By Tony E. Windsor

Laurel is considering a proposal to build a 410-unit residential development just off U.S. 13 along Discount Land Road. During a recent public Laurel Mayor and Council Meeting, Town Manager Jamie Smith presented information about the development and gave council members an idea of when they could expect to hear more formally about the project.

Smith said Wilmington developer Liborio Watergate, LLC is proposing to build multi- and single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums on a 78-acre parcel east of U.S. 13, along Discount Land Road. Known as the Mariana Subdivision, the project is in preliminary stages and as of yet no state permits have been acquired. Smith said Laurel Planning & Zoning is reviewing project plans and will deliver its recommendations during an upcoming public council meeting.

The project currently calls for the construction of 63 single-family homes, 179 townhomes and 168 condominiums all being sold at market value. The town will await state construction permits from Liborio Watergate before entertaining approval of the project. Smith said construction is most likely at least one year out.

Liborio Watergate, LLC is no stranger to residential and commercial development in the western Sussex County area. The developer is involved in the construction project in Seaford known as Melanie’s Ridge I and II. The project’s first phase started in June 2019 and is expected to be completed next summer. The development consists of 50 residential apartments/condominiums built on Herring Run Road and Bridgeville Highway.

Phase II of Melanie’s Ridge is expected to start construction in the summer of 2022. The development will be a combination of residential and commercial properties. Situated on 58-acres west of Bridgeville Highway on Herring Run Road, Melanie’s Ridge II proposes to consist of 10,000 square feet of retail office buildings, residential apartments/condominiums and parking spaces.

Laurel’s proposed Mariana’s Subdivision site plans will be presented to the Laurel Mayor and Council during its Monday, Oct. 18 public meeting.

Also in Mayor and Council business, a public hearing was held during the Monday, Sept. 20 meeting to allow discussion about a proposal to make application to the USDA Rural Development Office for funds to purchase a new police car.

There were no members of the public in attendance for the public hearing. The council voted to approve “Resolution 2021-3,” agreeing to apply for the financial assistance from the USDA. The resolution also gives Laurel’s Mayor John Shwed power to sign all loan/grant documents and designates Police Chief Dan Wright as applicant “point of contact.”