Sussex County, DE
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The regulations set forth in this article qualify or supplement the district regulations appearing elsewhere in this chapter.
Where more than 25% of the total floor area of any building in a commercial district is used for dwelling purposes in a building which may also contain nonresidential uses, the minimum height, area and bulk requirements for residential development applicable in the district in which such building is located shall apply subject to the side yard modification for mixed uses contained elsewhere in this article. Where 25% or less of the total floor area of such building is used for dwelling purposes, the building shall be subject to the height, area and bulk requirements applicable to nonresidential buildings in the district.
A. 
Except within an area defined as an airport approach zone by the Federal Aviation Administration, the height limitations of this chapter shall not apply to:
[Amended 10-31-1995 by Ord. No. 1062]
Chimneys
Church belfries and spires
Conveyors
Cooling towers
Elevator towers
Fire towers
Flagpoles
Private and/or commercial radio and television towers, 150 feet and less
Public monuments
Silos and corn driers
Smokestacks
Stage towers and scenery lofts
Tanks
Transmission lines and their supporting elements
Water towers and standpipes
Windmills 100 feet and less
B. 
Except within an area defined as an airport approach zone by the Federal Aviation Administration, buildings owned by a political subdivision of the State of Delaware, the federal government or any agency thereof, hospitals, institutions or schools, when permitted in a district, may be erected to a height not exceeding 60 feet and churches and temples may be erected to a height not exceeding 75 feet when the required side and rear yards are each increased by at least one foot for each one foot of additional building height above the height regulations for the district in which the building is located.
[Amended 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 2347[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also stated that it would not apply to any structures or buildings exceeding 42 feet that had a valid building permit issued by Sussex County prior to its adoption.
C. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no structure of more than one story in height, no subdivision or manufactured home park and no place of public assembly shall be erected or located within any area shown on the Official Zoning Map as an airport approach zone.
[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
A. 
If the deed or instrument under which an owner acquired title to a lot was of record prior to the application of any zoning regulations and restrictions to the premises and if such lot does not conform to the requirements of such regulations and restrictions as to width of lots and lot area per family, the provisions of such lot area per family and lot width regulations and restrictions shall not prevent the owner of such lot from making improvements on the lot.
[Amended 3-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1131]
B. 
Requirements for lot area per family do not apply to dormitories, fraternities, sororities and other similar living quarters which are accessory to a permitted use and which have no cooking facilities in individual rooms or apartments.
C. 
In a C-1, CR-1, B-2, B-3, C-2, C-3, or C-4 District, an M District and a UB District, the requirements of lot area per family do not apply to rental units in a hotel, motel or motor lodge, tourist home or rooms in a rooming, boarding- or lodging house.
[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
D. 
One room of a detached single-family dwelling or detached single-family manufactured home may be rented separately without any additional requirement of lot area per family.
[Amended 3-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1131; 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
A. 
Where these regulations refer to side streets, the Director shall be guided by the pattern of development in the vicinity of the lot in question in determining which of two (2) streets is the side street.
B. 
Every part of a required yard shall be open to the sky, except as authorized by this article and except ordinary projections of sills, belt courses, chimneys, cornices and ornamental features which may project to a distance not to exceed 24 inches into a required yard. Window air-conditioning units may project a distance not to exceed 36 inches.
C. 
Location of main building.
(1) 
More than one main building may be located upon a lot or tract in the following instances:
(a) 
Institutional buildings.
(b) 
Public or semipublic buildings.
(c) 
Multiple-family dwellings.
(d) 
Commercial or industrial buildings.
(e) 
Homes for the aged.
(2) 
The provisions of this exception shall not be construed to allow the location or erection of any building or portion of a building outside of the buildable area of the lot.
D. 
Easements and rights-of-way.
(1) 
In any part of the county where an HR District is allowed, the developer, as a condition to the issue of zoning permits and the rezoning, shall dedicate the area adjacent to natural bodies of water to public use and shall grant an easement to said areas. An applicant for rezoning to HR shall include in his application the necessary documents to carry out these requirements.
(2) 
The area adjacent to a natural body of water reserved for public use shall be from the low-water mark to an established dune line, where one exists, shall be no less than 300 feet from the low-water mark and shall be totally free of any structure of the applicant/developer.
(3) 
The right-of-way and easement to the dedicated area adjacent to a natural body of water shall be 50 feet in width. Said right-of-way and easement shall extend from the nearest county or state road to the dedicated area. These fifty-foot parcels shall be required so as to conform to a Master Land Use Plan approved by the County Council. Where two applicants request zoning for adjacent tracts, they may meet these requirements by joint dedication.
(4) 
Land so dedicated for public use shall not affect the residential-unit-per-acre ratio of an HR District and will be included in the total area for computing the number of allowable units in a townhouse or multifamily development.
E. 
Administrative variances.
[Added 9-25-2012 by Ord. No. 2278]
(1) 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article XXVII of this chapter, the Director of Planning and Zoning may administratively grant a yard setback or building separation variance that does not exceed one foot of the yard setback or building separation requirements.
(2) 
There shall be a fee of $50 to request an administrative variance. If the applicant has to eventually submit an application to Board of Adjustment, the applicant shall receive a credit of $50 towards the Board of Adjustment application fee. The applicant shall submit a survey signed and sealed by a surveyor licensed in the State of Delaware to the Director of Planning and Zoning in order to be considered for an administrative variance.
(3) 
The Director of Planning and Zoning shall give written notice to adjacent property owners of the requested administrative variance and accept written statements for 10 working days from the date of mailing.
(4) 
The Director of Planning and Zoning shall be governed by all the procedures, standards and limitations of this chapter applicable to the Board of Adjustment in granting variances, except the public hearing.
(5) 
Within 30 working days after the administrative variance application is submitted and accepted, the Director of Planning and Zoning may approve the administrative variance or advise the applicant requesting the administrative variance that an application must be submitted to the Board of Adjustment. If any objection is received, the Director shall refer the application to the Board of Adjustment.
(6) 
This administrative variance process shall not be applicable to manufactured home parks.
(7) 
Notwithstanding the process outlined in Subsection E(1) through (6) above, upon submission of a survey signed and sealed by a surveyor licensed in the State of Delaware and proof satisfactory to the Director or the Director's designee of a prior error of Sussex County in administration of Chapter 115 of the Code of Sussex County, the Director or the Director's designee may administratively grant a yard setback or building separation variance. There shall not be any fee for this request, nor shall any notice to adjacent property owners be required.
[Added 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2559]
A. 
On through lots, the required front yard shall be provided on each street.
B. 
There shall be a front yard of at least 15 feet on the side street of a corner lot in any district.
C. 
