Sussex approves Route 1-Route 16 parcel rezoning

Developer says plans are for a retail and entertainment complex on the 65-acre site
March 5, 2024

With a unanimous vote, Sussex County Council approved a rezoning application filed by Ocean One Holdings LLC of Rehoboth Beach from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to C-3, heavy commercial district, for a 65-acre parcel along the southbound lanes of Route 1 at the Route 16 intersection near Milton.

At the March 5 meeting, Councilman Mark Schaeffer, who made the motion for approval, said all road infrastructure improvements will be made prior to any construction on the parcel. Those improvements include a more than $30 million grade-separated interchange at the intersection, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2025.

In addition, he said the State Office of Planning Coordination looked favorably on the rezoning, and the rezoning is consistent with the county comprehensive plan. The land is in a developing area on the county’s future land-use map.

The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning at its Jan. 24 meeting.

While no site plan has been presented, the developer’s vision for the property is for a retail and entertainment complex to serve residents and tourists. Planning & zoning commissioners will have to review and approve a site plan for the parcel.

The developer and Delaware Department of Transportation staff have met several times over the past five years to discuss the traffic impact of potential uses, and a traffic-impact study has been conducted.

Ocean One Holdings LLC will be required to connect to the new interchange and make other road improvements, including improvement of the frontage along Route 16, and also construct a service road from Route 16 to the southern edge of the property to connect to Route 1, as well as a dual-lane roundabout at the property’s access point along Route 16.

The developer will also be required to construct an off-on ramp from the service road to southbound Route 1, pay for two traffic signals and contribute $105,000 to DelDOT's traffic signal revolving fund for a future signal at the Route 16-Zion Road intersection west of the property. The most recent traffic counts are 19,457 vehicles per day on Route 1 and 9,700 vehicles daily on Route 16.


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