On November 13, 2018 The Mayor of Lewes and City Council voted to approve annexation of a 34 acre parcel on Canary Creek, which is under contract between the Brittingham family (seller) and Setting Properties/Joe Setting (buyer) http://www.setting.com/ . The newly created zoning category allows attached dwellings and high density under its' cluster options. The annexation and zoning categories were protested by many citizens in writing and at public hearings. https://www.capegazette.com/article/annexation-recommended-new-road-property/165379
The developer held a meeting with residents to unveil his "villas", even though he had no architectural plans. The site plan shown confirmed the communities fear of densely packed townhomes along the canary creek wetlands and backs of 3 story townhomes facing New Road at the Canary Creek.
In December, the developer filed his application with that state land use (PLUS). This application confirmed the intent to overdevelop this parcel with 90 townhomes, which is not compatible with New Road or adjacent single-family neighborhoods. https://stateplanning.delaware.gov/plus/projects/2018/2018-12-01.pdf
Meanwhile, Sussex County Council passed legislation to exclude tidal wetlands from density calculations for number of new homes. https://www.capegazette.com/article/sussex-council-approves-change-density-calculation/171000 Citizens urged the City of Lewes to adopt the same calculation for the new annexation zones, as they have been designed to be competitive with Sussex County zoning. Despite opposition from Council members Fred Beaufait and Dennis Reardon, the MCC scheduled a workshop to discuss the wetlands calculation for January 10, 2018. Beaufait fought this claiming that it was unfair to the Brittingham developer to change zoning after the parcel had already been annexed. Citizens maintained that it wasn't fair to offer less restrictive zoning than would be offered if property was in Sussex County jurisdiction.
An Executive MCC session was held in Lewes on January 7, 2018. The publicly posted agenda did not mention Brittingham or Annexation, and we paid no attention to the meeting. We were shocked to find out that the MCC voted to EXEMPT THE BRITTINGHAM PARCEL FROM ANY AMENDMENTS TO THE ANNEXATION ZONING! This occurred 3 days before the scheduled workshop on this topic. https://www.capegazette.com/article/brittingham-property-not-subject-code-changes/172640?fbclid=IwAR0nGPf4Ku1_SFY1seQGlyGRFxpYe2jnnbE5BPkRb7yoEvhGqd_8
City Manager Response:
We attended the lively workshop on January 10th and will be adding details. Scroll down for plan details and suggestions for citizen input. We will be having a meeting to discuss this with the community.
Nick Roth photo of Brittingham Property
Here is the planning page for Brittingham/ Lewes Wetland Preserve. You can, and should give input! PLEASE FILL OUT FORM AT THE BOTTOM AND GIVE COMMENTS.