On a street or road with existing buildings having a front yard setback that is less than that required in the district, any building may have a front yard setback that is equal to the average setback of those existing buildings located on the same side of the street or road and being with 300 feet of the building. Any vacant lot shall be calculated as having the required setback for the district. No front yard setback reduced pursuant to this subsection shall be reduced to less than five feet. The provision of this subsection shall not apply to any lot in a cluster subdivision, Coastal Area cluster subdivision or residential planned community.
[Amended 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2557; 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2656]
D. 
Open unenclosed decks, porches, platforms or steps not covered by a roof or canopy and which do not extend above the level of the first floor of the building may extend or project into the front yard not more than five feet. This provision does not apply to manufactured home parks or campgrounds.
[Added 11-29-1989 by Ord. No. 639; amended 2-1-2005 by Ord. No. 1748; 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
A. 
Where a building in a commercial district is subject to the height, area and bulk requirements applicable to residential development under § 115-178 of this article, the side yard requirements for residential development shall be applied only to the lowest floor (and all floors above it) which contains more than 25% of its area used for dwelling. All floors shall be subject to side yards required by these regulations for commercial buildings adjacent to residential districts.
B. 
For the purpose of the side yard regulations, a group of business or industrial buildings separated by common or party walls shall be considered as one building occupying one lot.
C. 
Open unenclosed decks, porches, platforms or steps not covered by a roof or canopy and which do not extend above the first floor of the building may be constructed in a side or rear yard no closer than five feet from a side lot line and five feet from a rear lot line. This provision does not apply to manufactured home parks or campgrounds.
[Amended 11-28-1989 by Ord. No. 639; 2-1-2005 by Ord. No. 1748; 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152; 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2562]
D. 
For any existing approved lot that is less than 10,000 square feet in size, the side yard setbacks shall be reduced to five feet and the rear yard setback shall be reduced by five feet. For any lot with side or rear setbacks reduced by operation of this § 115-183D, no structures shall extend or project closer than five feet from the lot line. The provision of this subsection shall not apply to any lot in a cluster subdivision, Coastal Area cluster subdivision or residential planned community.
[Added 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2557; amended 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2656]
No sign, fence or wall extending to a height in excess of three feet above the established street grade shall be erected or maintained with the area of a corner lot that is included between the lines of the intersecting streets and a straight line connecting them at points 25 feet distant from the intersection of the street lines.
A. 
Except as herein provided, no accessory building shall project beyond a required yard line along any street.
B. 
Filling station pumps and pump islands may occupy the required yards; provided, however, that they are not less than 20 feet from street lines.
C. 
Any fence or wall for residential use, not more than 3 1/2 feet in height, may project into or enclose any required front or side yard to a depth from the street line equal to the required depth of the front yard. Any fence, hedge or wall for residential use may project into or enclose other required yards, provided that such fences, hedges and walls do not exceed a height of seven feet. This height limit does not apply to fences or walls used for commercial, industrial or agricultural uses, screening or tennis courts. Every such fence must be approved by the Director.
D. 
Accessory swimming pools, open and unenclosed, may occupy a required rear or side yard, provided that they are not located closer than 10 feet to an interior side lot line or six feet to a rear lot line. A walk space at least three feet wide shall be provided between pool walls and protective fences or barrier walls. Every swimming pool shall be protected by a safety fence or barrier at least four feet in height and constructed of chain-link, concrete, stockade-wood or equal.
E. 
Permitted accessory storage of a boat, boat trailer or camp trailer shall not be conducted in a front yard.
F. 
Accessory buildings which are not a part of the main building may be constructed in a rear yard, provided that such accessory building does not contain more than 600 square feet of area, and may be located five feet from a side lot line and five feet from a rear lot line.
A. 
The following regulations shall apply to accessory boathouses and boat slips in residential districts:
(1) 
A boathouse may not be used as a dwelling, guest house or servants' quarters, unless specifically permitted by other sections of this chapter.
(2) 
The height of a boathouse shall not exceed 25 feet above mean high water.
(3) 
No boathouse shall exceed 25 feet in width nor 50 feet in depth.
(4) 
No boathouse shall be built beyond the established bulkhead line or closer than 10 feet to a side lot line.
(5) 
Boathouses and boat slips, together with other accessory buildings, may occupy no more than 35% of a required rear yard.
B. 
The following regulations shall apply to boat docks, piers and wharves, accessory or nonaccessory, in any district:
(1) 
Projection of docks, wharves and piers into waterways beyond the waterway line, lot lines or established bulkhead lines or the placing of mooring piles or buoys shall be limited by applicable county ordinances, state laws and applicable regulations of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and in no case shall a dock, wharf, pier or pile project more than 10% of the width of the waterway.
(2) 
Groins, levees, bulkheads, piling, breakwaters and other similar structures shall be erected and maintained in accordance with applicable location and construction standards of the county, the state and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
[Amended 3-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1131; 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
The following regulations shall apply to every manufactured home, except construction and office trailers:
A. 
It shall be designated exclusively for single-family occupancy if used as a dwelling.
B. 
The space between the unit and grade level shall be fully enclosed with a perimeter enclosure wall. A perimeter enclosure wall shall consist of either masonry material, vinyl, metal or wood product, shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions shall be approved by the Director as durable and suitable for exterior exposure. The perimeter enclosure wall shall be of a type that will not support combustion. A perimeter enclosure wall shall have a minimum of one opening providing access to any water supply or wastewater connections under the home. Such openings shall be a minimum of 18 inches in any dimension and not less than 3 square feet in area. The access panel shall be fastened in such a manner that a special tool to open or remove said panel is not required.
C. 
It shall have a gross floor area, excluding any additions not a part of the original manufactured unit, not less than 450 square feet.
[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2153]
D. 
It shall comply in all other respects with the requirements for dwellings in the district in which it is located.
A. 
Each dwelling unit of a multifamily dwelling must comply with the minimum-lot-area-per-dwelling-unit specification in the table of district regulations of Article XX.
B. 
The dwelling units of a multifamily dwelling may be held in separate ownership if separate utility systems are provided.
C. 
The dwelling units and individual lots of a townhouse may be held in separate ownership if separate utility systems are provided and if separate lots for all dwelling units in a building are created at the same time and in conformance with the Subdivision Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 99, Subdivision of Land.
D. 
The following regulations shall apply to townhouses:
(1) 
The average minimum lot area per dwelling unit shall be 3,630 square feet, and no lot can be created with a lot area of less than 1,600 square feet.
[Amended 5-10-1988 by Ord. No. 506]
(2) 
Lot frontage, measured at the building line, for individual dwelling units of a townhouse may be reduced to not less than 16 feet.
(3) 
For the purpose of the side yard regulations, a townhouse building shall be considered as one building on one lot with side yards of 20 feet. Any side yard adjacent to the line of a lot in a single-family residential district shall not be less than 20 feet.
(4) 
Depth of front and rear yards of a townhouse must have an aggregate of not less than 40 feet. Distribution of the required aggregate of the front and rear yards total will be subject to site plan review. Any rear yard adjacent to the line of a lot in a single-family residential district shall not be less than 20 feet.
