Sussex council denies rezoning for Overbrook Town Center
Officials cast 4-1 vote against large commercial shopping center
Sussex County Council has denied a rezoning request for a 114-acre parcel of farmland that would have paved the way for Overbrook Town Center, the largest shopping center ever proposed in Sussex County.
Council voted 4-1 to deny the rezoning request by TD Rehoboth LLC, a Timonium, Md., developer. The project was met with opposition from farmers whose land surrounds the parcel as well as numerous nearby homeowners. Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission previously voted 3-2 to recommend approval of rezoning.
Councilman Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, voted against the plan. “I’m really the only farmer on this board,” Wilson said. When Wilson cast the third and deciding vote, the large crowd erupted into wild applause. He said the county has lost a lot of farmland and the highways are already crowded.
Protecting farmland and farmers’ rights appeared to be the prevailing reason council voted against the application. “A section in farmland preservation adjacent to the parcel was a very key issue,” said Rob Witsil, an attorney representing the opposition group Overbrook Town Center Coalition.
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