Mitchell’s Corner rezoning approved by Sussex council

Five new conditions added to monitor water quality
July 29, 2022

Two applications for rezoning and another for a conditional use were approved July 26 by Sussex County Council for the proposed 267-unit Mitchell’s Corner subdivision outside Lewes.  

Developer Henlopen Properties LLC of Owings Mills, Md., has proposed 114 duplexes and 153 townhomes on 43.77 acres and a three-acre commercial/office building site at the corner of Kings Highway and Gills Neck Road. 

The approved rezoning requests change the zoning from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to MR medium-density residential and C-2 medium commercial. 

Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission had previously recommended approval of the applications in April. 

The property has been owned by the Mitchell family since the 1800s. A parcel at the corner of Gills Neck Road and Kings Highway was developed in 2018. The proposed commercial/office building part of the current application would be located next to the existing medical facility. 

The City of Lewes and Lewes Board of Public Works objected to the development due to its proximity to the city’s wells, which are across Kings Highway next to Cape Henlopen High School. 

With this concern in mind, county council added five conditions to address water quality:

• Developer is to provide independent specialized inspection services during construction of the infiltration facility and to either pre-fund or bond the 10-year operations and maintenance expense for the infiltration facility

• Developer is to provide an ephemeral wetland forebay sized to treat the separated roof runoff in stormwater management design

• Developer is to install two four-inch monitoring wells downstream of the infiltration facility prior to any land-disturbing activity and have the wells analyzed annually for inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, volatile organic contaminants for a period of five years or final county engineering department acceptance, whatever comes later

• Developer is to either grant perpetual access rights to Lewes BPW or pre-fund a contract with a certified laboratory to annually analyze groundwater quality for inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, volatile organic contaminants for an additional 10 years following county engineering department acceptance

• Developer is to incorporate a sand infiltration component in the stormwater conveyance design for the impervious areas commercially utilized by vehicular traffic.

Council also amended a condition recommended by planning and zoning regarding construction hours. When the site is developed, site work and deliveries may only occur between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturdays between Oct. 1 and April 30. No Saturday work is allowed between May 1 and Sept. 30. 

Another condition provides a deadline for community amenities. The community center, pool and sports courts must be completed on or before issuance of the 125th building permit. The planned dog park must be completed on or before the 150th building permit. 

Councilman Mark Schaeffer thanked the Lewes Board of Public Works, developer and county’s engineering department for their hard work and cooperation during the approval process. 

“This project has been in the works long before I was elected,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of the HOA organizations in the community and they appreciated the applicant’s candor with them and counsel with them through the entire process.” 


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter