Sussex County News
Sussex County, Delaware
County council meetings
Planning & Zoning meets:
Board of Adjustments meets:
County administrative building:
County Council 2013-2014:
Council Administrative Staff:
Public Works Director:
Director of Planning & Zoning:
Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:
Non-emergency police contact:
It’s Part Two in a major victory for those concerned about the impact of fossil fuel exploration on a clean, healthy Atlantic Ocean. Seismic testing has been banned in the U.S.’s Atlantic Ocean waters, for now.
In coastal Delaware, it’s time to ACT up.
Perhaps a decade has passed since the coastal towns came together in an official alliance. But the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT) is re-forming, with Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island already in on the ACT.
After 47 years of service to Sussex County government, Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank will retire on Jan. 6.
The longest-serving County employee in its history, Lank was hired Oct. 14, 1969, as a map draftsman. He then went on to work as a planning tech from 1977 until January 1985, when he became the active director. In April of that year, he took over as permanent Planning & Zoning director.
“We’re certainly sad to see him go and wish him all the best on his next chapter,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.
During its Jan. 3 meeting, Sussex County council members took the time to recognize Lank for his service and say a few words.
Who would have thought a political event from the 1700s would still be making such a big impact on tourism?
But every two years, Return Day brings thousands of people to Georgetown to watch political rivals literally “bury the hatchet.”
It’s perhaps the last event of its kind in the United States, and it won the 2016 “Best Event” award at the Southern Delaware Tourism luncheon on Dec. 12.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is no stranger to the event. He said Delaware political candidates can look forward to the parade as soon as they win their primaries.
This week’s Sussex County Council meeting was the last for longtime Councilwoman Joan Deaver, the outgoing District 3 representative, who was the first woman to be elected to the council.
The Sussex County Council, along with members of the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission and County staff met earlier this week for a workshop on the County’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
A comprehensive plan, which is required by state law, is a long-range policy guide for decision-making regarding the future of the natural and built environment of a community.
Many people flocked to Georgetown last Thursday to take part in the unique tradition known as Return Day.
Back in 1791, state law moved the Sussex County seat from Lewes to Georgetown, as the municipality was a more central location within the county. Residents would “return” to Georgetown two days following the election to hear the election results.
That tradition has been kept alive, and every two years, Sussex Countians return to Georgetown to hear the reading of the election results for the county, read by the town crier from the balcony of the Sussex County Courthouse.
This year, festivities began during the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 9, with music and a street fair around Georgetown’s Circle.
On Nov. 10, mayors of Sussex municipalities participated in a hatchet toss among seven competing mayors, which was won by Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran.
Residents of Sussex County are being encouraged to attend a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Sussex County tonight. The forum, “The Developers’ Perspective: An Effective 2018 Comprehensive Plan,” will be held in County Council Chambers in Georgetown on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.
Following a long election season, the State of Delaware only saw a statewide voter turnout of 65.34 percent.
Nationally, the State’s popular vote went to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (53.35 percent), with President-elect Donald Trump receiving 41.92 percent, and third party candidates receiving close to 5 percent of the vote.
The Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference was held last week, with the mission of providing “insight and identify opportunities in Sussex County to promote economics, partnership and collaboration.”
Micheal Meoli, owner/operator of The Meoli Companies, was the conference’s keynote speaker, and discussed what it takes to be successful in business.
Lock your doors! Police are asking people to avoid being an easy target for theft.
Recently, Ocean View Police Department reported a rash of burglaries in early November, including 10 car burglaries in two days. Every vehicle was left unlocked overnight.
“Only the ones being left unlocked are the ones being tampered with,” said Capt. Heath Hall.
There may be some wiggle room for taxpayers. Sussex County and the State of Delaware offer property tax discounts for the disabled, senior citizen and low-income residents.
Their Sussex County property must be their primary residence.
This week, Mark Isaacs, director University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, thanked the Sussex County Council for their financial support.
“Every penny allocated to our facility stays in Georgetown,” said Isaacs of the $79,049 the council provides in grant funding.
After nearly five hours of discussion on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Sussex County Council approved its revised signage ordinance.
The council has been discussing signs since April of last year, following a letter from the Sussex County Board of Adjustment, which led to the entire ordinance being reviewed and a moratorium on off-premises sign applications.
Sussex County Council members briefly discussed the County’s proposed signage ordinance on Tuesday, Oct. 4, agreeing to review all related documents and be prepared to have a motion at the following week’s meeting.
On Sept. 22, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission recommended changes to the proposed ordinance, with a vote of 3-0.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission met on Sept. 22 to make a recommendation to the Sussex County Council related to a proposed signage ordinance introduced last month that would revise the County’s sign code in its entirety.
Following a revamping of the original draft ordinance to amend the Code of Sussex County related to signs, a new series of public hearings is being held by the Sussex County Council. This week members of the public who spoke at the first hearing voiced opposition to the proposed ordinance as written.
September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The campaign aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
In Sussex County, residents have access to local resources to help them stay safe.
Primary elections were held earlier this week to determine what candidates would represent their political parties in the November general election.
Democrat Lisa Rochester won the Democratic spot for Delaware’s lone representative in Congress, with 43.76 percent of the vote. She will be running against Republican Hans Reigle, Green Party candidate Mark Perri and Libertarian Scott Gesty.
As part of its five-year update to Sussex County’s All Hazard Multi-Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center recently invited county residents and property owners to attend a public meeting to review and comment on the final draft of the plan.
Investigators at the Sussex Correctional Institute (SCI) in Georgetown recently initiated a proactive search regarding the introduction of Suboxone into the facility. The investigation, known as “Operation Sunkist,” resulted in the arrest of several sentenced inmates, as well as multiple civilians who were allegedly sending the contraband through the mail.
In February of 2015, Sussex County purchased 3 acres of land on Plantation Road in Rehoboth Beach to be used for the Medic 104/EMS 100 facility. At its Aug. 23 meeting, Bobby Schoonover, technical services division manager, provided an update to the county council regarding the project.
The public will have a second chance to give comment on recommended changes to the Sussex County sign regulations. At its Aug. 9 council meeting, the county council voted 5-0 to reintroduce a proposed ordinance to amend its code related to signs.
Joan Deaver, the lone Democrat on the Sussex County Council, was honored July 12 at the Annual Eastern Sussex Democrats Picnic, held at Hurdle Farm near Harbeson. Deaver recently announced she is stepping down after serving two terms as councilwoman for District 3.
The Sussex County Council plans to hold a new set of public hearings on a proposed ordinance to amend its code related to signs.
“There has been a lot of conversation,” said Council President Michael Vincent. “I think it’s easy to get mixed thoughts. Since we’ve had our public hearing, we’ve had a lot of meetings…