(5) 
Detached garages or carports shall not be permitted except as shown on the approved site plan, with approval shown for the same on site plan review.
(6) 
Unless otherwise restricted by district regulations, not more than eight dwelling units shall be included in any one townhouse building, and the outside wall dimensions of the townhouse building shall not exceed 170 feet in width measured linearly from the outer edge of the townhouse building end units. In the case of staggered dwellings within a single townhouse building, the measurement shall be of the actual length of the entire townhouse building.
[Amended 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2560]
(7) 
Required off-street parking space per family dwelling unit shall be provided on the lot of each dwelling unit or within an on-site parking area within the common area, or a combination of both, with approval subject to site plan review. Required off-street parking space of two spaces per apartment shall be provided on the premises of an apartment building.
[Amended 2-2-1999 by Ord. No. 1286; 5-2-2000 by Ord. No. 1371; 8-15-2006 by Ord. No. 1869]
(8) 
A site plan complying with the requirements of Article XXVIII shall accompany an application for approval of a townhouse development.
E. 
The following regulations shall apply to multifamily dwellings:
(1) 
No overall actual outside wall dimension of a building shall exceed 170 feet. The measurement shall be of the actual length of the entire multifamily building. Mixed-use buildings that contain nonresidential uses shall not be subject to the outside wall dimension requirement.
[Amended 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2560]
(2) 
For the purpose of maintaining setback between buildings on the same site, the distance between buildings shall be 40 feet.
(3) 
Accessory structures shall be subject to site plan review.
(4) 
Individual units in a building which comes within the provision of the Unit Property Act[2] may be held in separate ownership.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 25 Del. C. § 2201 et seq.
(5) 
For boundary line setbacks, refer to charts in Article XX of this chapter.
[Amended 12-27-1983; 9-27-1988 by Ord. No. 540; 10-15-1991 by Ord. No. 795; 3-5-1992 by Ord. No. 818; 6-6-1995 by Ord. No. 1032; 9-9-1997 by Ord. No. 1174; 2-1-2005 by Ord. No. 1748; 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152; 1-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2384]
A. 
The purpose of this section is to assist in the preservation and restoration of the primary coastal dune, thereby contributing to the safety and welfare of the occupants of lands adjacent to and landward thereof to provide for construction control and land development measures for all new construction and substantial improvement occurring within the flood-prone districts, to limit the visual obstruction of beach and berm by structure erected thereon and to limit the encroachment of shadow on the beach by structures located adjacent thereto.
B. 
At locations where the primary dune exists as a continuous and clearly defined natural coastal formation, the center of the same shall, for purposes of this section, be the "dune line." Where the primary dune as a natural coastal formation has ceased to exist or only broken remnants remain, then the dune line shall be as established by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Beach Preservation Section or it successor.
C. 
No primary dune material may be removed or displaced, except that the driving of piling shall not be considered displacement of dune material. No material from the berm or beach may be moved or displaced prior to the completion of all buildings and structures on a given lot.
D. 
Townhouses and multifamily dwellings subject to the site plan review requirement of Article XXVIII located in the area lying eastward of the inland waterway from Roosevelt Inlet to the Maryland State line shall comply with the following additional requirements:
(1) 
All buildings, parking areas and unloading areas shall be a minimum of 30 feet landward from the dune line. The additional yard requirement for buildings of more than three stories shall be added thereto.
No certificate of compliance shall be issued for lands zoned HR-1 or HR-2 located in areas designated V through V-30, unless there is access to a designated sewer system, whether or not public ownership is involved.
[Amended 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
On lands which are zoned and used for owner-occupied single-family purposes, the following requirements shall exist with respect to the parking, storing or maintaining of automotive vehicles of any type, including, but not limited to, cars, trucks, vans, motor homes, recreational vehicles and trailers designed and/or built to be towed behind an automotive vehicle and which are all hereafter collectively referred to as "vehicles" and with respect to the storing or maintaining of boats and other watercraft on the ground, a cradle or on a trailer, and as to all of which, the following requirements shall apply and be complied with:
A. 
The purpose of this section is to eliminate the parking, storing or maintaining of those vehicles, boats and watercraft that are in violation of Subsections B and C, which tend to interfere with the enjoyment of, and/or reduce the value of private property, invite plundering, create visually unsightly conditions, create fire and/or pollution hazards and/or other safety and/or health hazards, to interfere with the well being of the public and/or to create, extend and/or aggravate blight.
B. 
No more than a total of two automotive vehicles, boats or other watercraft, which are either inoperable, dismantled, wrecked, or which display registration plates (as to vehicles for which they are required under state law) and/or registration stickers (as to boats or watercraft for which they are required under state law) which are at least 30 days expired or which do not display a required current registration plate or sticker, or display a plate or sticker not validly issued to that vehicle, boat or other watercraft, or from which major components have been removed, or which are in such a state of obvious disrepair as to be incapable, without repair, of being operated in the manner for which they are designed, shall be situated on any residentially zoned property other than in a completely enclosed garage or other permitted accessory structure located on the same lot or tax parcel the dwelling is located on.
C. 
No vehicle and/or boat or other watercraft, shall be situated on any residentially zoned property that is vacant and not improved with a dwelling for which a certificate of compliance has been issued pursuant to § 115-223A.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Director or his designee (which shall include the County Constables) to enforce the provisions of § 115-191. When the Director, or his designee determines that there has been a violation or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible for the violation, in accordance with all of the following requirements:
(1) 
Be in writing.
(2) 
Include a tax parcel number for the property.
(3) 
Include a statement or description and/or photograph of the violation or violations and state why the violation notice is being issued.
(4) 
Include a statement of the required corrective action and the time period within which the corrective action must occur to bring the property into compliance, which time period shall be not less than 30 calendar days. In the event the owner of the property or the person responsible for the violation notifies the Director, or his designee, in writing, within the thirty-day corrective period of an intent to correct the violation, the Director or his designee may, at his/her discretion, extend the time for corrective action up to a total period of 60 days from the date the violation notice is served. Further, if the violator signs a written cleanup or remediation plan with the County within the sixty-day period, the Director or his designee shall have the discretion to extend the cleanup or remediation period up to a maximum of six months from the date the violation notice is served. The notice of violation shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof, together with a copy of §§ 115-191 and 115-191.1 through 115-191.8 is:
(a) 
Delivered personally;
(b) 
Sent by certified or first-class mail addressed to the last known address; or
(c) 
If the notice is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property affected by such notice and the person posting the notice shall take a photograph of the posted notice.
