Construction oops gets not P&Z approval

Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commissioners on Wednesday denied approval of an updated plan for the expansion of 84 Lumber at their location off Route 26.

Commissioners were told on June 20 that a recent on-site inspection of the currently under-construction expansion on property to the southeast of the existing 84 Lumber facility had revealed work that was inconsistent with both the initial plan approved by county officials and subsequent drawings from the state’s Soil Conservation District.

County Council had mandated in its approval that the project include a 30-foot vegetated buffer at its border with adjacent property. Soil Conservation District standards require at least 10 feet of buffer between the property line and a planned stormwater retention pond.

However, the county inspector had discovered that, while following the Soil Conservation District drawings, workers had built the pond to less than 10 feet from the property line, satisfying neither council’s larger mandate nor the set of drawings they were supposed to be referencing.

As a result, the drawings for the project had been modified, with a request to county P&Z commissioners to belatedly approve the design as built. But commissioners rejected that request on June 20, referring to the council mandate as one that the commissioners could not overturn, or even vote upon adjustments to, without a council directive.

That leaves the project out of compliance with both its approved drawings and Soil Conservation District standards, as well as remaining a concern for neighbors, who had requested a wide vegetated buffer to help reduce problems with noise and light from the lumber yard’s delivery and warehousing operations.

The applicants could appeal to the county council for relief from the council’s previous requirements, or they could be required to build the project as originally approved.