball courts at a cost of $1 Million to build. Please understand the cost will pay for itself within a year or two since the availability of having Regional and National tournaments here for all Sports!
Susan Brooker
Pickleballers Don’t Quit!
Delaware Senior Olympics, 25th Anniversary Year
Member of Board of Directors
and Pickleball Coordinatorhttp://delawareseniorolympics.org/pickleball/
Office/Cellphone/text: 703-203-3841
suebrooker@aol.com

I would like to see an affordable, large, modern recreation center to serve the Lewes Rehoboth area locals. One just opened in Kent County that could be a model. It serves residents of all ages. Having one in Sussex county would promote healthy, clean living in our area as it really needed. Please consider as you plan for the future.

Thank you, Susan Cunningham

We, the citizens of lower Sussex County,need a rec center for the public similar to the one in Kent County. Tournaments could be held here. This is a growing retiree area, the need is here.

Sussex county needs a recreation center for indoor pickleball courts like Kent county.

Sussex county needs a major indoor facility for pickleball. The number of players is growing rapidly, Kent county has a beautiful facility.

We desperately need a Rec facility
In Sussex County. Youth groups &
Senior citizens must travel miles to
Use other county facilities for volleyball
& pickleball. The YMCA’s are in Rehoboth
& Salisbury, not near 19966.

We need a public sports utility similar to the one in Kent County that serves all ages from children to seniors. It should be accessible by bike paths and modes other than motorized vehicles.

We MUST build an Indoor Pickleball Facility that provides at least 20 courts and associated curtains walls. Please consider building a multi-use air conditioned/heated indoor facility for a multitude of recreational uses for all ages, not just children and teens. With our senior population we need a quality facility. Kent County just built a beautiful facility for 16 indoor pickleball courts and we held the Delaware Pickleball Senior Olympics there in September. The event was totally run by Sussex County residents because we don’t have any facility in Sussex to host the event. I would be MORE than happy to sit on a committee to plan this building. I have 42 years of experience in recreation/physical education/sports/ and coaching.

I would like to suggest that with the number of Pickleball players in Sussex County, we would like to see a facility built in our county. We have at least 4x the number of players than there are in Kent county and they have a facility?

We need a dedicated pickleball facility in Sussex County. My husband and I attended the Delaware Senior Olympic Games just recently held in Kent Co. It would be great to have a similar one here in Sussex, where there is a large group of seniors and other enthusiastic pickleball players. As Sussex Co continues to grow, it must provide recreational opportunities for is residents. A pickleball facility would appeal to a large part of the population of the county. Please seriously consider such a great project for this county.
Sports at the Beach will give us the land and run the facility if you are ready to support us with our Tax money to build it.

ovides at least 20 courts and associated curtains walls. Please consider building a multi-use air conditioned/heated indoor facility for a multitude of recreational uses for all ages, not just children and teens. With our senior population we need a quality facility. Kent County just built a beautiful facility for 16 indoor pickleball courts and we held the Delaware Pickleball Senior Olympics there in September. The event was totally run by Sussex County residents because we don’t have any facility in Sussex to host the event. I would be willing to sit on a committee to plan this building. I have many years of operational, financial, and strategic planning experience with a large company

Our residents deserve a Recreation Center in Sussex like Kent County .
Also please preserve open space and stop the excessive development on the East side. We are bogged down with excessive traffic already.
Thanks for listening.

I would like to see additional public access to Little Assawoman Bay for residents and visitors of South Bethany Beach for boating. Yes, there are a few access points but ramps are not meant for larger recreation boats needing a concrete ramp. Many of us in S. Bethany live on canals with boat docks for our boats. Unfortunately, to ‘put in’ we have to pay extremely high fees at Hurricane Hannahs in Fenwick, go to Delaware Seashore State Park and take Ocean down south of Fenwick to get back to S. Bethany or use soft sand ramp at Holts.
I would like to see a concrete ramp capable of accepting recreation boats up to 30′ in length near South Bethany. Thank you.

Sussex County needs its own Parks & Rec Department.

I am a lifelong resident of Delaware and the daughter of a lifelong resident of Delaware. I grew up in Sussex Co. and I am deeply saddened by the rampant development there. I’ve seen special riparian habitats destroyed by runoff from poor and sometimes illegal practices of developers. I spent much of my adult life birding all over the state and find it very depressing to see how greed has changed the once beautiful landscape of my home state.

Sussex County is the only Delaware county without a parks and recreation department.

Not only is this out of sync with the needs of residents, it is now at a supply and demand point of no return: more people, fewer options for recreation. DE State Parks cannot meet the needs of an every-growing population and should not be expected to provide countywide sites and programming. Further, state parks in our county are utilized by day use non-residents more than any other, making these locations less attractive options for residents in the summer months due to traffic and crowds.

