At its Sept. 8 meeting, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission approved a preliminary amenities plan for the Tower Hill subdivision on New Road just outside Lewes city limits.
Amenities include a 6,204-square-foot clubhouse with patio, 2,854-square-foot pool, pickleball courts, pavilion, patio, bocce courts, a farm-to-table garden and two community gathering areas.
The 134-acre, 292-single-family home lot subdivision was approved by the commission late in 2018. On Sept. 1, 2020, the commission approved the final site plan with an amendment that covenants inform residents they are moving in next to a shooting preserve at the rear of the property.
Among road improvements completed or underway are widening of New Road and Lynn Road, which bisects the community, with two 11-foot travel lanes and two 6-foot shoulders on New Road, and two 5-foot shoulders on Lynn Road. A 5-foot-wide bicycle/pedestrian lane is also part of the plan.
A roundabout has been constructed at the main entrance to the community.
Under an agreement with the Delaware Department of Transportation, the developer can contribute up to $750,000 to fund portions of the Old Orchard Road-Wescoats Road realignment project and the Minos Conaway Road-Route 1 intersection improvement project. The developer will have an option to construct off-site road improvements by widening New Road from Ashburn Lane and Schaffer Lane to the Tower Hill frontage with two 11-foot travel lanes and two 6-foot shoulders.
The landscaping plan, which includes a meandering bicycle trail/path along New Road, will comply with the master plan developed by the Historic Lewes Scenic Byway Committee.
The site plan includes 13 wet ponds and two dry basins as part of the parcel's stormwater management plan and a vegetated buffer along the property boundary, which includes red maple, willow oak and holly trees.
An area where archaeological artifacts have been found must be left undisturbed. During testimony, archaeologist Edward Otter said 10 tons of soil were screened revealing thousands of oyster and clam shells, pottery fragments and stone artifacts, which have been carbon dated from 1280 to 1580. Also recovered have been numerous animal bone fragments, nuts and seeds, and ceramic artifacts.
Under the county’s subdivision land-use process, an application must first be approved, followed by preliminary and final site plans. The last step is approval of an amenities plan.