Design guidelines developed for neighbors of Historic Lewes Byway

The Sussex County Council last week received an update on the Historic Lewes Byway from committee member Russ Tatman, regarding voluntary design guidelines for properties along the byway.

According to its website, “The Historic Lewes Byway, Gateway to the Bayshore captures the remarkable 378-year history and its surviving legacy as the First Town in the First State of the United States of America. The stunning views by land and sea capture Lewes’ natural beauty, maritime origins, and rich history from native settlements and early European settlements to agricultural and marine industries to present-day resorts and recreational facilities.”

The byway consists of 12.35 miles, with the route beginning at the “Gateways from the Land” on Kings Highway, Savannah Road and New Road; and from the “Gateways from the Sea” on Pilottown Road, Neck Road and Cape Henlopen Drive.

Tatman on Tuesday presented to the council the conceptual guidance for landscaping and building guidelines for structures along the byway.

“It’s a project we wish to work with homeowners on, on a voluntary basis,” said Tatman on Aug. 21. “Our goal is to preserve, conserve and enhance the character of the Lewes Byway.”

“We have to work on a voluntary basis. We cannot mandate anything,” he said. “I want to emphasize this point, that … the Byway does not mandate any new regulations.”

Tatman said very few people know they live on a byway, or even what a byway is. He said the committee plans to send a letter to every property owner on the byway, telling them what a byway is, the benefits and what they can do to help enhance it.

He also said they hope to hold public workshops to give property owners an opportunity to learn more about the byway and ask questions.

Tatman said he hoped the County would support the committee in their efforts moving forward.

For more information on the Historic Lewes Byway, visit

By Maria Counts
Staff Reporter