DPI Comments on Sussex County, Delaware Comprehensive Plan

In accordance with Delaware state law, the Sussex County Council is developing its new ten-year comprehensive plan that is designed to guide the county government on how it wants the county to be in future years.

For the last year or more, the Planning & Zoning Commission has reached out to residents with elements of the plan and sought public comments.

DPI submitted written comments endorsing the plan because of the high level of support it gives to preserving the agricultural community in the county. The language in the draft for the agricultural community and continuance of the rural nature of Sussex County is significant and imperative.

Our comments focused on the conservation, economic development, and future land use sections.

The Future Land Use section calls for the county to manage the impacts of future growth and development to better preserve the rural areas of the County. This could be done by directing future growth to the County's incorporated municipalities that desire it and their future annexation areas, plus maintaining the amount of land used for agricultural pursuits, reducing the challenges placed upon farmers by new development, and increasing the acreage of permanently preserved farm and forestland in the County.

The Economic Development section calls for the adoption of policies that promote agriculture as an important economic industry and sets the stage for the possible creation of an Agriculture Business overlay district that would allow agriculturally related businesses to operate in what have been agriculturally zoned areas. This could be a positive program to help the agricultural community. Allowing such agricultural businesses in the agricultural zones should make them more convenient to the customers, perhaps relieving traffic increases if these businesses are limited to present commercial zoning districts.

The Planning & Zoning Commission will consider all public comments and work on a version to be presented to the Sussex County Council that will hold its own set of public comment opportunities before it adopts a plan next year.

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