This is 'essentially the same application' as the C-3 Zoning Change application of 2018 (CZ 1855). It was denied by the Council on 12/11/2018. Now it is back as a Conditional Use application.
From P&Z Meeting Minutes of 8/23/2018:
C/Z #1855 Kirk Salvo, KH Sussex, LLC
Ms. Cornwell advised the Commission that submitted into the record were a staff analysis, site plan, an exhibit booklet, comments from the Sussex Conservation District, Sussex County Engineering Department Utility Planning Division, results from a DelDOT Service Elevation which did not require a TIS.
One letter in support of the application and one letter in opposition to the application were read into the record.
The Commission found that Dennis Schrader Attorney with Morris, James, Wilson, Halbrook and Bayard, Mike Reimann with Becker Morgan Group and Kirk Salvo, owner of KH Sussex, LLC were present of behalf of the application; that Mr. Schrader stated he is elated to ask for C3; that the 2018 Comprehensive Plan is applicable in the Coastal Area; that the site is located on the corner of Route 24 and Angola Road; that the property is currently zoned AR-1; that the Land Use classification per the Comprehensive Plan is in the Environmentally Sensitive Developing Area; that the property is located in the Level 3 State Strategies;
that Mr. Reimann stated the total for the area of rezoning is 3.5 acres; that there are three parcels involved; that there is currently a home on the site and marina storage; that there are commercial uses within one mile of the area including a marina; that a commercial shopping center is within three miles; that Peddlers Village is within 15 miles; that there are many residential projects in the area; that the proposed use is for a gas station with a convenience store to provide convenience to the road users; that this will serve fuel to the area; that DelDOT has a project to improve the intersection; that the construction is proposed to begin in 2020; that a TIS was not required; that there will be a right turn in and a right turn out on Route 24 and have full access onto Angola Road; that they did work with DelDOT; that this project will not have a negative impact; that the applicant would go through the Site Plan process; that the site was recently annexed into the Sussex County sewer district; that the lighting will be shielded; that signage will be in accordance with the sign Code; that there are some wetlands on the site and they will be protected;
Mr. Schrader stated that they do comply with the current and new Comp Plans; and that the site is consistent with the new C-3 zone.
The Commission found that no one spoke in favor or opposition to the application. The public hearing was closed. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Commission discussed this application. Motion by Mr. Hudson, seconded by Ms. Stevenson, and carried unanimously to defer action to allow for further consideration. Motion carried 5-0.
At their meeting of September 13, 2018, the Planning Commission discussed the application which has been deferred since August 23, 2018. (pg 10-11 of https://sussexcountyde.gov/sites/default/files/minutes/pz09-13-18.pdf )
Mr. Hudson moved that the Commission recommend approval of Change in Zone # 1855 for KH Sussex, LLC for a change in zone from AR-1 to C-3 “Heavy Commercial” based upon the record made during the public hearing and for the following reasons:
1. C-3 Heavy Commercial Zoning is designed to allow auto-oriented retail and service businesses that serve local and regional residents. Permitted Uses include retail uses, restaurants, offices and vehicle service stations.
2. The site is at the intersection of Angola Road and Route 24. This lighted intersection is appropriate for this type of zoning.
3. This location serves an area that has seen significant residential growth. This rezoning will provide a convenient location for retail and service uses for nearby residential developments as well as Route 24 traffic.
4. Most of the site is currently used for commercial purposes. A Conditional Use for boat storage and other similar uses exists on the property. This rezoning is a reasonable expansion of that prior conditional use on this site.
5. The site will be served by central water and Sussex County sewer.
6. The site is in the Environmentally Sensitive Developing Area according to the current Sussex County Land Use Plan. This type of commercial use serving nearby residential uses is appropriate in this Area according to the Plan.
7. The proposed C-3 Zoning at this site lessens the congestion on area roads by providing appropriate commercial activities at the Route 24 and Angola Road intersection so that residents and visitors to the area can meet some of their commercial needs without having to travel to Route One or the Long Neck areas.
8. The proposed rezoning meets the general purpose of the Zoning Code by promoting the orderly growth, convenience, order prosperity and welfare of the County.
9. Any future use of the property will be subject to Site Plan review by the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Motion by Mr. Hudson, seconded by Ms. Stevenson and carried unanimously to recommend to forward this application to the Sussex County Council with a recommendation that the application be approved for the reasons stated. Motion carried 5-0.
WHEREAS, on the ______ day of ______________ 2018, a public hearing was held, after notice, before the County Council of Sussex County and the County Council of Sussex County has determined, based on the findings of facts, that said change of zone is in accordance with the Comprehensive Development Plan and promotes the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of Sussex County.
The County Council held a public hearing on September 25, 2018. Council deferred action for questions of DelDOT. DelDOT has responded to Councils’ questions, and it was denied on 12/11/2018 by Sussex Council.
CZ1855 Application packet is found starting from page 84 to 87 of 185 pages at
Audio can be heard from 0:30 to 8:49 at
Councilman Cole, in his argument against approving it, said (at 3:30 of the audio) that the change to C-3 would create precedent for future C-3 applications in the area where all 4 corners are AR-1.
Cape Gazette reported on 12/14/2018 regarding Sussex Council's Denial decision made on 12/11/2018 and quoted Councilman George Cole, who served on the Sussex Council for 32 years, lived in this district, and was widely respected as the foremost ‘Land Use’ expert in Sussex:
Councilman Cole said C-3, the requested rezoning [audio above from 2:30], was too intense for that area. He said uses under the C-3 district allow for large businesses. “The current site’s conditional use is not the same as a large-scale business. There is not a mandate for rezoning. AR-1 zoning is just as appropriate,” Cole said. “C-2 medium commercial would be more appropriate. This is not a reasonable expansion of the existing conditional use.”
Cole also said state transportation officials have plans to improve the intersection and had not considered a change to C-3 zoning when evaluating the intersection. Those plans include additional turn lanes at the Route 24-Angola Road intersection and realignment of Robinsonville Road.
Councilman Burton agreed. Councilman Vincent (now Council President) also voted against this project.
Cape Gazette continued: “According to county code, C-3 is generally intended for larger-scale, auto-oriented retail and service businesses along major arterial roads that serve local and regional residents as well as the traveling public. In addition to most commercial uses – including banks, offices and medical facilities – automobile, truck, recreational vehicle and boat sales, rental and major repair facilities may also be located in this district."
A foremost authority on rural zoning, Councilman Cole, said it. How can the 2019 Council, and planning staff, ignore his wisdom and decisions just because he is now retired?