A developer is seeking rezoning to build a 52-unit townhouse project along Shady Road near Lewes – across the road from a similar project.
MDI Investment Group LLC has filed an application to rezone a 6.8-acre parcel from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to MR, medium-density residential, and a conditional use for 52 multifamily units.
At its Nov. 16 meeting, the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission deferred a vote to a future meeting.
Hal Dukes, attorney for the developer, said the project is in a growth zone with other high-density housing communities in the immediate area.
John Murray, an engineer with the Kercher Group, said the proposal calls for 7.58 units per acre, with four acres of open space and central water and sewer.
He said road improvements along Shady Road would be required if the application is approved. In addition, the entrance to the adjacent Lewes Wellness Center near the Shady Road-Plantation Road intersection would be abandoned and combined with the townhouse project entrance.
“It was a DelDOT stipulation that if there was ever development to the west, the entrance would be closed for a shared entrance with a cross-access easement,” Murray said.
Dukes said no amenities are included on the site plan in an effort to keep the housing more affordable to middle-class families. He said prices per unit would start in the high $200,000s.
Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson questioned whether that price point was affordable to people working lower-paying jobs such as those in retail. “What workforce are they aiming at here?” she asked. “Someone working at Kmart could not afford that.”
Commission President Marty Ross said that price in the area near Route 1 is cheap and is affordable for housing for families and professionals such as teachers.
“Could it be more affordable if we had better programs? Yes,” Ross said.
County council has scheduled a public hearing for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown.