What's Next for the Overbrook Town Center? A Big Question Mark - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

What's Next for the Overbrook Town Center? A Big Question Mark

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This sign was put up by Kenny Hopkins, who owns a farm adjacent to the proposed site (Source: WBOC) This sign was put up by Kenny Hopkins, who owns a farm adjacent to the proposed site (Source: WBOC)

MILTON, Del. - When the Sussex County Council vote on the Overbrook Town Center was finalized, and the proposal was denied, the crowd of well-over 100 neighbors were all smiles Tuesday afternoon. But now the question remains; What is next for the 114 acres of land located just north of Lewes. According to developers, TD Rehoboth LLC, the answer to that question is still unclear. 

The shopping center, which would have been located by the intersection of Route One and Cave Neck Road, would have been larger than all the Tanger Outlets Combined. The change of zone from AR-1 to CR-1 would have opened the door for this project to begin, but was denied by a vote of four to one.

The most imminent concern for the coalition of neighbors against the project, is the possibility of an appeal to the council's decision. Within 60 days of the council's formal publishing of the results, the developers can challenge the decision in the Court of Chancery. Attorney for TD Rehoboth, James Fuqua said that this action is "not common, but not rare." 

"The only decision to be made," he said. "Is do we appeal it to the Court of the Chancery, or do you go home."

As of Wednesday afternoon, Fuqua said that he had not been instructed to take any legal action by his clients.

Louis Di Bitonto, from TD Rehoboth, said the future is still undecided. 

"We have made no decisions yet," he said. "We haven't even had a chance to sit down with the partners and discuss what's next."  

In the past, major projects like this one have been re-submitted on a smaller scale after denial. A prime example of this would be the Gills Neck Village Center in Lewes, which is currently being considered for the third time, after being rejected in 2008 and 2010. Fuqua said that this would not work for all projects though, due to "cost considerations." 

"That would be a decision the client would need to make," he said. "But if you are spending $8 million on an overpass, you're not building a 7/11." 

As for any appeal, the OTC Coalition told WBOC that this would be met by fierce opposition. Robert Witsil, the attorney for the coalition, said the vote count would help their case. 

"If there is an appeal," he said. "I'm very comfortable going into the appellate process with a four to one vote in favor of the application."

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