A new vote on the Coral Lakes subdivision will likely take place during the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission's Thursday, June 23 meeting.
During the commission's June 9 meeting, assistant county attorney Vince Robertson outlined the action taken by Sussex County Council following an appeal of the commission's denial of the subdivision. He said the matter will be placed on the next meeting agenda.
The proposed cluster subdivision application includes 315 lots on 152 acres along Robinsonville Road near Lewes.
On March 10, the commission voted 4-1 to deny the application. Developer Schell Brothers LLC filed an appeal of the denial, which was heard by county council May 24. Robertson said the council voted 3-2 to remand, or send back, the application to the commission for review and another vote.
Robertson said the council found that the commission conducted an orderly process but said there was no evidence of a logical review. He said, “You should have stated why you voted against it.”
Robertson reiterated that if a developer meets all county subdivision standards, an application must be approved. The commission has the right to place reasonable conditions on the approval, he added.
“Planning and zoning is hard pressed to deny a subdivision. If you want to change the standards, county council would have to do it,” he said.
Commissioner Keller Hopkins said Robertson should consider making a statement prior to public hearings that planning and zoning commissioners do not make the rules and must follow those rules. “If people want change, they will have to go to county council,” he said.
“I think people think planning & zoning has more discretion on subdivisions. They don't appreciate what you are tasked with,” Robertson said, adding he would work on a draft of a statement.