(5) 
If a citizen domiciled in the County signs a written cleanup or remediation plan and can provide bona fide proof that he/she is financially and/or physically incapable of fully complying with the terms and time limits of the plan proposed by the Director, he/she can file a letter of appeal to County Council within 30 days after executing the written cleanup or remediation plan with the Director, asking Council to grant additional time to complete the clean up, to modify the terms of the plan or for assistance in completing it. There shall be no appeal fee and no public hearing required by Council. If the violation notice was sent in response to the complaint of another citizen, the citizen who made the complaint shall be given a minimum of five days' written notice of the date when Council will consider the appeal and will be allowed to address Council concerning the substance of the appeal request. When Council considers the request, the burden shall be upon the requesting owner to satisfy Council that a financial and/or physical hardship or timing issue exists which prevents or limits his/her ability to comply with the cleanup plan. If that burden is met, the options available to Council are:
(a) 
To modify the plan or to extend the time for clean up completion and/or to impose a phasing plan requiring the owner to achieve meaningful incremental progress and to specify the date or circumstances under which such a phasing plan would be revoked if the owner fails to make substantial progress toward completion.
(b) 
To advise the owner of any available sources of assistance that may be available to help him/her complete the clean up.
(c) 
To grant such other and further relief as Council may consider appropriate under the circumstances.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
Any person who shall violate a provision of § 115-191 or any of its subsections and/or fails to comply with any notice of correction served in accordance with § 115-191.1 above shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for the first conviction; not less than $500 nor more than $750 for the second conviction; and not less than $750 nor more than $1,000 for the third conviction; and for the fourth and any subsequent conviction of the same violation that has still not been corrected, the minimum fine for such conviction shall be not less than $2,500. The minimum fines specified herein for the second through fourth convictions shall not be suspended. Upon conviction of a first violation of this chapter, the court may order the defendant to correct the violation by a certain date, not to exceed 30 days from the date of the conviction. Proof of guilt of a violation hereof may be proven through the testimony of a witness who has observed the violation and/or one or more photographs which document and depict the violation. Jurisdiction over the enforcement of §§ 115-191, 115-191.1 and 191.2 shall be in the Justice of the Peace Courts of the State of Delaware.
A. 
In addition to prosecuting a violator in the Justice of the Peace Courts, the prosecuting County employee is, but is not required, to institute appropriate proceedings at law or in equity to restrain, correct, abate or enjoin a violation or to require the removal of the offending condition at the expense of the person who is found to be in violation of these provisions. If the County prevails, the Court shall order the violator to pay the County's reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
Sections 115-191.1 through 115-191.2 shall not apply to:
A. 
An antique car, as defined by Title 21, Delaware Code, § 2196, or parts for an antique car, provided the antique car or parts thereof are housed in a building consisting of four sides and a roof, the construction of which was approved by the County and said car is not visible from any location on the street, road or highway that is closest to the property or from an adjoining property.
B. 
A dwelling which is part of and located on a tract of land of five acres or more that is primarily used for bona fide agricultural purposes.
C. 
Vehicles, boats or other watercraft which are not required to be licensed and registered pursuant to Delaware law.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
The purpose of this section is to prevent the accumulation of rubbish, trash or waste material so as to create an unsightly condition and/or a nuisance detrimental to the use or value of adjoining properties and/or to create a potential fire or safety hazard that could endanger the safety of the owner, possessor or other persons. In that regard:
A. 
No person, being the owner or possessor of improved or unimproved lands or premises that are not used for bona fide agricultural purposes shall permit refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste material to be placed or to accumulate upon such lands or premises.
B. 
For the purposes of this section:
(1) 
"Waste material" does not include materials accumulated in an orderly fashion for useful purposes, such as firewood, compost piles and building materials in good condition, topsoil and earthfill, except that the accumulation of such material in a haphazard, disorderly or unsightly fashion shall be prima facie evidence of waste and/or a nuisance and/or a detriment to the use and/or value of adjoining property and/or to the health and/or safety of other persons or themselves.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
A. 
If, within 10 days after due notice by the Director of Planning and Zoning or his designee to the owner or possessor of land or improved premises, refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste materials in violation of this section are not removed, the Director or his designee may contract with a third party subcontractor who will cause such weeds, grasses, refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste materials to be removed and may incur any expense in the removal thereof.
B. 
Any expense of removal incurred by the Director or his designee shall be paid by the owner or possessor of the land or improved premises within 15 days after notice thereof given in compliance with the provisions of § 115-191.1A(1) through (3). If such amount is not paid within such time period, such amount, together with a penalty of 10% of such expense and interest on such expenses at 10% per annum, shall be assessed against the land or improved premises and shall, until paid, constitute a lien against such land or improved premises in favor of the County on the filing in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds by the Director of Finance of a certificate of lien setting forth the amount of such expense, including all penalties and interest accrued thereon and the per diem rate of increase in interest thereafter.
C. 
In addition to any other remedy, the County may file and maintain a civil action for the recovery of such expense of removal and the penalty and interest accrued against the owner or possessor and shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action by any court having proper jurisdiction over the subject matter.
D. 
No civil liability shall attach to any act of any contractor or County employee engaged in carrying out the provisions of this section or any of its subsections.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
A. 
No refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste materials shall be deposited by any person on land or improved premises outside of any commercial establishment, except that such refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste material shall be placed in a metal or heavy-duty rigid plastic container having a secure lid that will prevent the spillage of the contents or the opening of the container and spreading of the contents by animals or rodents. The owner or possessor of such commercial establishment, any officer of a corporation or other entity being the owner or possessor of such land or improved premises or commercial establishment and any agent having the management thereof whose employee or agent violates the provisions of this section shall be deemed to be in violation of the provisions of this Code.
B. 
The County, in addition to other remedies provided by County law, may apply to the Court of Chancery for injunctive relief against the owner or possessor of such land or improved premises to prevent, enjoin or abate any continuing violation of the provisions of § 115-191 or any of its subsections and shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
Violations and penalties of the above referenced sections dealing with prohibited accumulations and/or the deposit of waste materials shall be assessed in accordance with the penalties contained in § 115-191.2 hereof.
[Added 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 1968]
No County license, building permit, building code approval or the approval of a subdivision, rezoning, conditional use, variance, special exception or other form of County approval shall be issued by any County employee for properties found to be in violation of these requirements until such time as the Director determines that all violations have been corrected and that all penalties, fines, attorney's fees and costs imposed as a result of a violation of § 115-191 or any of its subsections have been paid in full to the County.
[Added 8-27-1985 by Ord. No. 293]
In any residential district, a private tennis court for the exclusive private use of the residents of dwellings located on the same lot and their guests shall be permitted, provided that the following requirements shall be complied with:
A. 
A wall, fence or shrubbery shall be erected or planted so as to substantially screen such tennis court from view from adjoining residences.
B. 
All outdoor lighting shall be located, shielded, landscaped or otherwise buffered so that no direct light shall constitute an intrusion into any adjoining residential area.
C. 
The tennis court shall not, at any point, be closer than 50 feet to any adjoining residential property line, nor closer than 100 feet to any existing single-family dwelling.
