P&Z Recommends Approval on Cape Elementary School - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

P&Z Recommends Approval on Cape Elementary School

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LEWES, Del. - A Thursday vote brings the Cape Henlopen School District one step closer to construction of a new elementary school on Route 24. The almost $31 million school was approved through a referendum in 2014, and now the district is one land-use decision away from construction.

In a three to zero vote, The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a conditional use application at the site. This summer, County Council will hold a public hearing of their own, before voting as well.

The school would have two entrances. The secondary access point would be off of Mulberry Knoll Road, and would be shared with a new Delaware State Police Facility, which was also recommended for approval on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the primary entrance would be off of Route 24, which many neighbors have said is already riddled with traffic problems.

"Certain times of the day it's really horrific," said Deb Norton of Lewes. "I think when school gets out, you'll see a lot more traffic and congestion."

Chairman of Planning and Zoning Bob Wheatley agreed that there is a problem with congestion on Route 24, although he said that the plan by the school addressed traffic well.

"What happens is when they all come at the same time they tend to stack right here on the highway," Wheatley said, pointing at a map. "So to alleviate that problem, the school is proposing to have them come into the entrance and then they are building their own stacking lane the entire distance of their property line."

Wheatley said that the district is also hopeful that the school would lead to more students riding the bus. Currently many students in the Long Neck area are on the bus for as much as an hour to get to school on the coast. For that reason, many parents are driving their children instead. With the new school, the district is hoping that more kids will get back on the bus, meaning less cars on throughways like Route 24.

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