As more and more of our open space is utilized for commercial and residential development, the need becomes greater. There would be positive impacts for children, families, seniors and groups. Certainly a parks and rec initiative would support support current and future county-specific goals for improvement in the areas of health, education and recreation. Research also indicates a positive effect on crime. This is a worthwhile investment that, in time, will generate revenue as sports teams, group events and other functions are held in these spaces. Not everyone wants to hunt, fish or swim. They want to do things like picnic, hike, play sports or host a family reunion. These are activities that need no programming, just a place.

In sum, a comprehensive plan to guide growth toward a better Sussex would not be complete without a dedicated plan for parks and recreation.
Looking at Kent County (DE)’s website (see link below), we see numerous parks, trails, facilities of all sizes. The program guide shows classes, bus trips and more that many of us in Sussex are already using (and paying for). Something as simple as conveniently located natural areas with trails, picnic tables and pavilions would be a great first start toward a better Sussex and would give local municipalities a much-needed enhancement for building community.
http://www.co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation.aspx

Recreation center on Sussex County like the one in Kent County.

Sussex County needs a department of Parks and Recreation. First, the county needs to attract and keep young families because these families are vital to the workforce and tax base of the county. Also, young families help keep the county vibrant with fresh perspectives and ideas. In order to attract young families, we need parks and other recreational amenities, perhaps a pool. The county cannot just rely on private individuals due to the high cost of land, especially near the beach area, where many in Sussex County choose to live. These parks will also benefit the growing population of retirees as fitness is one way to maintain good health as people age. Additionally, county parks are a fantastic way to preserve open space and encourage land preservation in the county.

Our community needs recreational facilities for young and old that is modern, user friendly, safe and organized. Delaware prides itself on being dedicated to health and well-being and I applaud that for our citizens.
What I am asking you to consider dedication of land and monies to build a recreational center that includes 16 indoor Pickleball courts and 16 outdoor Pickleball courts in our community. The area required would be approximately the size of 4 tennis courts.Pickleball is a game that works best when you have a large number of players to mix it up with and to challenge one’s skills. Despite our age, we all long to improve in our skills and overall fun with a community of other players.
Sussex County’s senior population will be doubling by the year 2020 and we need a safe, well lit center that is designed to meet the needs of seniors who don’t work out in gyms but turn out in droves to play Pickleball.
Seniors want to stay active and actually have something to do here year round. While we are truly lucky to live in this wonderful county, people need organized recreational activities offered by a recreational center to invite and encourage all citizens to get healthy and have an active healthy lifestyle.
In two years our numbers of players has grown from 60 players to over 430 members of the First State Pickleball Club. Our members have been featured on WBOC and WHYY – the health benefits of play with testimonials of real changes to health that was lifesaving for these individuals.
The three ingredients to healthy aging is diet, exercise and community has been well documented. As senior citizens, we are the generation that grew up with the explosion of tennis and racquetball. We don’t want to sit down in our golden years but rather need and want organized activities that offer exercise, play, fun, a little competition and an opportunity to try something that everyone is talking about that is highly addictive. Once you try it, you are hooked in a very healthy way.
I know that you would agree with me if you took the time to come out and play with us. We would love to include you in our Pickleball community.
Currently we play in places that were not designed for Pickleball and in some cases are dangerous to our safety.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and in Sussex County.
Our dream is to get a Pickleball center where we could invite young adults, teenagers and elementary school children to come out to learn how to play. We already know that in the schools where this is included, kids love it and they do not want to stop playing!
Imagine a place where kids, teens and young adults would congregate to play, compete, laugh, make friends and get non-stop exercise by playing Pickleball. A world without video games to engage their minds. We know from reading on the USAPA website that the younger generation will take this on and play if facilities are made available for them to play. They need organized play with specific places and times to play.
If this should happen, I can guarantee you that this would open up an opportunity for young and old to cross paths, be active, competitive and stimulated by playing Pickleball, having contact with other humans and growing their skill set of eye hand coordination, agility, balance and stamina. Sussex County must do something to stimulate the interest of our citizens to get active, healthy and lose weight. Pickleball is the easiest way to get there.
On average, our seniors have lost many pounds of weight because they area motivated by play to drop the pounds while having fun playing. We know that people who play have successfully gotten off of their diabetes medication by lowering the A1-C and that cholesterol levels have dropped. In addition, people have made new friends and have a new social life with other retirees who want to have an active lifestyle.
Seniors are probably the most expensive consumers of medical care as we age but by having a healthy adult activity center where we can actually play in heated and air conditioned buildings that are well lit and that have playing surface that is kind to our aging bones and muscles we can keep those costs lower.
We anticipate that we will have 600 members of the First State Pickleball Club whose mission will strive to promote the development of the sport of Pickleball through participation, training and good sportsmanship. We continue to do that and are asking the Sussex County government to allocate land and funds to build an active Adult Center where all citizens can play in a safe and suitable environment.
Our vision is to make Sussex county a Pickleball destination year round where we can showcase the beautiful life we love living in Sussex county.