D. 
The tennis court shall not, at any point, be closer than 25 feet to publicly owned land or land in a nonresidential district.
E. 
Such lot on which the private tennis court is located shall have a minimum area of one-half (1/2) acre.
[Added 7-19-1988 by Ord. No. 521]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUFFER ZONE
An existing naturally vegetated area or an area purposely established in vegetation which shall not be cultivated in order to protect aquatic, wetlands, shoreline and upland environments from man-made encroachment and disturbances. The "buffer zone" shall be maintained in natural vegetation, but may include planted vegetation where necessary to protect, stabilize or enhance the area.
MEAN HIGH-WATER LINE OF TIDAL WATER
The average height of all the high-tide water recorded over a nineteen-year period as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tidal datum.
PERENNIAL NONTIDAL RIVERS AND STREAMS
Any body of water which continuously flows during a year and which is not subject to tidal influence.
TIDAL TRIBUTARY STREAM
A stream under tidal influence, either connecting fresh or salt water.
TIDAL WETLANDS
Areas under the jurisdiction of Title 7, Chapter 66, of the Delaware Code, as the chapter appears as of the date of the adoption of this Article, as regulated and mapped by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
WETLANDS
A private or state wetland as defined by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control regulations and maps as promulgated pursuant to Chapter 66, Title 7, of the Delaware Code, as the chapter appears upon the date of the adoption of this Article.
B. 
A fifty-foot buffer zone is hereby established landward from the mean high water line of tidal waters, tidal tributary streams and tidal wetlands and from the ordinary high water line of perennial nontidal rivers and nontidal streams in Sussex County.
[Amended 7-2-1991 by Ord. No. 774]
C. 
Excluded from buffer zone designation are farm ponds, tax ditches and other man-made bodies of water where these waters are not located on or within perennial streams. A buffer zone shall not be required for agricultural drainage ditches if the adjacent agricultural land is the subject of a conservation farm plan established with the Sussex Conservation District.
D. 
Excluded from buffer zone regulations are facilities necessarily associated with water-dependent facilities (maritime, recreational, educational or fisheries activities that cannot exist outside of the buffer by reason of the intrinsic nature of their operation) and the installation, repair or maintenance of any stormwater management facility, sanitary sewer system, culvert, bridge, public utility, street, drainage facility, pond, recreational amenity, pier, bulkhead, boat ramp, waterway improvement project or erosion-stabilization project that has received the joint approval of the County Engineering Department and the appropriate federal, state and local agencies. An existing public storm-drain system may be extended in order to complete an unenclosed gap or correct a drainage problem, subject to receiving the approval of the County Engineering Department and the appropriate federal, state and local agencies.
E. 
Grandfathering provision. The following types of land uses may be developed notwithstanding the provisions of this section:
(1) 
Existing improvements and construction as of the date of the approval of this section may continue. Alterations or expansions which shall be attached to a preexisting structure built on nonconforming land, pursuant to this section, will not be permitted unless proven that such improvement is constructed at an equal distance or landward of the preexisting structure which is most proximate to the wetland area and a variance is granted as provided below.
(2) 
Subdivision plats and site plans approved and of record in the office of the Director of Planning and Zoning or in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County prior to the adoption of this section, originally adopted July 19, 1988, or approved and similarly of record as of the effective date of this amendment, adopted July 2, 1991, may be developed as of record and shall be subject to setbacks or buffer restrictions established for the use when originally approved. Any previously approved and similarly recorded subdivision plats and site plans, if approved prior to the original date of this section on July 19, 1988, or prior to this amendment, adopted July 2, 1991, may be amended if it is determined by the Planning and Zoning Commission that the amended plan represents an equal or less intrusive use on the buffer area or setback area.
[Amended 7-2-1991 by Ord. No. 774]
(3) 
Any land upon which development has progressed to the point of pouring of a foundation or the installation of structural improvements as of the date of the approval of this section shall be permitted to be developed, provided that there shall be no further encroachment upon the buffer zone, as required in Subsection E(1) above.
F. 
Variances to the provisions of this section will be considered by the Board of Adjustment under the following conditions:
(1) 
That findings are made by the Board of Adjustment which demonstrate that special conditions or circumstances exist that are peculiar to the land or structure within the county and that a literal enforcement of provisions within the buffer zone as designated by this section would result in unwarranted hardship.
(2) 
That the variance request is not based upon conditions or circumstances which are the result of actions by the applicant, nor does the request arise from any condition relating to land or building use, either permitted or nonconforming, on any neighboring property.
(3) 
That the granting of a variance will not adversely affect water quality or adversely impact fish, wildlife or plant habitat within the designated buffer zones and in waters adjacent to buffer zones. Variances will be in harmony with the general spirit and intent of the section and any subsequent regulations.
(4) 
That applications for a variance will be made, in writing, to the Board of Adjustment, with a copy to the County Administrator.
[Added 4-4-1989 by Ord. No. 575]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CENTRAL SEWER SYSTEM
Centralized treatment facilities which provide a high-quality effluent using natural systems, such as land application, or mechanical systems, such as trickling filters, and does not mean community on-site systems having a septic or aerobic tank with a drain field.
CONSERVATION ZONE
An area of land extending landward from the mean high-water line of tidal water bodies where it is necessary to establish increased lot size requirements for parcels proposing individual on-site sewage (septic) systems and individual on-site wells.
MEAN HIGH-WATER LINE OF TIDAL WATER
The average height of all high-tide water recorded over a-nineteen-year period, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tidal data.
B. 
A one-thousand-foot conservation zone is hereby established in the land area encompassed within the Coastal Sussex Land Use Plan of March 1988, and within the Western Sussex Land Use Plan of December 1990, being landward from the mean high-water line or adjacent floodplains of tidal water bodies, rivers or their major tributaries, whichever is greater, with the following provisions:
[Amended 10-20-1992 by Ord. No. 861]
(1) 
Any lot created after the adoption of this section shall contain a minimum square area of one acre and a minimum lot width of 150 feet unless central water and sewer are provided.
(2) 
Any lot created after the adoption of this section shall have a minimum frontage along any tidal water body, river or their major tributaries of 150 feet.
(3) 
Any lot created after the adoption of this section which is served by central water and sewer systems may conform to the lot area requirements of the zoning district in which the lot is located, except the frontage required in Subsection B(2) above.
C. 
Variances to the provisions of this section will be considered by the Board of Adjustment under the following conditions:
(1) 
That findings are made by the Board of Adjustment which demonstrate that special conditions or circumstances exist that are peculiar to the land within the county and that a literal enforcement of provisions within the conservation zone, as designated by this section would result in unwarranted hardship.
(2) 
That the variance request is not based upon conditions or circumstances which are a result of actions by the applicant, nor does the request arise from any condition relating to the land use, either permitted or nonconforming, on any neighboring property.
