Sussex County debates but defers on music venue

Councilman Phillips offers possible conditions for approval
Alex Pires addresses members of Sussex County's planning and zoning commission during one of two public hearings on a proposed country music venue on a farm near Harbeson. BY RON MACARTHUR
August 13, 2014

After a lengthy discussion about possible conditions to be placed on a proposed country music venue application, Sussex County Council decided to put off a vote on conditions and the application until its Tuesday, Aug. 19 meeting.

Dewey Beach businessman Alex Pires, on behalf of Cool Spring LLC/Highway One, has filed a conditional-use application for an outdoor entertainment venue with temporary camping on a 500-acre parcel of farmland near Harbeson. Pires wants to stage back-to-back country music festivals in early August 2015 attracting as many as 20,000 people.

The county's planning and zoning commission and Delaware Department of Transportation have recommended that council deny the application based primarily on the lack of a detailed site plan.

Councilman Vance Phillips, R-Laurel, offered 16 possible conditions to be placed on the application, but withdrew his motion for a vote, relenting to delay for another week.

Among the conditions:

• The application would be valid for three years with a public-hearing review after two years.

• There could be no more than 5,000 RVs or campers permitted on the site.

• Two festivals would be permitted, not to exceed four days and four nights each.

• Compliance would be necessary with all county and state agency regulations, including those required by DelDOT, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, fire marshal, Delaware State Police, emergency medical services and Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

• Admission would be limited to 20,000 people the first year; 25,000 the second year; and 30,000 the third year.

• Approval would be contingent on submission of a revised preliminary site plan depicting or noting all approved conditions.

• The final site plan would require approval of the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.


See more in the Friday, Aug. 15 edition.



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