Please take a look at our website www.firststatepickleball.org for more information about Pickleball, our social events and volunteer activities for our community.
Thank you for the opportunity to give input into the Comprehensive Plan.

Kathy Casey
President
First State Pickleball Club, Inc.
www.firststatepcikeball.org
fspickleball@gmail.com

Kindly ensure the plan envisions space for indoor and outdoor pickleball. Many thanks!

We need dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent pickle ball courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest room facilities. We want a surface that is body friendly to support our aging bodies. (Ocean City Rec Center is a good example). Many health benefits are gained from playing this game such as improved agility, balance, stamina, focus, and laughter. And a added benefit is weight loss. Our aging brains need a good diet, exercise , and a social community. Pickle ball offers great exercise, instant community, social inclusion and contributes to overall emotional well-being. Please make this happen. More and more people are deciding to retire here. You need to help make this place a happy place for all of us.

I am urging you to consider the funding of a Sussex County Active Adult Center that would support a complex of both indoor and outdoor Pickleball courts. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and there are hundreds of players in Sussex County seeking a safe and comfortable place to play. These courts would support in keeping our county residents healthy and happy and would be attractive to tourists as well, Those of us who live and play in Sussex County envision the courts becoming a destination for Northeastern Regional tournaments which would be a huge support for the in season and off season economy. Thank you for considering this Pickleball complex as you plan for the future of Sussex County.

Americas fastest growing sport is Pickleball, a sport for young and old but especially seniors.
There are very few PB facilities in the county to meet the need. Both outdoor and indoor facilities should be included in the growth plan.

we need dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent pickleball courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest room facilities. these courts are critical to the population playing this sport which has been growing and growing over the years. It is also imperative that we ask for a surface that is body friendly. Ocean City and Kent county have Recreation centers that meet this criteria, but there are not enough available to support the growing population enjoying the sport for exercise and camaraderie. It’s a very healthy sport not only for retirees, but young adults wanting to stay active.

First of all, I think we need a Recreation Committee for the county. Secondly, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the USA and is especially popular with the 40+ crowd and residents who live here all year round. As such, we definitely need dedicated space both indoors and out for this very enjoyable sport,

Expanding pickle ball facilities in Sussex County or any county for that matter would be beneficial to not only the participants, but the overall well being of Delwares growing population

I, like many others, have recently relocated to DE from NY state after retiring. The graying of De is well underway, and activities are needed for this growing active demographic. Also, like many others in my age group, I’m hopelessly addicted to pickleball. Fortunately, I live in Kent County, where the Parks & Rec folks have built a gorgeous facility with up to 12 indoor, climate-controlled pickleball courts. The majority of our state players are located in Sussex County, and they play mostly on private courts. If there was ever a need for a concerted effort to provide recreational venues for seniors and others, this is it. Just a quick look on the internet will reveal how popular this sport has become and how counties all over America are embracing this trend. It’s here to stay and it would be wonderful if Sussex County would get on board and find ways to provide public indoor and outdoor venues. The First State Pickleball Club started in Dec 2014 and after a little more than two years, had 430 active members! I suggest that Sussex County hop on board this fast moving train. I would also suggest that you contact Kent County Parks & Recreation to learn about their experience. Thank you for considering my input.

Indoor/outdoor Pickleball facility in Sussex County would be an amazing plus for our area
Please make it happen..

I am asking that you watch this short video about Pickleball shot by WHYY Delaware First show showcasing the game of pickleball, its many benefits both health and overall well being, and how easy it is to learn the game.
Please watch it as my input for the need for permanent pickleball courts so that seniors can play in a safe, well lit and body friendly court surface. Think DecoTurf.
Here is the link: http://wp.me/p7DrX6-p0
It really is Important to provide our year round citizens recreational facilities that help make us stay healthy in a fun and active manner. While walking is wonderful, we need places to play because it is a great work out and we can meet people who also are living here.

Please provide senior citizens with
Pickleball & volleyball facilities. We
Are continually vying for space in the
Schools. We need more than Cheer
Centers & card playing activity! Seniors
Are very active in Sussex County!!

I would like to express the need to expand venues for pickle ball, an activity that is helping community members stay active and healthy playing a sport that is fun, easy to learn, and relatively gentle on the body. Our current somewhat limited venues are packed, with people new to the sport showing up in greater numbers. We need to encourage this healthy activity by providing full-service venues (outdoor and heated/airconditioned indoor with decent surfacing, well-spaced courts, restroom facilities, and parking) to foster continued growth of an activity suitable for all ages.

Today I had a routine checkup with my doctor. After the exam and a review of my lab results, he declared me one of the healthiest 64 year olds he has seen. He said ‘whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.’ What am I doing? I’m playing pickleball. Along with hundreds of other seniors in Sussex County, I’m reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle which includes playing pickleball 4 days a week. I find it incredible that Sussex County does not support recreation facilities for the citizens. No matter where I go in the country, I’m able to find rec complexes supported by counties where we are able to play. But nowhere in Sussex County. These are safe, air conditionied/heated facilities with good floors and restroom facilities. Sussex County needs to get with the rest of the country and provide recreation facilities to promote the health and welfare of the citizens. Please consider our needs while you develop the comprehensive plan. Thank you for reading.