(3) 
That the granting of a variance will not adversely affect water quality or adversely impact the tidal water bodies adjacent to the conservation zone. Variances will be in harmony with the general spirit and intent of the section and any subsequent regulations.
(4) 
That applications for a variance will be made, in writing, to the Board of Adjustment on forms provided by the county, with a copy to the County Administrator.
D. 
Any parcel of land which is the subject of a presently accepted application to the County Planning and Zoning Commission or has received a preliminary site plan approval shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
[Added 1-30-1996 by Ord. No. 1072; amended 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 1711
A. 
Purpose. The Combined Highway Corridor Overlay Zoning District - (CHCOZ District) is hereby established to provide for the continued and efficient use of existing roadways and Emergency Evacuation Routes, to preserve and enhance the aesthetic and visual character of land uses contiguous to those roadways and to provide for orderly development in Sussex County. The requirements and guidelines contained in the chapter are to encourage a positive visual experience of development of lands along the corridors and provide safe access and turning movements for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, especially during an emergency evacuation. Development within the CHCOZ District shall conform to the minimum standards in this chapter; provided, however, that variances to the provisions of this section will be considered by the Board of Adjustment, as permitted pursuant to Article XXVII, Board of Adjustment.
B. 
Delineation of the zoning district. The CHCOZ District shall be established along the major north south corridors (Routes 1, 13, and 113). They are more particularly described below.
(1) 
The Route 1 Corridor:
(a) 
The Highway Corridor Overlay Zoning District - Route I shall include all unincorporated lands within 600 feet on each side of State Route 1, between Kent County, Delaware and Fenwick Island, Delaware.
(b) 
The six-hundred-foot zone will he measured from the existing road right-of-way line.
(2) 
The Route 13 Corridor:
(a) 
The Highway Corridor Overlay Zoning District - Route 13 shall include all unincorporated lands within 600 feet on each side of State Route 13, between Kent County, Delaware and Delmar, Delaware.
(b) 
The six-hundred-foot zone will be measured from the existing road right-of-way line.
(3) 
The Route 113 Corridor:
(a) 
The Highway Corridor Overlay Zoning District - Route 113 shall include all unincorporated lands within 600 feet on each side of State Route 113 between Milford, Delaware and Selbyville, Delaware.
(b) 
The six-hundred-foot zone will be measured from the existing road right-of-way line.
C. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
The overlay zone.
(a) 
The CHCOZ District establishes procedures, guidelines and standards in which development and access should occur. The overlay zone is established to promote orderly development within the underlying zoning district. Uses permitted within the CHCOZ District will be those permitted by the underlying zoning category, except as modified by this section of the Zoning Ordinance.
(b) 
Uses prohibited in the underlying zone are also prohibited in the overlay zone.
(2) 
The underlying zone.
(a) 
Established development densities in underlying zoning districts shall be maintained; however buffer and building setbacks will be required in the CHCOZ District.
(b) 
Existing buildings and structures that do not meet the requirements of this section shall be a nonconforming use and shall continue subject to the provisions of § 115-195 of the Zoning Ordinance.
(3) 
Exemptions from the requirements of the CHCOZ District include:
(a) 
Existing homes and businesses.
(b) 
Commercial and industrial developments and subdivisions that have obtained site plan approval prior to the adoption of this section.
(c) 
Land in agricultural use.
(d) 
Historic properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
D. 
Permitted accessory uses.
(1) 
Permitted accessory uses in the CHCOZ District shall be the same as in the underlying zoning district, except as modified by this section of the Zoning Ordinance.
(2) 
Prohibited accessory uses in the underlying district shall be prohibited in the overlay zoning district.
E. 
Minimum buffer and setback requirements.
(1) 
For the purposes of this section, a "buffer" is defined as the area landscaped with native vegetative species, as provided for in Subsection E(6) below, between the road right-of-way line of the relevant corridor and the edge of paving and/or area of disturbance. The buffer is a part of and is included in the required setback.
(2) 
A "building setback" is defined as the minimum distance from the road right-of-way line of the relevant corridor to the nearest building edge. For purposes of this section of the Zoning Ordinance, the setback shall be measured as described in Table 1, Note 7, in the General Table of Height, Area and Bulk Requirements.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table I is included at the end of this chapter.
(3) 
Setbacks and buffers will be required for all developments in the CHCOZ District in accordance with the following table:
[Amended 6-19-2012 by Ord. No. 2263; 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
District
Setback
(feet)
Buffer
(feet)
AR-1 Agricultural Residential
40
20
AR-2 Agricultural Residential
40
20
MR Medium Density Residential
40
20
GR General Residential
40
20
HR-1 High-Density Residential
60
20
HR-2 High Density Residential
60
20
B-1 Neighborhood Business
60
20
B-2 Business Community
60
20
B-3 Business Research
60
20
C-1 General Commercial
60
20
CR-1 Commercial Residential
60
20
C-2 Medium Commercial
60
20
C-3 Heavy Commercial
60
20
C-4 Planned Commercial
60
20
C-5 Service/Limited Manufacturing
60
20
I-1 Institutional
60
20
M Marine
60
20
LI-1 Limited Industrial
60
20
LI-2 Light Industrial
60
20
HI-1 Heavy Industrial
60
20
(4) 
Permitted uses within the required buffer include:
(a) 
Driveway access.
(b) 
Transit-oriented uses, including bus stops and shelters.
(c) 
Utility lines.
(d) 
Pedestrian and bike paths.
(e) 
Lighting fixtures.
(f) 
Signs.
(g) 
Clearing and grading for sight distance.
(h) 
Benches and other streetscape furniture.
(i) 
Water features, but not including storm water management structures.
(j) 
Pathways.
(5) 
Permitted uses in the setback, outside of the buffer, are those uses permitted in the underlying zone, including but not limited to lawns, parking areas, driveways and stormwater management structures.
(6) 
Landscape requirements.
(a) 
A landscape plan for the buffer and the site shall be submitted and approved with each site plan. Buffers shall retain existing native vegetated areas to the maximum extent possible. In areas where vegetation does not exist, additional landscaping shall be provided utilizing earth mounds and/or plant material. Landscape plantings should be indigenous to local areas and should provide a soft visual buffer between the roadway, the proposed development and contiguous land uses.
(b) 
For each 100 linear feet of buffer yard required, the number of plantings required shall be not less than 22. The plantings shall include, on average, a canopy forest of at least 12 deciduous or evergreen/conifer trees and 10 shrubs. The buffer yard shall be seeded with grass or planted with ivy unless natural ground cover is established. In areas where a ten-foot paved path is provided, the landscaping requirement can be reduced by 50%.
F. 
Access standards from arterial roadways. The intent of the CHCOZ District is to minimize the number of access points and left turning movements along the designated corridor. Access and circulation to the designated corridor shall comply with the following standards:
(1) 
Access from the designated corridor shall be subject to the approval of the Delaware Department of Transportation.
