The final site plan for the Terrapin Island Subdivision was approved on August 25 by the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Terrapin Island, located along Camp Arrowhead Road adjacent to Bayfront in Rehoboth and the West Bay Manufactured Home Park, will have 42 single family home lots on 32 acres.
Over 30% of the parcel, which borders Rehoboth Bay, contains wetlands – eight acres of non-tidal wetlands and nearly four acres of tidal wetlands.
The 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 at the rear of the building lots for carrying storm water , a 50-foot buffer along tidal wetlands, a 25-foot setback along all non-tidal wetlands, and sidewalks on at least one side of community streets.
The plan includes access for residents of the nearby Bayfront community to a private beach as well as access for emergency and maintenance vehicles.
The plan also includes infilling about a quarter acre of wetlands for two crossings. To mitigate the landfill, state environmental officials are requiring developer Ribera Development LLC to preserve nearly 15 more acres of wetland and upland habitat.
Plans also include 16 acres of open space, pocket parks, and rolled curbs and gutters.
The Delaware Department of Transportation requires road improvements along the frontage of the property on Camp Arrowhead Road to include 11-foot traffic lanes and 5-foot shoulders. Additionally, a left turn lane in the community will be extended to include a left turn lane in Cove Court, which is adjacent to the property and is part of the Bay Shore community. No traffic impact study was required since the proposed daily traffic volume generated by the 42 residences is less than the 500 daily trips required for a study.
The subdivision application drew opposition from neighboring residents, including the submission of a petition against the project signed by more than 500 residents. The initial decision to approve the application by the commission was appealed by a group of residents to Sussex County Council. On October 26, 2021, the board unanimously denied the appeal and affirmed the commission’s decision.
Council Chairman Mike Vincent said the panel’s findings included detailed reasons for its approval, including that the land is in an AR-1 zoning district where property owners can build as of right 2, 17 units per acre. “The commission also adopted 22 conditions of approval, which minimize any negative impact on landowners and area residents, many of which address issues raised by appellants, including setbacks, buffers and the high water mark. “, did he declare.
He said the list of 22 conditions is among the most ever imposed on a preliminary subdivision approval. “This clearly demonstrates that the commission exercised careful consideration in its review and approval of the application,” he said.