County residents need more opportunities for recreation and health maintenance. County needs a Department of Recreation. County needs pickleball courts…lined pickleball courts with nets! Pickleball is the fastest growing recreational and competitive sport in America! Do some research! County needs a multipurpose indoor recreation facility like and even better than the one in Kent County -which IS beautiful. Please make some moves to bring many and varied recreational opportunities to citizens. WHERE does our Money go…and how does it benefit residents?

The community has evolved into a year round destination that requires indoor recreational facilities for the many who have retired here and live here year round.  The community needs an active adult recreation center that features a large number of permanent pickleball courts  In addition, permanent outdoor pickleball courts with lighting would offer  extended play and great summer fun! Facilities similar to those already in Kent County will be ideal! Please take this into serious consideration.

I would like to see us get a nice indoor facility for pickleball. It is a great sport for seniors and we can’t play outside if it is too hot,cold,wet,etc. Please consider us old folks when this is discussed. We need it in our area! Marian Nazelrod

There is a great need for a rec center similar to the new center opened in Kent county. The Sussex Family YMCA is totally inadequate to serve the entire county.

I am expecting the planning process to establish minimum buffers to reduce runoff and protect streams and wetlands. I was appalled to learn recently that nearly 10 years ago the County went to court to avoid protection of wetlands and waterways in the interest of unfettered development. The entire state is already an embarrassment in regard the quality of our water in rivers and streams, with anti swimming and fishing advisories in most locations. We are killing our Golden Goose. Retirees and vacationers will not want to live where our recreational waters are toxic, our game and migrating birds have no habitat. I beg of you to correct past crimes and move to protect and preserve our natural treasures.

We need indoor pickleball complex here in Sussex county. The number of players is growing exponentially, need something like Dover has.

I think it is important to save our beaches by not allowing the off shore drilling of oil. It is also important for our marine life and inland waters.

I would love to see 1) a Parks and Rec committee, and 2) a community center (or two) created to serve as a place for teens to go after school to have fun and to do homework (and stay off the streets) and where community events and potlucks can be held. Thanks!

In looking at the 2013-2018 Delaware Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) it indicates that off leash dog areas were a high priority in all areas of Delaware. This plan was created in 2013 as a five year plan, however, I am not finding any off leash dog areas anywhere except around the Wilmington area. Last week I went to Holt’s Landing State Park. It looked to me like it could be an ideal place in Southern Delaware for a dog park. It is fairly isolated from homes, is not over utilized and has several different areas that are spacious enough for an enclosed off lease area. Can you tell me if this area has been considered for a dog park? I’m hoping that Delaware has plans to implement their high priority off leash dog park and this area might be an ideal location.

Transportation


Hi Folks,
Being new the area, I am amazed on how much traffic exists in and around the town of Millsboro. I have spent many hours on the DELDOT website and have contacted the project managers for the very few proposed road improvement projects. For example, the RT24 improvements are not even scheduled to start until 2018. These are just drops in the bucket. I know the RT24 to US113 re-route is still in the planning stage not expected to start until 2020. Meanwhile, the traffic congestion continues to get worse. It is time to seriously look at a 5 cent gas tax to get the projects moved to the fast lane.

I would be very interested in seeing improvements to the Rt. 9 & Rt. 1 intersection in Lewes. I realize that road improvements come under the jurisdiction of the State. However, the 2018 Comprehensive Plan should include highly recommended critical road improvements as part of the plan with this intersection as the number one priority.

I can’t attend the meetings. I think our biggest issue is traffic, especially on RT #1 from the Nassau Bridge to Dewey. We’re bringing in all these new homeowners, & now its like driving in downtown DC or Philly. Lots of improvements have been made North on RT 1 & on roads getting to RT 1, but not where they all end up. I don’t mind all the people, its their cars.
Thanks

There is an urgent need to work with DelDot to plan the expansion of Route 9-404 from Georgetown to Route 1, and Route 24 from Millsboro to Route 1. The expanded right of way needs to be delineated as soon as possible, even if construction funds are not available now. The new buildings being constructed at the Vineyards on Route 9-404 look to be very close to an expanded highway. This is the situation that needs to be avoided. The traffic on these roads is only going to increase as seasonal residents in developments approved by the County Council become full-time residents.

Traffic might be partially relieved by making the Inlet Bridge a toll bridge in sumer months (with a locals discount) so MD tourists head down the inland route. Also the DART busses need to run year round in beach area.

You can allow developers to maximize profits by allowing high density developments all you want ( big tax dollars for you) but without transportation considerations the new houses won’t be worth a thing because people won’t buy them when they can’t get to or from them. We can very easily become an image of suburban Philadelphia. Transportation is already a travesty and continuing to allow development as it is going borders on negligence by the current zoning board and county council.

