County P&Z recommends approval of change-of-zone requests

Date Published: 
Jan. 19, 2018

Two local properties may be changing their zoning in the near future, after the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously this week to recommend the Sussex County Council approve the requests.

One of the requests was filed by Preston and Brenda Brasure, for their 2.72-acre property on the west side of Roxana Road. The Brasures requested that the property, which has been in the family since 1946, be rezoned from AR-1 (Agricultural Residential district) to a CR-1 (Commercial Residential district).

At the Dec. 21 hearing where the request was presented (with a decision deferred that night by the commission), the applicants argued that they can no longer live on their property because the surrounding area has become so commercialized.

That evening, Brenda Bove, who owns the horse farm immediately adjacent to the Brasures’ property, spoke in opposition to the application, noting issues with their septic system.

At the Jan. 11 P&Z meeting, the commission voted 4-0 to recommend the change-of-zone be approved, noting that the parcel is adjacent to property zoned as commercial, as well as to properties at the intersection of Routes 17 and 26, which are completely commercially zoned.

“There are intensive commercial uses at the intersection, including a large supermarket, 84 Lumber, Bob’s Marine and other similar-type commercial uses,” said Commissioner Martin Ross.

The commission also voted this week 4-0 to recommend approval of the change-of-zone request filed by Lemuel H. Hickman GST Exempt Trust fbo Brenton Archut, for a parcel located at the southeast corner of Bayard and Double Bridges roads. The application requested that 5.11-acre area of the overall parcel, which measures 24.8 acres in all, be rezoned from AR-1 (Agricultural Residential District) to Business-1.

At the Dec. 21 P&Z meeting, the applicant’s attorney, Dennis Schrader of Morris James, said the applicant was hoping to build a small retail garden center on the property, along with a small convenience-style store, if approved.

The proposed plan would include a total retail space of approximately 7,000 square feet, while the greenhouses would equal approximately 3,500 to 4,000 square feet.

The commissioners recognized that the property is “in an area with a substantial amount of existing and approved residential lots and dwellings,” and said they therefore found the change-of-zone request to be an appropriate use of the property.

“The location will lessen congestion on area roads and streets, while providing a small neighborhood business serving residents and visitors in the nearby area, without having to travel Route 26 or other beach areas,” said Ross, noting that it will be served by County sewer and water, and stating that the rezoning would not adversely affect neighboring properties.

The commission also noted that no parties had appeared in opposition to that application.

Both applications will be heard before the Sussex County Council ahead of its vote on final approval.