(2) 
Access drives and service roads should be designed to minimize queuing of entering or exiting vehicles.
(3) 
Shared driveways shall be used where feasible.
(4) 
Access driveways should accommodate pedestrian traffic through the use of depressed curbs.
(5) 
When properties are bound by two or more roadways, access shall be obtained from the lower roadway classification unless a traffic study, approved by DelDOT, determines that the operation or safety of an adjacent intersection is degraded.
G. 
Additional requirements.
(1) 
The following improvements shall be shown on the site plan:
(a) 
Transit accommodations shall be provided for sites containing structures of 75,000 gross square feet or greater, at the discretion of the Planning and Zoning Commission and DelDOT.
(b) 
Pedestrian movement must be accommodated throughout the site to provide safe connections to transit stops, parking areas and sidewalks.
(c) 
Cross access easements and interconnections shall be provided between adjoining sites for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
(d) 
Service roads shall be provided where required by DelDOT.
[Added 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 1445]
A. 
Any new freestanding commercial communications tower or antenna or monopole in any residential district requires a minimum lot size of one acre and shall require a special use exception. In nonresidential districts, no minimum lot size shall be required nor shall a special use exception be required, except that if any new freestanding commercial communications tower or antenna or monopole is to be erected within 500 feet of any residentially zoned lot, improved or which can be improved with a residential dwelling unit, a special use exception shall be required.
B. 
Collocation of telecommunications equipment on existing freestanding towers, antennas, monopoles, buildings, water towers/tanks and other similar structures shall be permitted without special use exception, subject to site plan review by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
C. 
All applicants for special use exceptions shall submit a site plan and appropriate documentation demonstrating compliance with the applicable conditions listed in this section.
D. 
The applicant shall submit to the Board of Adjustment documentation showing that existing structures within a two-mile radius of the proposed location are not available for collocation. Any application for a new commercial communications tower or antenna or monopole shall include documentation substantiating the need for such tower at the proposed location.
E. 
All new towers or antennas or monopoles shall be designed to accommodate at least two additional PCS/cellular platforms.
F. 
All new freestanding towers or antennas or monopoles shall be set back from adjoining property lines by a minimum of 1/3 the height of the tower, antenna or monopole.
G. 
Pad sites, ground equipment structures and guy wires shall be surrounded by a minimum six-foot tall fence.
H. 
All towers, antennas, or monopoles shall have warning lights. Such lights shall be placed every 50 feet of elevation. The tower, antenna or monopole shall meet all applicable requirements of the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.
I. 
Any tower, antenna or monopole that is not operated for a continuous period of six months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such tower or antenna or monopole shall remove the same within 90 days of a receipt of notice from the county notifying the owner of such abandonment. If such tower is not removed within 90 days, the county may remove the tower or antenna or monopole at the owner's expense.
J. 
No signs shall be permitted on any commercial antenna or towers or monopole. Any blinking or rotating lights thereon shall be screened so as not to throw their light below the horizontal plane upon which they are located, except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
[Added 12-9-2003 by Ord. No. 1645]
A. 
Delineation of the zoning district.
[Amended 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2656]
(1) 
The Coastal Area shall include all lands designated as the "Coastal Area" in the adopted Sussex County Comprehensive Plan dated March 19, 2019, or as subsequently amended.
(2) 
Where the boundary of the Coastal Area is formed by a roadway, the overlay zone shall be deemed to include the contiguous property on the far side of the roadway, provided that depth of the Coastal Area on contiguous property shall not exceed 600 feet.
B. 
Application process.
(1) 
All rezoning, subdivision, business and industrial site plans and conditional use applications involving one or a combination of the following shall be subject to the process and performance requirements as described hereinafter:
(a) 
Any residential planned community application.
(b) 
Any development containing 50 or more dwelling units.
(c) 
Any development containing 75,000 square feet or more of floor area used for commercial or industrial uses.
(d) 
Any use or activity that requires a permit in the Coastal Zone.
(2) 
The applicant shall submit an environmental assessment and public facility evaluation report and sketch plan (report) to the Director of Planning and Zoning, a copy of which will be forwarded to the Office of State Planning Coordination and members of the Technical Advisory Committee for review and comment. The sketch plan shall address the following issues for the property to be developed and, where appropriate to the context, for the contiguous property. Information submitted by the applicant shall at a minimum contain the following:
(a) 
Proposed drainage design and the effect on stormwater quality and quantity leaving the site, including methods for reducing the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen in the stormwater runoff and the control of any other pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons or metals.
(b) 
Proposed method of providing potable and, where appropriate, irrigation water and the effect on public or private water systems and groundwater, including an estimate of average and peak demands.
(c) 
Proposed means of wastewater treatment and disposal with an analysis of the effect on the quality of groundwater and surface waters, including alternative locations for on-site septic systems.
(d) 
Analysis of the increase in traffic and the effect on the surrounding roadway system.
(e) 
The presence of any endangered or threatened species listed on federal or state registers and proposed habitat protection areas.
(f) 
The preservation and protection from loss of any tidal or nontidal wetlands on the site.
(g) 
Provisions for open space as defined in § 115-4.
[Added 12-16-2008 by Ord. No. 2022[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that it shall apply to applications filed after 1-1-2009.
(h) 
A description of provisions for public and private infrastructure.
(i) 
Economic, recreational or other benefits.
(j) 
The presence of any historic or cultural resources that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(k) 
An affirmation that the proposed application and proposed mitigation measures are in conformance with the current Sussex County Comprehensive Plan.
(l) 
Actions to be taken by the applicant to mitigate the detrimental impacts identified relevant to Subsection B(2)(a) through (k) above and the manner by which they are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
(3) 
The Director of Planning and Zoning shall prepare (with input from the County Administrator) guidelines describing the application process and the form and content of information to be submitted by the applicant and shall review all applications, plans, assessments and other information submitted and prepare a written report summarizing his findings and the comments of state agencies and other County offices. The Planning and Zoning Commission shall make a determination as to whether adequate information has been presented for the project to proceed. A completed report shall be required prior to any preliminary plan approval for a development subject to this section. Approval of the report does not constitute final approval of the commenting agencies.
C. 
Permitted uses and densities.
(1) 
Uses permitted in the Coastal Area will be those uses permitted in the underlying zoning category as established by the Sussex County Zoning Ordinance.
[Amended 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2656]
(2) 
Uses prohibited in the underlying zone are also prohibited in the overlay zone.
