Two new hotels on adjacent parcels near Lewes have received preliminary site-plan approval.
During its June 28 meeting, Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to allow developers to move forward with plans for Home 2 Suites by Hilton in Ocean One Plaza off Route 1 and Lewes Hotel along Marsh Road in Five Points Square.
The 60,000-square-foot Home 2 Suites by Hilton will have 110 rooms with access from Route 1 and Savannah Road. The plan also includes a 920-square-foot office building. Owner/developer of Ocean One Plaza is Nicholas Caggiano Jr. of Rehoboth Beach. The plaza is currently anchored by PNC Bank.
The 64,200-square-foot Lewes Hotel will have 96 rooms with access from Marsh Road, in the same complex as Walgreens.
The Lewes Hotel developer's request to reduce the number of required parking spaces from 154 spaces to 106 spaces sparked a debate among commission members. The commission did grant the parking waiver request.
Under county code, 1.5 spaces are required per room, plus one space for every three employees. However, assistant county attorney Vince Robertson pointed out that the commission has the authority to reduce parking space as part of site-plan review.
“I know we don't want to blacktop all of Sussex County, but does this set a precedent?” asked Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson.
Robertson said it's also a fairness issue. “Next door, they made it work,” he said, referring to the adjacent Home 2 Suites by Hilton that did not request a parking waiver.
The Home 2 Suites plan contains 223 parking spaces, which are in addition to the 78 spaces for existing retail in the complex.
Commissioner Bob Wheatley said the commission needs to revisit the code pertaining to parking regulations. “What we have is a little heavy,” he said. “Let's put it on the list.”
Wheatley said because the Lewes Hotel does not have a meeting room or restaurant, the proposed parking spaces are adequate even though there are 48 fewer than the code requires.