Sussex not following proper zoning procedure

July 31, 2014

The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Sussex County Council have held hearings on Alex Pires's plan to use the Baker Farm for country music festivals in August. These festivals will be held during the height of the tourist season, bringing into Sussex County over 25,000 people straining our resources.

These hearings were held without Alex Pires having submitted the required documents. Both the planning and zoning commission and the Sussex County Council have closed the record for public comment. From now on only Alex Pires's voice will be heard.

Joan Deaver has on her website an excellent paper describing the flaws in the zoning process Already four of the flaws mentioned have occurred. These are:

The applicant submitted details at the Zoning and Planning hearing which did not give opponents adequate time to examine and comment on them.

A hearing was held and the record closed before the applicant had submitted a preliminary site plan in accordance with the zoning code. The site plan was so poor that Alex Pires received a lecture from one of the commissioners. After the public hearing, the planning and zoning commissioners were uncertain as to how to handle the application. One said that we have a record but it is the wrong record They deferred action.

The county council heard the application before the planning and zoning commission had made its recommendations.

The record has been closed, thus not allowing the public to comment on anything Alex Pires says from now on.

This is bad government and certainly not what happened in the Love Creek Resort and Campground situation. There the applicant came into the first zoning meeting with a detailed plan after having its own public meeting and clearing its plans with the state in January 2013. The planning and zoning commission did not close the record at that time, but left the record open until 15 days after the comments of DelDOT had been received. DelDOT took about six months to study the traffic impact and the record closed in July.

Let the planning and zoning commission and Sussex County Council know that:

The planning and zoning record should be reopened until at least 15 days after the planning and zoning commission has received a preliminary site plan that meets the letter and spirit of the zoning code.

The Sussex County Council record should be reopened until at least 15 days after the planning and zoning commission have made their recommendations.

Evan M. Bush

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