Terrapin Island Gets Preliminary Approval

July 13, 2021

Story Location:

Camp Arrowhead Road

Lewes, DE 19958

Two weeks following a public hearing on the application, Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously July 8 to grant preliminary approval of Terrapin Island, a 42-lot subdivision off Camp Arrowhead Road near Lewes.

The application drew opposition – including a petition with more than 500 signatures – from residents in the two communities bordering the subdivision.

More than 30 percent of the 32-acre parcel, which borders Rehoboth Bay, contains wetlands – 8 acres of non-tidal wetlands and nearly 4 acres of tidal wetlands. It’s bordered by the single-family home Bayfront at Rehoboth community and the West Bay manufactured home park.

Making the motion for approval, Commissioner Bruce Mears called the single-family home subdivision a low-density, infill project. Conditions imposed by the commission include a 20-foot vegetated buffer using as many existing trees as possible around the perimeter of the property, an additional 10-foot buffer along the back of building lots for stormwater conveyance, a 50-foot buffer along tidal wetlands, a 25-foot setback along all non-tidal wetlands, and sidewalks on at least one side of the community’s streets.

The plan includes access for residents in the neighboring Bayfront community to a private beach as well as access for emergency and maintenance vehicles.

Construction and delivery of materials can only occur from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The developer, Riber Development of Millersville, Md., must submit a revised plan reflecting the commission’s conditions to the planning and zoning office, and the final site plan will be reviewed by the planning and zoning commission.

During a June 24 public hearing, land planner Mark Davidson of Pennoni Associates said the average lot size would be about 8,300 square feet, and the development would have an overall density of 1.49 units per acre.

Plans also include 16 acres of open space, pocket parks, rolled curbs and gutters, and sidewalks.

Davidson said Delaware Department of Transportation would require road improvements along the property’s frontage on Camp Arrowhead Road to include 11-foot travel lanes and 5-foot shoulders. In addition, a left-turn lane into the community would be extended to include a left-turn lane into Cove Court, which is adjacent to the property and part of the Bay Shore community. No traffic-impact study was required because the proposed daily traffic volume generated by the 42 homes falls under the 500 daily trips required for a study.