Sussex County News

Sussex County, Delaware

Population:

  • 156,638 (2000 Census)

County council meetings

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (second Tuesday of each month), council chambers, county administrative building; council meetings and other public meetings held in the council chambers are broadcast over the Internet

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • Thursdays, two to four times per month, 6 p.m.; occasional Wednesday afternoons; council chambers, county administrative building

Board of Adjustments meets:

  • Mondays, two to four times per month, 7 p.m.; council chambers, county administrative building

Elections:

  • Council members elected by district, to four-year terms; council president selected from among council members

County administrative building:

  • 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947; (302) 855-7700

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

County Council 2013-2014:

  • Michael Vincent, Council President, District 1
  • Samuel Wilson Jr., Council Vice-President, District 2
  • Joan Deaver, District 3
  • George B. Cole, District 4
  • Vance C. Phillips, District 5

County Administrator:

  • Todd Lawson

Council Administrative Staff:

  • Robin Griffith

Finance Director:

  • Gina Jennings

Public Information:

  • Chip Guy

Public Works Director:

  • Michael Brady

Director of Planning & Zoning:

  • Lawrence Lank

Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:

  • Robert C. Wheatley

Police:

  • Delaware State Police Troop 4

Sheriff:

  • Jeffrey Christopher

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 856-5850

Sewer service:

  • Sussex County provides central sewer service to communities throughout the county, while some private property owners and other communities utilize on-site septic or sewer systems of their own.

Second season arrives

September is here again, and residents around the Sussex coast can again collectively exhale, having survived the stress of another summer season. More and more so every year, however, locals are likely taking another deep breath at the end of that exhalation — as they get ready for round two.

For businesses, the crowds have dwindled somewhat, but so has the workforce.

County discusses new appeals process

Sussex County Council considered draft legislation that would create a new appeals process for parties aggrieved by county decisions regarding subdivisions, at the Aug. 23 regular council meeting.

County Attorney Jim Griffin worked some housekeeping on the existing code, which is unclear when it comes to appeals before council.

County postdates housing ordinance

Sussex County Council enacted an ordinance to permit multisectional manufactured homes (24 feet or wider) on private residential lots (as small as half-acre) at the Aug. 16 meeting.

But the ordinance won’t go into effect probably until next summer, when the state implements a new manufactured housing inspection program.

84 Lumber gets go-ahead from county to expand

It was enough.
Any more than one member of Sussex County Council voting in opposition at the Aug. 16 council meeting, and 84 Lumber’s plans for expansion in Clarksville would have run aground.

Council Member Dale Dukes was out — his own Dukes Lumber being a direct competitor, he’d recused himself.

That meant 84 Lumber needed a 3-1 majority — and they got it, with a4-0 vote.

Planners move on without Allen

The Sussex County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission held its first meeting Thursday, Aug. 11, since the passing of longtime P&Z President John “Jack” Allen.
The chairman’s seat remained vacant during the four-hour session at the Sussex County Administrative Building in Georgetown, but the committee patriarch’s presence was clearly felt.

County looks at appeals process

A bare quorum of Sussex County Council members gathered for a brief council meeting on Aug. 9, to discuss a specific subdivision appeal, but also appeals in general.

Attorney Heidi Balliet, representing the Spring Breeze subdivision project (275 lots, near Angola) petitioned council for reconsideration, following a denial from the county’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission.

County wrangles road responsibilities

Sussex County Council pointed out Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) shortcomings at the Aug. 2 council meeting, as County Administrator Bob Stickels prepares to add his requests to DelDOT’s Five-Year Capital Transportation Improvement Program.

County considers moderately-priced housing

Sussex County Council took another baby step toward a moderately-priced housing program at a public workshop on July 26.

Council members took no official action, but reached majority agreement that they would be asking County Attorney James Griffin to draft the program elements into ordinance form, thus starting the legislative process.

Council returns and hears grant requests

Sussex County Council returned from summer break to an agenda full of grant requests, and one request for a loan, at the July 19 council meeting.