(3) 
The maximum density shall be the allowable density of the underlying zoning district for developments using a central water and wastewater collection and treatment system. "Central sewer system" means centralized treatment and disposal facilities as defined in § 115-194A. Within this Overlay District, clustering of single-family detached lots to a minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet is permitted in all residential zoning districts using a central water and sewer system. For dwelling units using on-site individual wastewater disposal systems, the allowable density shall be based upon a minimum lot size of 3/4 of an acre. The applicant has the option of clustering the lots to a minimum lot size of 1/2 of an acre where soil conditions are suitable as determined by DNREC, provided, however, that the number of lots or dwelling units permitted shall not exceed the number permitted in the underlying district. For purposes of this subsection, the "allowable density" shall be determined by calculating the lot area and the area of land set aside for common open space or recreational use but shall exclude any area designated as a tidal tributary stream or tidal wetlands by § 115-193.
[Amended 12-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2618]
(4) 
For areas within the Conservation Zone, as currently defined in the Sussex County Zoning Ordinance, the minimum lot size and dimension requirements in the Conservation Zone shall apply.
D. 
Exemptions from the Coastal Area. The following are exempted from the requirement of this section:
[Amended 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2656]
(1) 
Single-family residential lots of record as of the date of this section.
(2) 
Existing developments and developments which have filed for approval as of the date of this section.
E. 
Design consideration should be given by the applicant toward the establishment of a greenways system which utilizes schools, parks, wildlife habitat areas, river and stream corridors, wetlands, floodplains, historic sites, business parks, urban sidewalks, abandoned rail lines, roads, beach areas and vacant land. Greenways should provide benefits like safe pedestrian, bicycling and equestrian routes for recreationists and commuters; and natural wildlife corridors and biological reserves.
[Added 9-13-2011 by Ord. No. 2213; amended 12-6-2011 by Ord. No. 2229]
A. 
The following regulations shall apply to a single wind turbine of less than 100 feet total height that is accessory to a principal use on the same lot:
(1) 
Only one wind turbine shall be allowed per lot under this subsection.
(2) 
Any wind turbine shall be set back a minimum distance that is equal to the turbine height from each adjoining property line. “Turbine height” means the height of the tower plus the length of one blade.
(3) 
The wind turbine shall comply with the height restriction stated in § 115-179A.
(4) 
The wind turbine shall comply with the airport hazard zoning regulations.
(5) 
Wind turbines shall be assembled, installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The applicant shall submit an engineering certification for the foundation and windmill structure in regards to the construction of the wind turbine. A County inspector shall verify the construction according to these specifications.
(6) 
The owner of the wind turbine shall completely remove all aboveground structures within 12 months after the wind turbine is no longer used to generate electricity. The owner shall provide proof of operation if requested by a County inspector.
(7) 
A wind turbine that is not attached to a building shall not be climbable for at least the first 12 feet above the ground level, unless it is surrounded by a fence with a minimum height of six feet. Wind turbine(s) shall have appropriate lighting pursuant to § 115-194.2H.
(8) 
As an alternative to the one wind turbine allowed by the above subsections, a lot may include three wind turbines if the total height to the tallest extended part of each wind turbine above the surrounding ground level of each wind turbine is not more than 50 feet. This subsection may allow wind turbines that are either ground-mounted or roof-mounted.
(9) 
All new electrical lines to wind turbine(s) shall be placed underground, unless the wind turbine is integrated with a building.
(10) 
No advertising, signs or similar decorative items that can be read from beyond the property line shall be permitted on wind turbines and/or their supports.
(11) 
If a new wind turbine is proposed within 200 feet from a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, then a mix of native deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs shall be planted between the wind turbine and such building to filter views of the wind turbine from the building.
B. 
The following regulations shall apply to one or more wind turbine(s) with a total turbine height of greater than 100 feet but less than 200 feet or where two or more windmills are proposed of less than 100 feet turbine height for nonresidential uses:
(1) 
Any wind turbine shall be set back a minimum distance that is equal to the turbine height from each adjoining property line. “Turbine height” means the height of the tower plus the length of one blade.
(2) 
The wind turbine(s) shall comply with the airport hazard zoning regulations.
(3) 
Wind turbine(s) shall be assembled, installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The applicant shall submit an engineering certification for the foundation and windmill structure in regards to the construction of the wind turbine. A County inspector shall verify the construction according to these specifications.
(4) 
The owner of the wind turbine(s) shall completely remove all aboveground structures within 12 months after the wind turbine(s) is (are) no longer used to generate electricity. The owner shall provide proof of operation if requested by a County inspector.
(5) 
A wind turbine that is not attached to a building shall not be climbable for at least the first 12 feet above the ground level, unless it is surrounded by a fence with a minimum height of six feet. Wind turbine(s) shall have appropriate lighting pursuant to § 115-194.2H.
(6) 
There shall be a minimum lot area of five acres.
(7) 
This subsection shall limit the maximum number of wind turbines that have a maximum total height including the extended blade of more than 50 feet above the average surrounding ground level. A maximum of one such wind turbine shall be allowed for each five acres of lot area per parcel. If more than five such wind turbines are proposed on a parcel, then a special use exception shall be required from the Board of Adjustment.
(8) 
Wind turbines allowed under this section shall meet the requirements of § 115-194.4A(9) through (11).
C. 
The following regulations shall apply to one or more wind turbine(s) with a total turbine height of 200 feet or taller to be located in industrial zoning districts:
(1) 
Any wind turbine shall be set back a minimum distance that is equal to the turbine height from each adjoining property line. “Turbine height” means the height of the tower plus the length of one blade.
(2) 
The owner of the wind turbine(s) shall completely remove all aboveground structures within 12 months after the wind turbine(s) is (are) no longer used to generate electricity. The owner shall provide proof of operation if requested by a County inspector.
(3) 
A wind turbine(s) that is not attached to a building shall not be climbable for at least the first 12 feet above the ground level, unless it is surrounded by a fence with a minimum height of six feet. Wind turbine(s) shall have appropriate lighting pursuant to § 115-194.2H.
(4) 
Accessory electrical facilities are allowed, such as a transformer.
(5) 
There shall be a minimum lot area of five acres.
(6) 
The wind turbine(s) shall comply with the airport hazard zoning regulations.
(7) 
Wind turbine(s) shall be assembled, installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The applicant shall submit an engineering certification for the foundation and windmill structure in regards to the construction of the wind turbine. A County inspector shall verify the construction according to these specifications.
(8) 
The applicant shall submit a site plan showing proposed driveways, wind turbines and wood areas proposed to be cleared.
(9) 
The applicant shall submit a professional study to analyze the maximum A-weighted noise levels outside of the nearest existing occupied dwellings and the total hours per year that such dwellings will be subject to shadow flicker.
(10) 
This subsection shall limit the maximum number of wind turbines that have a maximum total height including the extended blade of more than 50 feet above the average surrounding ground level. A maximum of one such wind turbine shall be allowed for each five acres of lot area per parcel. If more than five such wind turbines are proposed on a parcel, then a special use exception shall be required from the Board of Adjustment.
(11) 
Wind turbines allowed under this section shall meet the requirements of § 115-194.4A(9) through (11).