The Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission met Jan. 8 to review the plan for Lewes Waterfront Preserve, a 90-unit townhouse project on the 34.64-acre Brittingham property along New Road.
Before developer Joe Setting can make a formal presentation for the planning commission, he is required to go before parks and rec for its review of potential impact on parks, open space, natural features and the environment.
Ron Sutton of Civil Engineering Associates showed a plan that had been slightly revised from the one presented at the developer’s public meeting Nov. 26 at the Lewes library. Sutton said the entrance into the community was shifted slightly to the northeast, aligning with Creekside Drive, resulting in a minor reconfiguration of the layout. Plans still include 18 buildings with four to six units per building.
He said 68.9 percent of the property will remain open space, well over the 50 percent required under the city’s code for clustering in the annexation zone. The plan also accounts for a 50-foot wetland buffer, and no structures will be built within the 100-year flood plain. The plan calls for a 10-foot forested buffer with mature trees along New Road and a 30-foot landscaped buffer between the development and the homes to the southwest. Setting said there are no required buffers along New Road under Lewes code, but he has been working with the Historic Lewes Scenic Byway committee to ensure the project fits in with the committee’s plan for the road. He met with two members of the byway committee just prior to the parks and rec meeting.
There is no landscape plan at this time, but he said one will be presented to parks and recreation later in the approval process.
Parks and rec commissioners were interested in the developer’s plan for the existing trees along Canary Creek. Sutton said they do not plan to remove any trees except a lone tree in the middle of the existing field.
Resident Dave Ennis asked commissioners to require the developer to do an archaeological study of the property as there have been Native American remains found on the site in the past. Chair Alison Kirk said that does not fall under the purview of the parks and rec commission, but she would make a note about it in the report to the planning commission.
The plan includes a multi-use trail parallel to New Road along the property, which is to be part of a longer trail the entire length of New Road. The trail ends near the Canary Creek bridge; Sutton said DelDOT will add another segment when the bridge is raised in 2022.
Sutton said interior trails may be built within the community, but those likely would not be paved because they would likely be in or near the flood plain.
There are no planned amenities for the community, but they could be added to the project later in the planning process, Setting said. If the project is approved without amenities, Kirk asked the developer to consider a donation to the parks department since residents will be using the city’s parks. Setting said he would be open to considering a donation.
The plan will next go before the city’s planning commission. It is not on the commission’s Jan. 16 agenda, but should go before the panel soon. Agendas can be found at ci.lewes.de.us. The plans for Lewes Waterfront Preserve are available by clicking Plan Reviews under the Plans & Maps tab on the left side of the city’s website.