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Ed Kee picked up a $10,000 check, which he pledged to use in support of local agribusiness — vegetable farmers, in particular.

State stalls on various local road projects

Sussex County will get its flagship Indian River Inlet Bridge project a little later than originally anticipated, and drivers sitting in traffic on congested local roads will just have to wait and see.
This year’s $834.9 million bond bill, which funds construction projects around the state, did include $393.1 million for road projects.

'Affordable housing' study short of expectations

Sussex County Council Member Lynn Rogers last summer asked for the assemblage of a committee to investigate affordable housing options for the county.

When the investigative coalition (convened by County Administrator Robert Stickels) reported its findings on moderate-priced housing to the council Tuesday, Rogers found the presenters had mixed words, and meanings.

County revisits homes in commercial zones

Sussex County Council members reconvened for a workshop-format discussion following the main body of the June 21 council meeting, and lunch, hashing out preliminary guidelines for several draft ordinances before a sparse audience.

County approves sewer

Sussex County Council moved okayed two sanitary sewer district expansions at the June 21 meeting — one primarily for what will become the 350-lot Forest Landing subdivision (Beaver Dam Road and Central Avenue), and the second for four developments planned, three for Millville and one for Ocean View, which will eventually bring nearly 4,000 homes (and 500,000 square feet of commercial space) to t

County considers change at Lynn Lee

Concerned manufactured home park residents attended the June 9 county Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission, to learn more of the plan that would utterly transform the Lynn Lee Village, north of Ocean View.

County cuts tax giveback after one year

Sussex County Council members struck a $2.2 million tax rebate from the coming year’s $135.1 million budget at the June 14 council meeting. Last year, only Council Member George Cole (4th District) wanted to chop the tax rebate — and, like last year, he said it amounted to little more than “a large pizza and a couple of sodas” per citizen.

Manufactured housing sector faces council

Sussex County Council members spent most of the afternoon presiding over the public hearing for a proposed 1,600-unit residential plus commercial development on 836 acres of farmland between Milford and Milton. (They deferred, awaiting a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission.)

County initiates sewer study

Sussex County Council covered a range of local sewer projects at the May 24 council meeting — specific district expansions around Millville and Ocean View, and a massive study for Dagsboro-Frankford and West Sussex.

County denies bridge over wetlands

The County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission unanimously recommended denial of the Riverview application — a 1,400-foot wooden bridge to a proposed 72-unit residential planned community (RPC) — at the May 12 P&Z meeting.

County council unveils 2006 budget

County Administrator Bob Stickels gave the public a first look as he introduced the proposed fiscal 2006 budget, and sewer fees, at the May 17 county council meeting. This year’s theme was “Growth Continues,” although the general fund spending actually grew at a modest rate of 2.83 percent — to $53.3 million (combined county, state and federal monies).

County looks at dogcatchers

Sussex County Council juggled the animal control hot potato at the May 10 council meeting, but where that responsibility will come to rest remains to be seen.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) leaders have voted unanimously to move away from those duties, and return to the society’s original mission.

County denies Moose lodge

Sussex County Council decided the County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission’s conditions weren’t enough to make a Loyal Order of Moose lodge fit next to a chicken house, and voted unanimously to deny the application on May 10.

County considers emergency housing request

With budget time fast approaching, petitioners have begun to position their causes on Sussex County Council’s radar screen. The First State Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) explained their mission at the May 3 council meeting.

Price tapped as the top Sussex County Democrat

Millville resident Shirley Price quietly reentered politics in recent weeks —– not as a challenger, but as an organizer. Price, a former state representative for the 38th District, has been selected as Chair for the Sussex County Democratic Party.

County council defers on Moose Lodge

Sussex County Council held public hearing on the Loyal Order of Moose application at the April 26 council meeting.

County takes a look at Riverview project

Sussex County Council took another look at the Riverview project north of Millville on April 19, but deferred action: awaiting a recommendation from the planning and zoning (P&Z) commission.

The builders are seeking a residential-planned community (RPC) overlay on approximately 80 acres of land near the Tuckahoe Acres campground (Holt’s Landing).