Plans are slowly rolling forward for a new housing development in Selbyville — one of many currently proposed in Sussex County. On Oct. 1, the Selbyville Town Council approved annexation of 10.16 acres into town, which developers hope will be part of a future 321-acre subdivision.
The parcel is located between Routes 17 and 54, off of Smithfield Acres Road (tax map parcel 533-10.00 87.00). The Town of Selbyville had previously annexed a neighboring chunk of land, all of which is intended to become a 695-unit subdivision called Coastal Villages.
The 10-acre lot is currently zoned Residential (R-4), and only houses are proposed — not commercial space.
So far, the Selbyville Planning & Zoning Commission has only seen a concept plan for the project. They have not reviewed nor approved any official engineering. Pending official approvals, council members said they expect construction wouldn’t begin for a few years, and the overall build-out is at least 10 years away.
There will be opportunities for public comments in the future, officials noted.
In all, 10 parcels would form the Coastal Villages neighborhood, according to the Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS), which is Delaware’s review agency for major land-use changes. Documents were submitted to the State in September, but the official State responses have yet to be posted.
The entire project will have to pass approval processes under the Town’s Planning & Zoning Commission, town council and Sussex County, as well as State reviews of stormwater management, roads and wetlands impact.
Several residents at the Oct. 1 meeting asked about the impact of such a project, such as water usage and how rainwater will collect around 700 new houses. Developers will need to create a stormwater management plan.
Despite the increase in impervious surfaces, council members suggested that drainage could possibly improve for neighbors, as developers may be required to install ponds and other features. Meanwhile, the Town will likely need to consider additional water towers for its water system, to meet future demand across town.
Right now, construction is continuing on a Route 54 pipe to connect Artesian Water Company lines to Selbyville’s, to improve water pressure for everyday use and for emergencies.
The property owners for the newly annexed parcel are listed as trustees Orville Hudson Jr. and Deborah Hudson. Coleman Bunting and Bunting-Macks LLC were listed on the PLUS application, with the Bunting Construction Corporation listed as based in Selbyville.
The annexation vote was unanimous, with Councilman Jay Murray absent.
In other Selbyville Town Council news:
• Hydrant flushing will occur from Oct. 15 to 19. Residents may notice a discoloration in the water as mineral deposits are shaken out of the town pipes. They may wish to avoid doing laundry until the lines are fully flushed. But Iron Out can help remove orange stains from laundry, officials noted.
• The Route 54 paving project has been postponed to 2019. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has completed Main Street, from Cemetery Road to Lighthouse Road (Route 54). But with so many other pipe projects in the area, DelDOT will wait until next spring to improve the six miles of Route 54 toward Sound Church Road.
• The Selbyville Halloween Parade will be Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. along Church Street.
• Council members again warned Mountaire about parking live-haul poultry trailers in spots that were not agreed upon by town council. Representatives from the poultry processing plant promised to address the situation.
The town council also voted to assess Mountaire $300 total for three wastewater violations in August. The high levels were likely due to high volumes of water, which later returned to normal, said Councilman G. Frank Smith III.
• Town Manager Stacey Long recently attended four days of training at the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) Annual Conference in Baltimore, Md. She’ll report to the council soon on the trainings and lectures she attended.
The Selbyville Town Council’s next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
By Laura Walter