I am alarmed at the overdevelopment of the beach areas and an apparent lack of appropriate new roadways to accommodate traffic to and from the beaches. Beach traffic is horrible at times with a great of it using residential roads as short cuts to get to the beaches. To date your planning to saturate the area with new homes is creating nothing but headaches for those of us who are established residents. If this growth continues without a responsible plan for necessary new roads than no one will truly want to come here to deal with the impending gridlock.

It has become readily apparent that there is a lack of coordination between the planning for / approval of new development to the west of the beach-front communities around Bethany Beach and the infrastructure needs to support all of that new development. I live on a road that was originally designed to be a dead-end road in South Bethany, which was later converted to a community roadway intended for use only by local residents who have a need to drive to a destination west of town. The road is narrow, winding, has numerous blind spots, and there is no space to add pedestrians walkways along either side. However, due to all of the development taking place to the west (which is far from complete — I recently saw a figure putting the additional units currently under construction, approved, or planned for future construction at 5,000 — 9,000 over the next several years), much of the resulting new traffic uses our street and the adjoining roadways through South Bethany as its primary route to / from Route 1 and the beach towns up and down that route. Additionally, during weekdays, much of this outside traffic consists of commuting and work vehicles, such as pick-up trucks and commercial vans. Our South Bethany roadways were, in no way, constructed for this heavier and higher speed use. Bottom line: Sussex County needs to design and build roadways to accommodate the enormous amount of development taking place to the west, and should halt all planned development until such infrastructure is in place.

A building moratorium needs to be set in place east of route 113. Building and and population growth is far out pacing infrastructure. The ‘Quiet Resorts’ are no longer quiet. Traffic is out of hand.

With all the residential development popping up and lack of infrastructure improvements, i.e., widening of roads to accommodate the increase in traffic, I feel this will have a tremendous negative impact on the quality of life here in Sussex Co. Rt. 24, going east and west, is already a nightmare a lot of the time and I am speaking of the off season. There are many of us who moved here to get away from the gridlock of traffic from more urban areas and we are starting to once again face this type of frustration. Rts. 24, 23 and Rt. 9 as the only three direct routes for residents of Baywood, Coastal Club, Lewes Crossing, Stonewater Creek, Independence, Pelican Pointe and now Liberty subdivisions (with more communities to come) must use these 2 lane roads to access Rt. 1 local businesses and the beach. I don’t believe this will bode well for the businesses there as us ‘local’ residents will avoid these areas as much as possible. While adding ‘turn lanes’ is appreciated they are not going to lessen much of the traffic time.
While I am all for progress and growth it must go hand in hand also with infrastructure growth.

One of the transportation failings is the lack of a free flowing traffic route from the Bay bridge down Rt 404, Rt 50, and Rt 9 into Rt 1 in Lewes. This is a major route for visitors coming down and thru Sussex County.

Kindly ensure that approval of any new commercial or housing developments is contingent upon developers paying for major road improvements. New and or improved toads need to be built to accommodate the increased traffic from these new developments.

We live in Heron Bay just off Fred Hudson close to Rte 1 in Sussex County and have been permanent residents for 3 1/2 years now.
The speed limit on Fred Hudson is 40 MPH and people tend to go much faster. The bike path is maybe two feet wide if that, and the road is an ‘accident waiting to happen’ especially when it comes to people biking and walking. The state of DE has to do more.
I understand Gerald Hocker built the path that starts at Fred Hudson and Central Ave and goes to McCoys Way so people have easy access to the nature trail across from McCoys Way.
Is it possible to continue a path all the way to Rte 1? It is incredibly dangerous between McCoys Way and Rte 1. The pathway is way too small for walkers and bicyclists and people are driving way to fast. It is extremely scary at the curve.
What is even more perplexing is the fact that whoever is in charge designed a small bike path going east toward the light at Rte 1 once you get to the lane divide on Fred Hudson. They also put in a number of walk/don’t walk lights at Rte 1, but how are the people supposed to go back home? There is only a one way traffic pattern? How ridiculous! It’s like you can go to the beach, but you can’t go home.
Something needs to be done. PLEASE HELP!

