Land Use Committee

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.

Sixteen two-hour public forums with panels of expert speakers were held between 2015 and 2018 in both the five councilmanic districts and in County Council chambers in Georgetown.  Voters generously gave 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.  After all 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 were submitted for review by state agencies in the PLUS process, the Comp 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 plan needs to be implemented by the County for the long-range welfare of all Sussex’s residents. However, in order to give the specific goals of the Comp Plan, the “Force of Law”,  County Council must  face the challenging task of drafting, and passing, relevant ordinances. Without these critical ordinances, the Comp Plan remains by and large a document of suggestions, with extremely limited ability to implement the road map which the Plan represents. 

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.  

Sue Claire Harper is stepping down as a co-chair, but will remain as an active participant if another co-chair can be identified to help lead the committee with co-chair Marti Austin.  The Land Use Committee usually meets monthly.  Please check the leage events calendar for the date, time and location of the next meeting.  If you wish to attend a meeting and observe our process, you are more than welcome.  Just notify either Marti Austin or Sue Claire Harper.   

For additional information, the Land Use Committee urges every resident to check out the County's website for the latest information on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan and the challenging process facing our County Councilmen to adopt relevant ordinances.

Most Recent Public Forum

The League of Women Voters of Sussex County's Land Use Committee held a Public Land Use Forum on April 11, 2018 in County Council Chambers.  This forum was entitled: "Dissecting Master Planning in Sussex County."  It 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.  

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

The presenters were:  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. 

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.  

The forum was available via live streaming.  

A video of the presentation can be found here.

The speakers' power point presentations are available here:  


For information and PowerPoint presentations from previous forums click here.