Big Oyster Brewery looks to expand

Applicant needs commercial rezoning for 1.3 acres of Truitt Farm property
April 24, 2019

The popular Big Oyster Brewery along Kings Highway near Lewes has growing pains. In order to expand, restaurant owners seek to purchase a 1.3-acre parcel behind the building, part of a larger parcel owned by L.W. and J.T. Mitchell Family LP.

Jeff Kat LLC of Rehoboth Beach has filed an application to rezone the parcel from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to C-3 heavy commercial for the property, which is also behind First Baptist Church and Lane Builders.

David Hutt, representing the applicant, said Big Oyster, which opened in December 2017, needs more room for parking and storage. “During any meal time, you can see the need for expansion of this business,” Hutt said during the April 11 Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Jim Tomlison, who lives on Gills Neck Road, urged the commission to consider all development on the parcel when making a decision. In addition, he said, the Governors subdivision is under construction and the 75,000-square-foot Village Center along Gills Neck Road has been approved.

The 1.3-acre property is part of a 58-acre parcel owned by the family along Kings Highway and Gills Neck Road. A 3.3-acre parcel has been sold and the 39,000 square-foot Cape Henlopen Medical Center is under construction. An access road is under construction from Gills Neck Road, as is stormwater management infrastructure work throughout the parcel.

Other plans for the parcel include 208 housing units and 161,000 square feet of office space in six buildings, including the building under construction. Applications for those projects have not surfaced before county officials.

The Moorings at Lewes owns five acres along the eastern border of the parcel.

The commission voted to defer a vote to a future meeting.

County council's public hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown.