Henlopen Bluff plan sent back to Lewes Planning Commission

City council approves White’s Pond Preserve
February 16, 2024

The Lewes Planning Commission will get another opportunity to consider some of the 39 conditions it attached to the preliminary site plan for the proposed Henlopen Bluff subdivision.

Mayor and city council remanded 25 conditions back to planners at its Feb. 12 meeting. It added two recommendations of its own for the commission to consider: a crosswalk on Gills Neck Road to proposed open space along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and sidewalk connectivity from the community into downtown.

“This is something we want to exercise because it’s a complicated plan,” said Mayor Andrew Williams. “We want to use the planning commission to review the conditions they put forward.”

The conditions the commission will look at include the number of boat slips proposed across from the development, water testing in White’s Pond and the use of permeable material around the planned swimming pool.

Conditions the developer already agreed to were not remanded.

Council also told the commission to reexamine two waiver requests it granted and one that it denied. The commission approved waivers for the elimination of a T-turnaround and minimum-radius turn, but denied a request to reduce a corridor buffer from 50 feet to 25 feet.

“Potentially [the developer] could trade buffer for sidewalk connectivity,” Williams said.

Henlopen Bluff would be a 79-lot major subdivision. It would be located on a 61-acre parcel owned by Showfield LLC south of the Freeman Highway bridge on Gills Neck Road. 

The planning commission unanimously approved the preliminary site plan, with the 39 conditions, and two of three waiver requests in November.

One of the more contentious conditions was the requirement for a vehicular connection to the neighboring Showfield community. City Planner Janelle Cornwell said the roads in Showfield are now privately owned, so the city cannot force them to build a connection on their property.

Many Showfield residents oppose a vehicular connection, but support a bicycle and pedestrian path between the communities.

Williams instructed the planning commission to now focus its attention on the multimodal path.

The planning commission is scheduled to discuss the remanded conditions at its meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Rollins Center.

White’s Pond Preserve

Mayor and city council unanimously approved the preliminary site plan for White’s Pond Preserve at its Feb. 12 meeting.

That development is proposed to have 13 single-family home lots on 8.2 acres off Monroe Avenue Extended, along Freeman Highway. 

Developers are planning a rain garden in the middle of a cul-de-sac to be used for a stormwater management and education.

The planning commission unanimously approved the White’s Pond Preserve preliminary site plan with 16 conditions attached in November.

Council voted to modify conditions on when street trees will be planted and to eliminate a requirement for a sidewalk to be built with permeable material.

“There are some innovative design elements that this developer has offered the city. I’m looking forward to seeing them applied to this small subdivision,” Councilman Tim Ritzert said.


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