Proposed Self-Storage Project Near Lewes, DE, Rejected by County Officials

Update 12/30/14 – The Sussex County, Del., Council recently denied a conditional-use application from self-storage developer Todd Fisher, who proposed to build Red Mill Storage on 3.7 acres near Lewes, Del. The council unanimously rejected the application following a unanimous recommendation for denial by the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Update 12/30/14 – The Sussex County, Del., Council recently denied a conditional-use application from self-storage developer Todd Fisher, who proposed to build Red Mill Storage on 3.7 acres near Lewes, Del. The council unanimously rejected the application following a unanimous recommendation for denial by the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The phased project was also opposed by nearby residents who argued the storage facility wasn’t a good fit for the area and would add traffic congestion. Planning and Zoning Commissioner I.G. Burton agreed with residents, saying, “The conversion of this property to a warehousing use is not compatible with the predominantly residential nature of this neighborhood and the residential roadways.”

The council agreed the project would be better suited for a commercial area, the source reported. Councilmember George Cole said the project was “out of character” for the area.


11/4/14 – Self-storage developer Todd Fisher has applied for a conditional-use permit to build Red Mill Storage on 3.6 acres near Lewes, Del. The project, which would incorporate two parcels zoned for agricultural or residential use, has received heavy resistance from nearby residents. The phased project near the intersection of Old Mill Road and Route 1 would ultimately house one single-story storage building and three three-story structures, according to the source.

Combined, the facility would comprise about 157,000 square feet of storage in up to 2,000 units. Plans call for the property to be fenced with gated access. The facility would be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week, and have a manager living onsite, the source reported.

The property was previously approved for a tennis complex. The county planning and zoning office has received more than 50 letters and e-mails protesting the storage project, with opposition largely centered on potential increases in traffic.

Resident George Dellinger submitted a 37-page rebuttal against the application, according to the source. Dellinger told the planning and zoning commission he examined eight self-storage facilities in the area and “all had access to a main road—not a residential road.”

Traffic engineer Betty Tustin testified before the commission on behalf of the developer and said a traffic-impact study was not required by the state. She compared the number of visiting vehicles each day to a cemetery, telling the commission the storage facility would have at most 200 vehicles visit the facility in a 24-hour period and no more than 20 during peak hours.

The commission deferred on a vote. A Sussex County public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Sources:

TAGS: Zoning News
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