County approves one rezoning request, defers on another

Date Published: 
Feb. 2, 2018

The Sussex County Council this week approved a change-of-zone request for a Route 17 property but deferred their decision on a request for a change of zoning on a Bayard property.

Both applications had been recommended for approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission at their Jan. 11 meeting on 4-0 votes.

One of the requests was filed by Preston and Brenda Brasure, for two parcels equaling 2.72-acres 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).

In January, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission had voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Brasures’ application to the county council.

The Brasures, who have since moved to Bridgeville, they said, to get away from the business of the beach area, have looked for tenants for the property, but have yet to find any of quality, they said.

As the area is trending to commercial use, with businesses including Hocker’s Super Center, 84 Lumber and Bob’s Marine, they said they believed the rezoning would fit in the area.

“At this point, they do not intend to develop the property,” said the Brasures’ attorney, Shannon Carmean Burton of Sergovic, Carmean, Weidman, McCartney & Owens P.A.

The council approved the change of zone on a 4-0 vote. Councilman George Cole was absent from the meeting due to illness.

“That the intersection has changed and evolved,” said Councilman Rob Arlett. “I think it does make sense… It is compatible with the surrounding areas.”

The council this week also heard a 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 requests 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.

Planning & Zoning Director Janelle Cornwell noted that the council had received two letters related to the application — one in favor and one in opposition.

Brenton Archut, who spoke on behalf of the trust, said the land, which has been in his family since the 1930s, has been used in an agricultural manner since they acquired the property.

The trust is seeking the change in zoning with the hope of building a small retail garden center on the property, along with a small convenience-style store, if approved. The site would house approximately 10,000 square feet of space, with 7,000 square feet of retail space, and the other 3,000 square feet being greenhouses.

Archut said that, with a great deal of development coming into the area — approximately 800 homes — the idea would be to be able to service the landscaping needs of those growing communities, while also being able to give the residents a way to buy necessities without having to go on busy roads, such as Routes 26 and 54.

“Growth is coming to this area. Growth has already come to this area,” he said. “Everyone has heard the complaints of traffic on Route 26 and Route 54.”

Speaking to one concern related to the application, Archut said there are no wooded areas on the property, so any construction that would take place would not disturb wildlife, such as eagles.

Presenting a conceptual design, Archut said the only entrance to the property would be at the northernmost point off of Bayard Road; however, he said they would work with the Delaware Department of Transportation to create whatever entrance they felt was best for the property.

He added they would pay for roadway improvements, as well as sidewalks and bike lanes.

Councilman I.G. Burton said he sees the need for businesses to service the growing area.

“I don’t know that I whole-heartedly agree that it shouldn’t be more retail than landscapers,” he added.

The council voted 4-0 on Tuesday to defer their decision on the Archut property.