Sussex County Delaware

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Sussex County Council ...

County Council Hears
Plans for Rt. 54 Shops

SC Online Content Editor

GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council heard plans for a shopping center and storage facility on Route 54 near the mobile home communities of Shady Park and Swann Keys, the Bayville Shores multi-family community and the proposed upscale development known as The Refuge.

The two facilities would be located on about nine acres on Route 54 between Sussex roads 58B and 381. The shopping center would be a small "village center" type of facility, according to John Sergovic, attorney for Ronald E. Gray, the developer. A larger shopping center, with a chain grocery store, is planned to be built just west of the site.

The storage and workshop complex would include mini-storage units to serve the mobile home and multi-family communities in the area, both closed and open boat storage, and storage space for mobile home owners. It will also include nine "workshops" to be used by contractors working in the area, Sergovic said.

The workshops will have access doors and overhead doors; they will allow contractors to work closer to job sites, he said.

Residents of several nearby communities will be able to access the complex without traveling very far on Route 54, thus reducing traffic on the often-congested road to the beach, Sergovic claimed. Shady Park, Swann Keys and Bayville Shores connect to Route 54 near the proposed shopping center. The entrance to the complex will be the one already shared by a car wash and The Refuge community.

Sergovic pointed out that the county's recently updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan calls for increased commercial space to serve the increasing development in the coastal area. About 1,800 homes could be served by the shopping and storage complex.

But council member George Cole questioned whether the need was so great that a total of 30 acres of commercial space, including Gray's complex and the larger one, are needed. In Gray's project, 34,000 square feet of retail space is planned, along with expansion of an existing car wash and warehouse.

"We really tried to develop a complex that will serve the residents," Gray said.

Gray is seeking a conditional use permit for the storage units and workshops; he is seeking a change of zone from AR-1 agricultural/residential to C-1 commercial for the shopping center.

The council deferred voting on the applications because the county Planning and Zoning Commission, which held a hearing on the projects March 20, has yet to make a recommendation on them.

In Other Business ...
  • The council deferred decisions on the following conditional use applications, because the Planning and Zoning Commission has not made their recommendations on them:

  • C.U No. 1485, an application by Jay R. Donovan to sell antiques, produce, glassware, flowers, used tools and farm supplies on a 1-acre parcel north of Sussex Road 36 and west of Sussex Road 626, in Cedar Creek Hundred; and

  • C.U. No. 1486, an application by Alton D. White for light fabrication of parts and frames for race cars, on a 5-acre parcel northwest of Sussex Road 497 and north of Route 24, in Little Creek Hundred.

  • The council also approved contract amendments totalling $65,000 to Weymouth Professional Services for construction management and inspection services for the Milton Library; and

  • Voted to hire Teal Construction to repair deteriorated sewer pipes in Bay View Park, south of South Bethany. Costs are expected to be about $35,000.

  • County Engineer Michael Izzo said his department has 78 projects under way. "We're trying to keep up, but it's difficult," Izzo said.

  • Council heard the following proposed ordinances:
    • Conditional use for a community recreational center, 10.66 acres in Indian River Hundred, Rehoboth Bay Conservation L.L.C.

    • Change of zone to MR Medium Residential for 34.09 acres in Baltimore Hundred for multifamily units, Windmill Ventures;

    • Conditional use in an agricultural/residential zone for 40,293 square feet in Baltimore Hundred for self-storage units, Alton and Diane Murray;

    • Conditional use to expand existing Conditional Use No. 1290 for additional offices and storage on 5 acres in Broadkill Hundred, Nardo Inc.;

    • Change of zone from B-1 neighborhood business to C-1 commercial, for 1.43 acres in Baltimore Hundred, Don Conaway; and

    • Change of zone from B-1 neighborhood business to C-1 commercial, for 2.61 acres in Baltimore Hundred, Don Conaway.

  • Council approved the following grant requests:
    • Delaware Police Chiefs' Council Inc., $500 for staff development seminar;

    • Rehoboth Summer Children's Theatre, $500 for programs and projects;

    • Delmar Middle School and Senior High School, $150 for National Youth Leaders Conference;

    • The Jefferson School, $250 for annual giving campaign;

    • Laurel Intermediate School, $200 for a science fair;

    • Sussex Central Football Boosters, $100 for Second Annual Central Football Boosters Golf Tournament;

    • Town of Frankford, $500 for spring clean-up day;

    • Cape Henlopen High School, $500 for Odyssey of the Mind State Finals; and

    • Milford Community Parade Inc., $400 for parade expenses.

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