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Overbrook Meadows given green light

Developer must build overpass at Route 1-Cave Neck Road intersection
September 14, 2018

The developer of Overbrook Meadows has received preliminary approval from Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission for a 135-lot subdivision. Final approval will be granted once a final site plan has been reviewed by the commission.

At its Sept. 13 meeting, the commission voted 5-0 in favor of the project on 64 acres of a 114-acre parcel on the east side of Route 1 at the Cave Neck Road intersection. The original application for the parcel four years ago was a rezoning for an 850,000-square-foot shopping center.

Overbrook Meadows LLC must submit a revised preliminary site plan to be reviewed and approved by the county planning and zoning department before the final site plan can be reviewed.

In his motion for approval, Commissioner Doug Hudson said the project was consistent with other uses in the area and was in compliance with the county comprehensive plan for subdivisions in AR-1 zoning districts.

He said amenities – including a pool and clubhouse – must be built before the issuance of the 70th building permit. Hudson said the site plan must include sidewalks on both sides of all streets, a minimum 20-foot buffer around the boundary of the community and a 50-foot buffer from all farmlands.

In addition, he said, the developer must comply with all Delaware Department of Transportation road improvement requirements. Included in those improvements is a yet-to-be-determined developer's financial contribution to an estimated $14 million grade-separated interchange at the Route 1-Cave Neck Road intersection. The developer will be responsible for construction of the interchange following state standards.

Jim Fuqua, the developer's attorney, said the developer is working with DelDOT officials to create a private-public partnership to construct the interchange.

Because the parcel is subject to the state's Corridor Capacity Preservation Program limiting access to Route 1, state transportation officials would allow a maximum of 200 trips per day from the parcel, which would support construction of only 20 homes.

DelDOT has plans to improve the intersection but construction would not occur until at least 2024. A private-public partnership would potentially advance the timeline, DelDOT planner Jennifer Miller said during the commission's public hearing.

The developer will file a future application for another subdivision as Phase 2 of the project on the remaining 50 acres.

The original rezoning application in 2014 for a shopping center was rejected by Sussex County Council but appealed by the developer to the Court of Chancery. The court ruled council must have a rehearing on the application. After the April 10 rehearing, council denied the application again.