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Overbrook developer requests new rezoning hearing

Sussex County Council will comply with Chancery Court decision
October 27, 2017

Story Location:
Cave Neck Road
Lewes  Delaware
United States

Ahead of a court-imposed Friday, Oct. 27 deadline, developers of the proposed Overbrook Town Center have filed a request to schedule a new public hearing on a previously denied rezoning application.

Delaware Chancery Court ruled the developers could request a new public hearing and a new vote on the rezoning request. No date has been set for the hearing.

Developer TD Rehoboth LLC of Ruxton, Md., has filed an application to rezone a 114-acre parcel along Route 1 at the Cave Neck Road intersection north of Lewes from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to CR-1, commercial-residential.

Jim Fuqua, the developer's attorney, said a rezoning would be sought for the entire parcel that could pave the way for a new plan that includes commercial use and Overbrook Acres, a 135-lot residential subdivision on the rear 66 acres of the parcel, pending approval of CR-1 zoning.

The previous plan did not include a residential component.

The developer submitted new plans in September that were reviewed by state agencies during the preliminary land use service process. Go to https://stateplanning.delaware.gov/plus/comments/2017-09-08-response.pdf.

Fuqua said under county code, the proposed plan for the site has no bearing on the rezoning application. “The sole question before council is whether, under the law and the facts, the property is appropriate to be rezoned to CR-1,” he said.

When an applicant files for a rezoning, project plans are not required by either the planning and zoning commission or county council. Plans are presented when commissioners review site plans.

At its Sept. 19 meeting, county council voted to not pursue an appeal of the Chancery Court decision and allow a new public hearing as ordered by the court.

Council voted 4-1 on April 12, 2016, to deny a rezoning request that would have paved the way for an 850,000-square-foot shopping complex, the largest commercial center ever proposed in the county. With a 3-2 vote, the county's planning and zoning commission had recommended approval of the application.

The developers filed suit June 8, 2016, in Chancery Court against council, stating three council members who voted against the application made statements not supported by the public record.

Additional information can be submitted during the new hearing, according to the court order.