Council Delays Decision on Country Music Festival - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Council Delays Decision on Country Music Festival

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (WBOC) - The wait continues - as the fate of a proposed country music festival in Sussex County is still uncertain.

Last week the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denying a land-use application for the festival mainly over concerns that the application didn't provide enough details.

But that was just a recommendation. The Sussex County Council gets to make the final decision on the application. Council members could have made that decision Tuesday.

Unfortunately for those anxiously awaiting that decision on both sides of this issue that didn't happen. Instead, during their meeting Tuesday, council members decided to wait until next week.

Jim Chaconas lives a stone's throw away from the proposed festival site in the Harbeson area. He's worried about the impact of the festival.

"Number one - the traffic, pollution, security, property values going down because of this," he said.

Dewey Beach businessman Alex Pires first made the idea for the event public in the spring.

"He's had all the time he's needed," Chaconas said. "He knows what they wanted at two other meetings. He still hasn't prepared it yet. I don't know what one more week is going to do."

But that's what the proposal has been given - one more week.

County council members voted three to two to wait a week to decide on Pires' land-use application.

'I think the council, by and large, sees the great economic opportunity it provides this county," said Councilman Vance Phillips. "But we're also very cognizant of the disruptive effect it could have on the lives of the neighbors."

Phillips proposed a series of more than a dozen use restrictions and conditions that would have allowed the proposal to move forward. But he pulled them after multiple members of council brought up serious questions and concerns.

"Council at this juncture is still just a little uneasy about proceeding with more details," he said. "I believe though that there are many opportunities for the county to stop this if it does not meet the code."

Some council members said waiting a week was pointless and called it a delay tactic.

Chaconas says there should have been an up-down vote on the Pires proposal at this meeting.

"The council should have voted yes or no - just like planning and zoning did," he said.

Pires has said if Harbeson is a no-go, then his next choice is the state fairgrounds in Harrington in Kent County. He plans to spend $5-6 million dollars on the festival, wherever it is.

The county council meets again August 19 at 10 am in the Sussex County Administration Building in Georgetown.

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