Sussex County Council Denies the Public’s Appeal Against Terrapin Island Approval

SUSSEX, Del. – The Sussex County council affirmed the Planning and Zoning Commissions preliminary approval of the 42-lot housing development known as Terrapin Island, located off of Camp Arrowhead Road near Lewes. 

With a 5-0 vote, the council denied the 160 person appeal against P&Z preliminary subdivision approval of Terrapin Island. 

Appellants Keith Steck and Michelle Forzley were in disappointed to hear the Councils decisions. 

“We’re clearly disappointed that the county council did not take into consideration the appellants points and effectively dismissed them out right,” Forzley said. 

“The deck seems to be stacked in favor of developers and projects as far as that goes its very difficult for the public, other than the one chance they get to make their comments and concerns known,” Steck said. 

The developers attorney, Richard Forsten said was not surprised with the councils motion to deny the appeal. Forsten said the developer’s application complied with all the county’s law and the appellants arguments were not relevant to the proposal at hand. 

“I think Sussex county’s motion today was very well reasoned and that I don’t think quite frankly that trying to further challenge the preliminary plan approval is going to bear them any fruits whatsoever,” Forsten explained. 

If the public chooses to appeal the county council’s decision, the next steps in the process is to file an appeal through the Delaware state courts. 

“At a minimum though, I think the developers are aware all eyes are on them. And that the game is not over yet,” Forzley said.   

Reiber Developments LLC is the developer for the 32-acre project. Although Reiber has preliminary approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, the developer has to get approval from a variety of state agencies before breaking ground.