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Sussex County Council Defers Vote on 7-Eleven Conditional Use Application

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Plans to build a 7-Eleven on Route 24 and Angola Road likely won't be voted on for another two months.

After a nearly three hour public hearing, the Sussex County Council deferred a vote on the KH Sussex LLC's conditional use application. The application would allow for a convenience store on Route 24 and Angola Road.

In a previous presentation to the Planning & Zoning Commission, applicant Kirk Salvo stated "that he believes this would serve the area and the market is right for the area." But many neighbors expressed concern--worrying the 7-Eleven would cause more traffic and questioning if its necessary with other gas stations a few miles away.

"Traffic is a problem, emergency access is a problem, but drinking gasoline, that's a problem," says neighbor Dennis Quenneville, referring to the parcel's proximity to wetlands and a Tidewater wellhead. "The gas station is located 100 feet from the wellhead for Tidewater and it's downhill so basically all the runoff from that gas station is going right into the tidewater well."

However during the public hearing, James Berninger representing 7-Eleven, stated the company has numerous safeguards in place to ensure the gas pumps don't contaminate the ground.

"In addition to the physical containment, those areas are monitored 24/7," he told Sussex County Council. "In addition to the monitoring, we comply with all state regulations for third party inspection."
Other neighbors worry a 7-Eleven will attract crime and be too loud or bright for the rural area. But while concluding his remarks, Schraeder said, "Land use laws favor the use of the law-- when people come up with generalized concerns. They need to have specific evidence and claims."
The Delaware Department of Transportation described its plans to improve the intersection which the applicant cited would help alleviate traffic concerns. When Planning & Zoning unanimously recommended the application be approved, they included a number of conditions, including that the intersection work be "substantially completed" before the site is open to the public.
The Sussex County Council voted to keep the record open for 15 days so council members can can ask state agencies questions related to the application. The agencies will then have 30 days to reply, after which the public has five days to send written comment to the council members. Only after that will the application be voted on. 
For more on the application, click here.
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