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Public workshop on county comp plan set Oct. 11

Citizens invited to comment on draft document
October 2, 2017

Sussex Countians will get a chance to grade the county's first draft comprehensive plan during a public meeting in October, the latest step in a two-year-long process to cement the community's vision for growth in the decades to come.

County officials will hold a public workshop from noon to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the CHEER Community Center, 20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown. During this expanded session, several presentations will be conducted, at 12:30, 3:30 and 6 p.m., to review elements of the Sussex County 2018 Comprehensive Plan draft plan that have been completed thus far by the county's planning & zoning commission, as well as take feedback from the public and discuss the process moving forward.

The workshop is the latest step in a process that began in 2016. Starting last fall, and continuing this past spring, the county has conducted 10 community meetings to solicit ideas, receive feedback, and discuss what the new plan should include. Additionally, the planning & zoning commission, along with staff and the county's land-use consultant, has held numerous public workshops to review input, debate concepts, and begin drafting the plan.

Delaware law mandates that all counties and municipalities have a comprehensive plan in place to guide land use and future development. Counties and municipalities must review their plans every 10 years and submit updated plans, as well as annual reports, to the state for approval. The county's current plan, certified in 2008, will expire next summer.

A comprehensive plan, among other things, serves as the foundation for how development occurs and how land use is governed in a community over a long-term period. Such plans are used by local governments to not only establish land-use policies and identify growth areas, but also to give consideration to various other community concerns, such as affordable housing availability, agriculture preservation, open space protection, historic preservation, economic development and transportation.

Based on input received during the Oct. 11 public workshop, the plan will be put into its final draft form and then go before the planning & zoning commission for a public hearing, set for 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2. Following that hearing, the commission will make a recommendation and then forward the plan to Sussex County Council for its consideration. County council will hold its own public hearing and can accept the plan as presented, or make changes, before adopting it. County council has not set a public hearing date for the comprehensive plan.

Besides attending the upcoming workshop and public hearings, citizens can continue to submit their comments, suggestions and ideas for consideration via the internet or by mail. To submit comments electronically, and to view elements of the draft plan, visit www.sussexplan.com to fill out a form. Comments also can be mailed to the following address: Sussex County 2018 Comprehensive Plan, ATTN: Janelle Cornwell, Planning & Zoning Director, PO Box 417, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Sussex County officials and the county's land-use consultant will review submitted comments as the draft plan is finalized and considered for adoption.

For more information on the 2018 Sussex County Comprehensive Plan, visit www.sussexplan.com. For updates, stay connected on social media at www.facebook.com/sussexplan and www.twitter.com/sussexplan.

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