Two property owners have requested annexation into the corporate limits of Laurel and town officials have scheduled public hearings to address the requests. During the Monday, Mar. 4, meeting of Laurel Mayor and Council, Council President and Annexation Committee Chair, Chris Calio, presented information regarding the two annexation requests.
The requests include a residential property at 10811 Kurtz Drive and a property housing the Rehoboth Temple of Praise at 31824 and 31836 Gordy Road. Calio said that in both cases the town’s annexation committee recommend to Mayor and Council to support annexation.
Reporting on both annexation requests, Calio said, “The committee found that the properties are contiguous to the town boundaries. The Laurel Fire Department, Delmarva Power, and Sussex County EMS already provide service coverage to the properties. Sussex County Planning & Zoning has stated they have no objection to the proposed annexation, as it is in the town’s comprehensive plan short-term growth area. State Planning Office has also accepted the Plan of Service submitted by the town.”
Calio went on to say there were no objections or concerns from town staff in regards to providing services to both properties and the Annexation Committee had no negative comments in regards to the annexations.
The owners of the residential property on Kurtz Drive are requesting annexation in although the area has been identified in the town’s short-term growth plan as commercial. The property is located behind the Royal Farms convenience store, which is on U.S. 13 southbound. According to Laurel Town Manager Jamie Smith, the property is being annexed into an area forecasted as commercial, but it will remain a residential zoned property.
“In our comprehensive land development plan, the area for the short term growth was designated as Commercial,” she said. “It was the thought of the planning committee that at some point in time, that area could possibly be developed into commercial, therefore it was designated as commercial.”
Smith explained that residential properties are permitted to be located in commercially zoned areas, but not the other way around. “Residential properties are permitted in commercial areas, whereas commercial properties are not permitted in residential,” she said. “It was the feeling of the planning committee that it would be easier in the long term to go with a commercial zoning now, rather than have to possibly face amending the comprehensive plan should someone want to develop the area as commercial.”
With both properties gaining the support of the Laurel Annexation Committee and agencies that provide service to the properties, the Mayor and Council scheduled a public hearing for Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m.
This allows any public discussion before formally making a decision on the annexation of the two properties. Each will be discussed separately and discussion will include amending the town’s zoning ordinance and zoning map to include the Rehoboth Temple of Praise property into the existing designated R-1 (Residential Use) district and the property at 10811 Kurtz Drive into the existing C-B (Commercial Business district.
The public hearing will be held in the Mayor and Council Chambers at Laurel Town Hall.