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.

County considers hard line on permits

Sussex County Council members will soon consider a pair of ordinances targeting scofflaw builders, following a presentation at the March 21 council meeting.

Sussex County Council reviews audit report

Sussex County Council reviewed audited numbers for the 2005 Fiscal Year, and County Administrator Robert Stickels took the opportunity to project a sober economic outlook, at the Feb. 28 council meeting.

County council to consider dredging of Nanticoke River

Feb. 7 was a big day for Sussex County’s economic development office, as director Steve Masten petitioned council for help in finding a site to accommodate spoils from a proposed dredging project on the Nanticoke River.

Sussex considers cluster density trade

Sussex County Council members returned to “cluster density trade” talks on Feb. 14, and offered the public a chance to weigh in at the St. Valentine’s Day council meeting.

County ends clustering moratorium

Sussex County Council unanimously adopted an amendment to the Cluster Development Ordinance at the Jan. 31 council meeting, closing a bonus-density loophole and thereby deactivating the county’s recent moratorium on new applications for clustered subdivision.

County readies for groundwater regs

A new set of groundwater protection regulations came before Sussex County Council members at the Jan. 24 council meeting — they’re state-mandated, but the council will have the opportunity to fine-tune the regulations.

County considers three local projects

Sussex County Council members approved two local entrepreneurs and a developer at a Baltimore Hundred-heavy council meeting, Jan. 10.

They granted conditional-use requests for Timothy and Vickie O’Hare, for a wood shop, and Ed Chiasson, for a gift shop.

Council favors two-lane Streetscape plan

If the predominant message of those commenting at the Dec. 10 special meeting regarding Bethany Beach’s proposed Streetscape plan for Garfield Parkway was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” council members didn’t agree that things weren’t broken.

County council shuffles parking ordinances

Sussex County Council did a good impression of the Delaware General Assembly on Dec. 13, loading five public hearings into the long, late-night, last council meeting of the year.
Parking-related ordinances crowded the agenda (pushing land use decisions closer to midnight). Council considered four related issues:

County P&Z defers decision for eagles

Bald eagles threw a monkey-wrench into the works of an eight-lot subdivision planned for Bunting Road west of Dagsboro, near Pepper Creek and Piney Creek, when it came up for review by the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Dec. 8.

County introduces new clustering amendment

Sussex County Council members spent most of the Dec. 13 council meeting wrangling with parking, but they did cover some land use issues, too. The county has set a moratorium on new clustered subdivisions, and Council Member Vance Phillips introduced another possible adjustment on Tuesday.

County eyes possible changes to clusters

There seems a consensus on Sussex County Council that the Cluster Development Ordinance (enacted August 2004) may have a few loopholes that need closing. Council enacted a moratorium on new cluster developments last week and continued the discussion on how to close that loophole at the Dec. 6 council meeting.

County pauses to amend clustering

About a month ago, Sussex County Council members started considering some changes to the cluster subdivision ordinance (enacted in August of 2004), and got right back on it after the Thanksgiving break.

County P&Z recommends parking changes

The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) recommended approval of several ordinance changes at its Nov. 17 meeting, including some potentially contentious parking requirement changes. But the commissioners were split on the most sweeping of those proposed changes.

County studies land trust model

Affordable- to moderately-priced housing once again topped the agenda of the Sussex County Council, at the Nov. 15 meeting.

Members of the Diamond State Community Land Trust (CLT) brought a model for Sussex and Kent counties before Sussex County Council — one making specific reference to county-initiated moderately-priced housing units (MPHUs).

County takes input on appeals process

As it stands, only one party has the right to appeal county Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission denials on a major subdivision — the aggrieved applicants. Within county government, anyway, average citizens who feel aggrieved — by an approval, rather than by a denial — need to head straight for the court system.

County considers revisions to clustering

Clustered subdivisions not all Sussex County Council had originally anticipated?

County approves sewer for Millville-area development

Members of the Sussex County Council unanimously approved provision of sanitary sewer for an 89-lot residential subdivision called White Creek Landing at their Nov. 1 meeting, after preliminary approvals in mid-July and Aug. 1, and on the recommendation of the county’s engineering department.

The Toll Brothers community will become linked with the Millville sanitary sewer district.

State updates clear zone legislation

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is cracking down on illegal signs placed in the medians and rights-of-way of the state’s roads under a revised version of the existing “Clear Zone” law.

County codifies 911 addressing

Emergency responders turned out in force for the Oct. 25 Sussex County Council meeting, voicing strong support for an ordinance that will require county residents to post their new 911 addresses within the next year and a half.

County council funds soil conservation

Ditches may overflow after 6 or 7 inches of rain, no matter how good a job the Sussex Conservation District is doing. But as of the Oct. 18 Sussex County Council meeting, the conservation staff has some bankroll to match contributions from the tax ditch associations.

County holds off on housing issue

By all accounts, the committee studying a moderately-priced housing initiative has taken a major step in the right direction, but Sussex County Council reached consensus at the Oct. 11 council meeting that the program still needs work.

DelDOT talks Inlet Bridge redesign

The Indian River Inlet Bridge is safe, for now. And, devastating impact on local economies notwithstanding, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will certainly close it down if that ever changes.

County introduces parking ordinances

Sussex County Council introduced four ordinances, all related to parking, at the Oct. 4 council meeting, and while they won’t reappear on the agenda until Nov. 17 (at county Planning and Zoning), Council Member George Cole made clear he’d probably vote against all four when they come before council in December.

DelDOT reviews inlet bridge design

Roadwork continues around the Indian River Inlet Bridge, but the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is taking another look at designs for the bridge itself. Anticipating the single bid the department had received would prove much more expensive than expected, DelDOT is now modifying its bid package, in preparations for trying again.