How CVS came to be located at the VOFP!

May 24, 2013

When the Villages of Five Points was a corn field, the Hudson family requested a zoning change to build a housing development there.

A group of concerned citizens in Lewes objected, and the result was a written agreement that the four acres at the left hand entrance would be used for the good of the community. The land lay fallow without a sign for 10 years.

The Hudson family then found CVS to purchase part of the property. Hudson requested a zoning change in order to make the sale. They also said that the Lewes Public Library would put their new building here.

They scheduled a meeting before the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission. People who expressed doubts showed up at the meeting. One concern was why another drug store was needed here. Another concern was how would huge trucks get into the parking lot. The truck entrances are on the Food Lion side.

A Lewes city councilman was there, unofficially, to state that the Lewes Public Library would never move out of the city. The five members voted against the zoning change. That should have been the end!

Some months later, after several scheduled hearings before Sussex Council had been cancelled, a meeting was called by Joan Deaver at noon on a Monday for an evening meeting the next day. I was out of town and found out about the meeting after the fact. I spoke with other people who were at the first meeting and they were also were out of town working, vacationing, etc.

The Hudsons came with the five members of our association claiming to represent the community.

A sidebar here - the Hudson family controls the community association by one vote so long as they have property there. There are two vacant lots in the single family home area in Villages West that haven't had a for sale sign for over two years, or since the CVS situation first arose.

The Hudson group came to the meeting wearing signs disguised as T-shirt proclaiming pro-CVS. Another sidebar - when the Lewes action committee came out against the Townsend group, who wanted to build a shopping center across from the high school, they were admonished by the lawyer for Sussex County Council to not bring signs to the meeting or make comments or they would be asked to leave. No such instructions were given to the Hudson group.

Sussex County Council voted 5-0 to approve the zoning change provided that the Hudson family gave the property to the VOFP Association.

Once the land was sold to CVS, the Hudson family registered the deed to make the land available only to a nonprofit organization - totally against the agreement with the Sussex Council.

A few weeks ago the VOFP community association stated that they were getting a stop work order for the CVS. It never happened; the Hudsons aren't going to sue themselves!

Councilwoman Deaver, as you are so fond of saying, "You can look it up; it's in the records."

Logical questions that come to mind are:

1. Since there was an initial agreement to not build commercial on this property, why was a new zoning allowed? Don't agreements mean anything?

2. When the Sussex Planning & Zoning Commission vetoed the zoning request 5-0, why did Sussex County Council agree to hear the request? If the zoning commission isn't to be listened to, why have one?

3. After the Lewes people voiced there opinion about no library outside Lewes did the Hudsons continue saying Lewes would put the library there? Why didn't anyone from Lewes ever refute the Hudson comments?

4. After months of scheduling and then cancelling the Hudson meeting with Sussex Council why did Councilwoman Deaver schedule the meeting at noon on Monday for the next day?

5. A sign can be a hand held sign or a T-shirt. Why were the Hudsons allowed to bring signs to the meeting when precedence indicated this was not allowed?

6. Why does Councilwoman Deaver say that the association represents the people of VOFP when the association is controlled by the Hudson family?

7. Why didn't Councilman Phillips recuse himself from the meeting? Why does the council refuse to have a written ethics guideline?

8. Why didn't the Cape Gazette follow up on the threatened stop work order?

Don Lineback
Village of Five Points, Lewes



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