At its Aug. 22 meeting, Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a revised site plan for a Hyatt Hotel along Marsh Road and Route 1 near Lewes.
The new hotel will be adjacent to the 110-room Home 2 Suites by Hilton, under construction in Ocean One Plaza, behind PNC Bank, also off Route 1.
The new plan calls for 105 rooms, about 10 percent more rooms than the original 96, and 117 parking spaces, an increase from the 106 spaces previously planned.
The developer received a parking space waiver at a meeting last June when commissioners approved a reduction from the required 154 parking spaces. Under county code, 1.5 spaces are required per room with 1 space required for every three employees.
Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson said she was concerned that there may not be enough parking and that hotel patrons might use other commercial parking in the immediate area. “I don't want this to become a problem for others,” she said.
She asked if a grassy area on the site plan could be reserved for parking.
“It appears there is green space that potentially could be used for parking in the future if needed,” said Sussex County Planning and Zoning Director Janelle Cornwell.
Zac Crouch, the developer's engineer, said the area was part of the parcel's stormwater management area and would be bordered in part by a retaining wall. “Access in that area would be hard to do,” he said.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the revised site plan without reserving a space for future parking. Commissioner Holly Wingate voted against the plan.
Assistant county attorney Vince Robertson said many Sussex County towns require one parking space per room for hotels.
“This is a section of code we need to revisit,” said Commission Chairman Bob Wheatley. “It's on our list of things to do. I'm not comfortable with 1 to 1 and think 1.5 to 1 is too much.”