After nearly five years on the shelf, Showfield, a development on the edge of Lewes, has resurfaced.
Following more than 50 public meetings with various Lewes boards, committees, the planning commission and council, the developer has changed jurisdictions and has filed new plans with Sussex County.
Jack Lingo Asset Management – as Showfield LLC – has revamped plans for a cluster subdivision along Gills Neck Road paring down the community from more than 350 units to 166 lots and reducing the size of the project by 90 acres. The proposed project is on 132 acres of unincorporated land just outside the City of Lewes' eastern border.
The public will get a chance to hear Showfield plans during a county planning and zoning commission hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the county administration building on The Circle in Georgetown.
The original plans included annexation of a 230-acre parcel into Lewes city limits.
Showfield LLC, Sophora LLC and Hazell Smith approached Lewes officials in August 2006 with a plan to build more than 600 homes on the parcel between Gills Neck Road and Freeman Highway. About 90 acres of the original tract sits within Lewes' municipal limits. The developers' earlier plan proposed annexation of the remaining 140 acres. The community was to be built in phases over a 10-year period.
During annexation committee meetings in 2007, officials estimated 1,200 adults and 400 children would reside in Showfield. At that time, developers planned to build single-family homes, duplexes and quad-homes on lots varying from 6,500 square feet to 19,000 square feet.
The city's planning commission granted preliminary approval of the subdivision plans in the fall of 2009, but the project stalled.
According to the application filed with the county by the developer, the original plan was tabled by downward changes in the housing market and the time it would take to secure annexation and site-plan approval by Lewes officials.
A traffic impact study was completed for the original proposal and reviewed by state transportation officials in January 2008. According to the public record, the developer and Delaware Department of Transportation officials are working to finalize road improvements and the cost for the upgrades.
The developer will be required to improve Gills Neck Road on the frontage of the development to include two, 11-foot travel lanes, 5-foot shoulders and a 10-foot pathway. The entrance to the community would be along Gills Neck Road.
A 40-foot easement has been donated to DelDOT by the developer on the southern border of the property to DelDOT to complete an extension of the Junction and Breakwater Trail linking Gills Neck Road and Freeman Highway.
The developer may be required to fund a portion of intersection improvements – including a new traffic signal – at Kings Highway and Clay Road; intersection improvements at Kings Highway and Gills Neck Road; and improvements at the Kings Highway and Dartmouth Drive intersection including a single-lane roundabout, intersection widening and a new traffic signal.