Land Use Committee

About the Committee

 Useful Links

Since January 2015, the LWVSC of DE Land Use Committee has focused on educating the public regarding their pivotal role in the drafting of the state-mandated 2018 Comprehensive Plan, designed to create a roadmap for future county development. Among our activities were 16 two-hour public forums with panels of expert speakers held between 2015 and 2018 in both the five councilmanic districts and in County Council chambers in Georgetown. Through these forums and workshops, residents were empowered to give public input to both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Council to help shape and create a community vision that would include realistic, measurable goals, objectives, and strategies.  

With the submission of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan for the governor’s signature, the Land Use Committee has met its original goal of educating the public on the significance of this document. The committee is now meeting to define its role going forward and how the Land Use Committee can support the plan’s long-range implementation success.  

The Land Use Committee usually meets monthly. Please check the League events calendar for the date, time and location of the next meeting. You are welcome to attend a meeting and observe our process. Just notify either ChefMarti [at] (Marti Austin) or secmate47 [at] (Sue Claire Harper).   

About the Comprehensive Plan

There are ten elements of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan: Land Use, Conservation, Recreation and Open Space, Utilities, Housing, Economic Development, Historic Preservation, Intergovernmental Coordination, Community Design, and Mobility. After all ten elements were submitted for review by state agencies in the Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) process, the Plan was approved by the County Council and submitted for final state approval on December 4, 2018. Once it receives Governor Carey’s formal approval and signature, the County must implemented the Plan for the long-range welfare of all Sussex’s residents. However, in order to give the “Force of Law” to the Plan’s specific goals, the County Council must meet the challenge of drafting and passing relevant ordinances. Without these critical ordinances, the Comprehensive Plan remains simply a document of suggestions, and the County is extremely limited in its ability to implement the road map that the Plan represents.

We urge every resident to check out the County's website for the latest information on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan and the challenging process our County Council members must follow to adopt relevant ordinances.

The Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC) website has made available both State and County Comprehensive Plan Checklists, as well as links to the PLUS site, which provides access to the final certified comprehensive plans from Delaware's 57 municipalities and three counties. Also included on the PLUS site are links to plan amendments and supporting documents related to each plan.


With the Sussex County’s submission of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan for approval by the Governor, the Land Use Committee has fulfilled its original charter. Therefore, Sue Claire Harper and Marti Austin are stepping down as co-chairs, but will remain as active participants if a leader can be identified to chair the committee and define its role going forward.

Most Recent Public Forum

Dissecting Master Planning in Sussex County- April 11, 2018.  This was the 18th in our series of public forums focusing on educating and empowering all Sussex residents to become involved in the drafting of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The forum was available via live streaming.  

Land Use Forum Speakers David Edgell, Rob Pierce, and Ann Marie Townshend with LWVSC Vice President Janet Ambrose

Presenters (above, left to right): David Edgell, AICP, Circuit-Rider Planner for Kent County; Rob Pierce, Milford's Planning & Development Director; and Ann Marie Townshend, AICP, City Manager, Town of Lewes.
Moderator: LWVSC Vice President Janet Ambrose

The speakers defined master planning as a land use plan that identifies access, general improvements, and needed infrastructure to guide growth and development over years.  The lengthy process involves transportation, infrastructure planning, agricultural preservation, environmental protection, housing, etc, with public input and consensus. A question and answer period followed the informative presentations.  

A video of the presentation can be found here.

The speakers' PowerPoint presentations are available here:  

For information and PowerPoint presentations from previous forums click here.