Policy Statement:
Transportation Improvement Districts (TIDs)
HBADE acknowledges that a functioning and efficient transportation system is critical to
economic development as well as to the quality of life of Delaware Citizens.
HBADE acknowledges that the current policy of project specific traffic impact studies is
inefficient, costly, time consuming, and does not equitably distribute the cost of
development-related growth. In addition, fragmented traffic impact studies do not integrate
comprehensive land use planning with infrastructure investment.
HBADE acknowledges that funding mechanisms for transportation infrastructure have not
kept pace with capital needs due to flat revenue streams and rising construction costs.
HBADE supports the utilization of Transportation Improvement Districts (TIDs) to facilitate
traffic infrastructure improvements in targeted growth areas, foster economic development,
provide predictable costs and equitable cost sharing, and expedite preconstruction phases
of a project.
TIDs drive targeted growth areas for market ready development and redevelopment by
planning large scale infrastructure growth in conjunction with land development.
TIDs foster economic development by identifying infrastructure projects prior to
development such that businesses have confidence that adequate transportation systems
will be in place to support development.
TIDs provide predictable costs by outlining necessary fees prior to development as opposed
to lengthy and costly traffic studies which otherwise must be completed to determine
transportation costs which are unknown during initial project planning and budgeting
TIDs expedite the pre-construction phase and approval process by eliminating the need for
individual traffic studies which are generally completed prior to development applications as
well as allow development to proceed in an expedited fashion with confidence since off site
infrastructure costs have already been outlined within the TID.
TIDs provide more equitable distribution of infrastructure costs as opposed to traffic impact
studies and negotiated development agreements by utilizing an objective master planned
approach to determine infrastructure and associated costs. In addition, TIDs ensure that all
projects within a TID are responsible to fund infrastructure improvements as opposed to
only developments which trigger the need for transportation improvements. TIDs also allow
for the proactive planning and funding of large scale improvements necessary to mitigate
existing and proposed traffic that would otherwise be prohibitive financially or outside the
scope of a singular project to absorb.

I regret missing the Lewes public comment meeting, and so must get my comments to the Commission in this manner.

Let me begin by stating I don’t understand why, given it is a ‘Comprehensive’ Plan, that we must restrict our comments to one aspect of it. I picked ‘Transportation,’ but will be addressing other areas as well, because they all hang together in the end.
Having said that, here are my (admittedly) general concerns I wish to bring to the Commission’s attention:

1. Sussex County is the fastest-growing county of the three state counties, but its fastest-growing demographic is the ‘Baby Boomers,’ 55-70, not singles or young families, in so far as we can tell.

2. The public transportation facilities in Sussex are woefully inadequate to support this growing population, forcing it to drive everywhere, unless you live in downtown Rehoboth, Lewes, Georgetown, etc.

3. County roads are still essentially just that, ‘county roads,’ two-lane country roads meant to support farming communities, not designed to carry the rapidly increasing permanent, let alone ‘seasonal’ traffic burden present now. The county P&Z commission and board cannot just simply sit back and point the finger at DELDOT; it must push DELDOT when necessary, and to be fair, DELTDOT has its hands tied to a certain extent by state law (my impression), and must rely on input and/or requests from the county before it can move.

4. One Commission member (I believe?) remarked recently to the effect that ‘Development follows sewer lines.’ Truer words were never spoken.

5. I and my wife, who moved to Lewes three years ago from Northern Virginia, just outside D.C., have seen this movie before, so to speak. I grew up in Fairfax County, and although she grew up in Denton, MD, on the Eastern Shore, we raised our family in Prince William County, next to Fairfax County. Both counties, and now Loudon, Faquier, and Stafford counties went through or are now going through the same convulsions caused by unbridled development rapidly outpacing the ability of the area road system to support the developments. If it were not for the Washington’s Metro system, the MARC trains, and the Virginia Rail Express, there probably would not be ANY traffic movement in the region during the work week.

6. The county board and the area developers (a number of whom are not headquartered in Delaware!) can sneer at Kent County all they want, as they reportedly did in a recent Cape Gazette article, but in 10-15 years, Kent County may be having the last laugh, when gridlock envelopes Sussex County even during the off-season, while Kent County remains drivable/livable for its residents. Be careful what you wish for.

6. A major personal concern is the way the county is closing in on Lewes. If, eventually, all the farm land left around Lewes, to include the 900 or so acres along New Road – our purported ‘storm evacuation’ route – is urbanized at at least AR-1mandated two-homes per acre, that becomes some 1800 homes, with a probable 2-4 car trips a day. This would effectively shut down New Road, which is nothing but a two-lane country road with no shoulders/pull off areas. Please do not shut down access in and out of Lewes.

7. The county cannot simply try to push all new development up Rte. 1 to Milton and Milford – development is already racing up Rte’s 9, 24, 26, and the rest. This will continue unless action is taken, and the so-called ‘Agricultural West’ portion of Sussex county will be overwhelmed. County planners should take good note as to the small farming trend in this county – presently, something like only 2% of the working population of America farms, and eventually the farmers of Sussex County, as they are doing even now, will sell to developers, as their children are NOT going into farming. This is simply a stone-cold fact, not speculation. The Comprehensive Plan must take this critical fact into account, and make recommendations accordingly.

8. The AR-1 zoning designation merits reexamination. It makes it very easy to sell off land to out-of-state developers, with the county having little control as to what goes up on those tracts. All the transfer fees in the world won’t help your car get through gridlock when virtually all open land in the county is sold off over the next two decades.

9. The county’s road system can’t handle a full populace evacuation for a ‘Sandy’ magnitude storm now. How do the county board and planners think it will be manageable in the future, if development isn’t managed?

