Concerns raised at Villages of Five Points

April 25, 2013

The people of the Villages of Five Points have been lied to by their builders (Gemcraft), the developer (Hudsons), Sussex County Council and the Sussex County planning department. Will the Lewes Public Library be the next to stick it to us?

On April 5, all residents of the Villages received a letter from our HOA board stating that the land promised by the Hudsons had been given to the library and the Villages HOA was asking Sussex County Council to issue a stop work order since the conditional use was not being followed as laid out by the council.

On April 19 an article in the Cape Gazette states the library plans to build a reading garden and to sell the remaining land to fund their new library in Lewes. So now the battle that never should have been will need to be redirected at the Lewes Public Library as they will attempt to do what the Hudsons succeeded in doing and change the zoning of the remainder of the land to make it attractive from a resale point of view. In other words to once again put the screws to the Villages for the betterment of themselves!

When we bought into the Villages of Five Points seven years ago we thought we were buying into a planned community with a number of residential villages, a community center, recreation facilities and a downtown within walking distance. An added convenience was the Food Lion shopping center with its many amenities. However prior to our purchase we repeatedly asked the sales representative for Gemcraft what was going to go into the vacant lot opposite the shopping center and we were repeatedly told that the property per the "planned community documents as laid out and approved by the county" could not be developed commercially and that its use could only be of a civic nature. When I asked specifically what was considered civic I was told either a library, museum or other facility to add to the cultural experience of the Villages.

That being said the county council unanimously approved against the advice of the planning commission a rezoning request by the Hudsons so they could sell 1.5 acres to CVS for the construction of yet a third pharmacy within 100 yards of each other on an already dangerous stretch of road leading into one of the most historic and picturesque towns in the state of Delaware. However the catch was that the Lewes library had an option to build on the remaining property within the next 10 years and if not, the remaining land would go to the Villages of Five Points HOA. According to an article in last week's Cape Gazette the library has possession of the land as of Dec. 31, 2012, and can sell that land to have funds for their new library in Lewes.

So I am asking these questions: what is Sussex County Council going to do and what is the Lewes Public Library going to do, as they have fallen into a position maybe unbeknownst, maybe not, into a position where they will undoubtedly have a battle to change the zoning of their newly acquired property. All the while the Hudsons walk away with $1.5 million from the sale to CVS and probably a healthy tax deduction as a result of donating the land as a gift to the library.

John Flournoy
Jim Chrobot

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