County council discusses Comp Plan

Date Published: 
Nov. 10, 2017

At the Nov. 7 Sussex County council meeting, County Administrator Todd Lawson gave council an update on the County’s Comprehensive Land Use Development Plan.

Lawson said the plan update was reviewed and recommended to Council by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Nov. 2 meeting. Next month the council will begin to hold meetings on the plan, with a hope of finalizing changes from January through April.

“In April, with the draft finalized, we will submit that to the State PLUS and they will review it… We’ll receive [their] comments, consider those comments, and maybe adjust the plan accordingly.”

From there, the plan will go to the Cabinet Committee and go through the same review and comment period, prior to being returned to council.

“At that iteration we will then hold our public hearing, which is really the last exercise for us to approve a document to then submit to the State.”

Lawson said the plan is for the County to hold the public hearing in May, and submit the final plan to the governor’s office in June.

“By Code we have to have this done by June of next year. That is a pretty hard deadline.”

George Cole said the plan may be “a little aggressive,” as in reviewing the Planning & Zoning Commission’s comments “there are a few things I think they left out that we talked about over the years.”

“I think they interpreted things a little differently than the way we see things at this table,” said Cole. “This is very important. I think it needs to time to really look at it.”

Lawson said he believes if the County gets bogged down in the process or realizes they need more time in review, the council will be the one to make the decision.

Wednesdays, Dec. 6 and 13, at 9 a.m. the council will meet solely regarding the Comp Plan.

“That will give us adequate time between now and Dec. 6 to get prepared, have our presentations ready, and hear from you on specific topics.”

Lawson said meeting agendas will be posted publically, and developed based on work flow on a week-to-week basis.

Assistant County Attorney Vince Robertson said instead of council voting on each topic individually, the council would come to a consensus as to how to alter the draft, and then move on.

If a group wants to speak at length about a topic related to a specific workshop’s agenda, Lawson said they can call him for it to be placed on the agenda itself. Persons will still be able to make comment during the workshops.

Lawson commended staff and all involved in getting the plan to its current state.

“It has taken a Herculean amount of work,” he said, adding, “I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from the public.”

For more information about the Sussex County Comprehensive Land Use Plan, visit www.sussexplan.com.