Finally, I want it understood that my wife and I are not strangers to the area, as we have been coming up to the Rehoboth area for decades (she spent her summers here), as her family had a cottage there. We are not the ‘We’ve got ours; time to pull up the ladder’ kind. We did not plan on retiring here, but it happened, without planning on our part (we believe alien abduction might have played a part, but seriously…) However, now that we are here, it worries us to see the same dynamic operating here that resulted in the gridlocked suburbs and exurbia surrounding Washington, D.C. We do not pretend to have all the answers, and are still learning. But, if the board members and staff do not get the new Comprehensive Plan right (not perfect, there’s no way to do that), but pretty much right, Sussex County will simply become an area of gridlock, with no relief via public transportation, and an aging population, with overcrowded beaches, more trash, actually lowered property values, not enough medical facilities, more crime, and all the other disagreeable aspects of a crowded suburb, without the amenities.

Please include me

Infrastructure improvements should be first priority before allowing more development. Very dangerous for me to drive from my home to do errands when I can’t safely turn left out of my neighborhood or most roads that I travel. There are few alternative routes.
I have no choice but to use Five Points which is also hazardous and time consuming. Business is losing my patronage due to traffic congestion.

Need objective measures of transportation performance (e.g., level of service maps) for the existing situation and for the alternative land use plans. Financial implications and funding requirements need to be addressed in comparison to existing situation. How much more money will be required to continue repair/replacement programs AND added capacity improvements–localized and corridor wide. I would support a town center or a mixed use corridor development LU plan as density and proximity can reduce road usage and support transit-like solutions–including summer traffic.

Rising sea level and temperatures are fact (amount can be debated). How is the issue noted and projected.

For May 22 Pand Z workshop on mobility.
Can Zoar Road between 113 east to 30 or beyond, be made a fourlane road?
Can route 30, from Milford to route 24, also be four lane?
Then we will have ‘ new’ E-W and N-S routes.
DelDOT needs to be given this as PRIORITIES, beyond the current ‘widening’, smoothing of access, intersections of existing two lane roads.

The prospects of developing a workable ground Transportation System without heavy constant investments, to keep it running in rural areas (which western Sussex county is) is impossible. Riders of this system will not wait 20 to 40 minutes in the heat , cold weather or rain and snow for a bus, however a bus service to Wilmington, Dover or the mall in northern Delaware that ran a dozen or more times a day has promise. A commuter airport that flies small 70 passenger jets will work, to connect the southern part of Delaware (Sussex County) with the rest of the country.
Before any of the transportation system plan can be even worked out DELDot needs to develop a plan and map showing their proposed new roads going east and west, north and south for Sussex county. The state takes a very large percentage of the 4.25% charged for the sale of a house and registering a new vehicle, leaving very little for DELDot to use in Sussex county. This has to change and a larger portion of the revenues has to be given to the states cash cow county. The county has waited too long to think about a transportation system; with increasing senior population growth in Sussex County along with increased traffic there is nothing that will work that is cost effective.
Just like the Sussex County 2008 Plan has failed in the past the 2018 Plan will fail in the future, if DELDot does not create a new road building plan, and the utilities show their plan to build along these roads and the P&Z directs builders to build along these roads (which they will because the utilities are there and it would be cost effective). Growth in Sussex County can be directed to where we want growth to be, it all depends on DELDot which needs to lead the way with new roadways while open land is still available.

On rt 24 and Mulberry Knoll there are right turn only lanes with stanchions so if someone is making a left turn you cannot go around. Traffic gets backed up until the left turn is made which can take considerable time being 24 is a major route. The right turn lane should be removed so cars can go around left turning cars. There are enough delays on 24 with heavy traffic. The right turn lane serves no logical purpose.

Hi Janelle,
Yesterday I stopped at the P&Z Office and was shown the folder of Public Comments on the Comp Plan. The very helpful lady (whose name I neglected to ask) showed it to me and offered to prepare a copy for me at 10 cents per page (I estimate there’s about 1000 pages there).
So, a couple questions:
1. Aside from the comments from the Sept/Oct 2016 Forums, are the public comments accessible to the public anywhere else electronically?
2. Does the folder I saw yesterday include the 2016 Forum comments?
3.Do you or the Consultant plan to categorize/organize the raw data in some way to make it more functional? If so, will this be available to the public?
Thanks very much,
Jeanette Akhter

We live at the Cave Neck and Route 1 intersection. It is already far too busy, particularly during the summer and on weekends, to support any further development in this area. It is already a traffic and safety nightmare. Please do not make it any worse.

