It took a while – about four years to be exact – but a developer has returned to Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission to seek more units for a subdivision along Robinsonville Road near Lewes.
Sussex officials granted preliminary approval for Love Creek Landing, a 183-lot cluster subdivision, in October 2009 but denied a request for 30 townhomes on the 163-acre parcel. The commission denied multifamily units because they were not consistent with other housing in the area.
The commission told the developer to come back with an amended plan to switch multifamily housing to 30 single-family lots; that's what Vesco LLC proposed at the May 9 planning and zoning commission meeting.
Following the public hearing, commissioners voted to defer on the application.
Some residents of nearby Webb's Landing raised concerns about stormwater runoff and about placing the community's wastewater treatment plant and drainfield close to Love Creek and their community.
Webb's Landing resident Steve Britz commended the developer on the design of the project. “But it will not work with an additional 30 lots,” he said.
“A community septic system within 300 feet of Love Creek does not seem like a good idea to me,” said Warren Sandburg, another Webb's Landing resident.
Britz said the proposed location is near the well that serves 34 homes in Webb's Landing. He said a better location would be along Robinsonville Road. There, he said, the developer could tie into the proposed Wandendale wastewater treatment facility. “The community should be served by central sewer,” he said.
Regarding runoff, Tom Ford, president of Land Design, said areas near the border of Webb's Landing would not be disturbed.
Ford said the developer intended to place the wastewater treatment facility on a farm field away from Love Creek, but the soils were not suitable. “We have to do the placement based on soil surveys,” he said.
Sandburg said during heavy rains, runoff from the applicant's property already floods his property as it empties into Love Creek. “I want to make sure there is no increase,” he said.
Attorney Dennis Schrader, representing the developer, said density of the development would remain at 1.3 units per acre. He said adding 30 single-family homes would not dramatically change the project. He said 60 percent of the community would be forested; large buffer areas would remain, as would low density.
When questioned, Schrader said the multifamily units were proposed as more affordable housing in the previous plan. “They are going to get lost now and the new lots will be compatible with other properties,” he said.
Schrader said the plan still has to pass muster of 26 agencies before final approval can be granted.