Hi Janelle,
On Monday May 22 I stopped at the P&Z Office and was shown the folder of Public Comments on the Comp Plan. The very helpful lady (whose name I neglected to ask) showed it to me and offered to prepare a copy for me at 10 cents per page (I estimate there’s about 1000 pages there).
So, a couple questions:
1. Aside from the comments from the Sept/Oct 2016 Forums, are the public comments accessible to the public anywhere else electronically?
2. Does the folder I saw yesterday include the 2016 Forum comments?
3.Do you or the Consultant plan to categorize/organize the raw data in some way to make it more functional? If so, will this be available to the public?
Thanks very much,
Jeanette Akhter

I am closely following consideration of the new Comprehensive Plan and urge that it take strong steps to rein in irresponsible growth that is choking our roads and imposing costs on residents, visitors and businesses alike. The council must stop approving poorly planned developments and require developers to help solve the transportation problems they create. I live off Camp Arrowhead Road, a tiny road experiencing a lot of development that will increase traffic. It feeds on to Route 24, which already becomes a virtual parking lot many times each day, and will get worse with opening of Love Creek Elementary and the developments already approved along it. Now is the time for county government to protect our beautiful communities from ungoverned growth.

I want strong development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems. Stop Kowtowing to developers like Lingo Real Estate. They have all of you in their back pocket.

We want strong development standards and regulations that will prevent more traffic problems.

There needs to be assurance that Sussex County and DELDOT are in sync with each other’s CTP. DELDOT has to be proactive rather than reactive to transportation needs of the County. A strong committment of communication and coordination MUST be established.

Although we are making progress on having bikes be a legitimate mode of transportation, we need to do more as a community to make Sussex Cty as bicycle friendly as possible. This promotes healthy living, lowers pollution, reduces traffic and is a huge plus for companies wanting to locate in the area.

Can we do something about the roads, sewer systems, etc., before the council keeps approving new developments. It is absolutely ridiculous! You can go over to the Lowes or Home Depot, unless it’s 7:00am, because it will be a 2 hour trip, it just does not make sense! Someone has got to standup to the builders!

Although I understand the attraction of Southern Delaware as a place to live, I think the Plan needs to take into account the balance needed between permanent residents and tourists in terms of access to major roads. Route 24 is becoming increasingly congested with just normal residents and I would think Route 9 is not far behind with the increasing rate of development and no apparent plan to widen access roads along with these major corridors. Not only is it a hazard for emergency vehicles servicing the population, it greatly detracts from quality of life.

Rt. 24 should be four lanes from Millsboro to Rt. One. At 9 in the morning, in the middle of June, it was backed up past Burton’s Pond all the way to Rt. 1. No accidents, just traffic. When Love Creek Bridge was “renovated,” DelDot had a chance to make it four lanes but chose not to. This was less than 20 years ago. How foolish they were and still are. No foresight when it comes to Rt. 24. Even current developments on the drawing boards should have deep setbacks for future road expansions.

It is obvious that development will continue at a heavy pace in the area of the county between Coastal Highway and Route 113, from Lewes to the southern boundary. The county and and the state need to agree on funding infrastructure improvements – roads, sewers, schools, water supply, fire protection – in this area. Raising funds will require political courage and leadership. Who will step up in the county? Until an agreement is reached, the county council should cease all rezonings. I am told that there are 50,000 approved unbuilt new residences in the county. What will be the legacy of the current council members among county citizens in the years between 2018 and 2045?

Utilities


Why is it taking so long to get gas into our community?

Also, we have been waiting for Verizon to bring their cable company to the Lewes area too.

What is holding everything up?

We own a home in Windhurst Manor in Millville and received a note about a meeting for the Dickerson Canal Tax Ditch. We have owned our home for two years and this is the first time hearing about this. Could you please explain what this is about?

Where we live in Possum Point it is a forgotten community. We still have outdated septic and well water. The lots are small, most only 30 ft. wide and there is no room for septic improvements. All around us improvements are being made to communities and nothing is ever done in our area. Lots of surveys have been done but no action!

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It should be a requirement that all homes with private wells must have the water tested before sale, as in NJ and other states. www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/pwta If not a statewide requirement, then by county ordinance.

7.2.3 – considering review. Current water supply protection ordnance is meaningless. 100 feet is not protective. A minimum 20 yr draw radius is needed for public wells. Residential wells also need 1000 feet. Contaminates can and have traveled miles in Sussex – 1-2 ft/day in the unconfined aquifer. Waste disposal and fuel tanks must be prohibited up gradient.

So far I have not experienced a brown out or a boil water order, but the way the county keeps developing without thought to additional utilities and load redistribution those issues may not be far off. I have experienced such poor quality cable service that I gave up and installed an HD antenna. I noticed that when all of my neighbors are present in my community the signal quality decreases significantly for both cable and internet services. I have experienced poor quality cellular telephone service due to the lack of cell towers in my area. A lot of large farm equipment use cellular/satellite communications. Expecting to maintain a farming-based county without this resource is not forward thinking. These issues need to be given due consideration for current and future development.

I live in the chapel green development, can you please give me some info on the proposed Sewer work in our development, will the.roads be cut up, will the.roads be repaved. Thank you for

Any idea when the sewer project will begin in chapel green, and are the roads gonna be torn up