What’s Going on With the Sussex County Council? Come on In for the Scoop-The 3/17/15

On selling corn on the Lowes parking lot, Rob Arlett gets smacked down by county lawyer and the surveyors are baaaaack. Recap of my struggle with Sussex county, neighbors from New Jersey and now they torment me again.

Some might consider the Sussex county council meeting of 317/15 to be a bit boring but I listened with interest and have some thoughts.

We begin with the concept of “food trucks” and/or “food carts” and/or “produce stands”, and like so many good intentions, the Sussex county council might be doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

The concept is to reduce the paperwork and red tape that is currently required for the simple act of setting up a cart to sell corn on the K-Mart parking lot. Yon reader should be patient with me as I am somewhat new at all this, read my story later on why I even began this endeavor. But as I am to understand, such simple type of carts currently require a “conditional use” application that will allow a small section of the K-Mart parking lot to be temporarily used to sell corn, maybe hot dogs.

Obviously the K-mart people must approve this, perhaps charge some sort of fee.

Sussex county is both a tourist mecca and a farming area. The concept of selling vegetables in various places near the tourist area is a good thing. Kudos for the Sussex county council trying to eliminate bureaucratic snags but my goodness the argument that ensued over this could happen and that could happen was a bit funny.

Joan Deaver pooh-poohed any notion that someone should be allowed to set up a hot dog stand in the middle of a field, pointing out that, heh, there would be no bathrooms around, goodness, and for this reason alone we should be careful how easy we make setting up these things. Well hey, she has a point.

There were discussions about DELDOT and its influence, goodness the FDA must approve all food products sold to the public….after a while my eyes got glazed.

On the one hand I credit the Sussex county council for trying to remove obstacles to small commerce but I smile ruefully that no matter how much we try, this country is so imbued with rules, regulations and laws that it’s difficult to make them less, much less remove them. There was no resolution to this issue but let us hope the Sussex council keeps up the good work.

Moving on to a request for conditional use to set up a car repair shop near Broadkill road. As I understand there are a lot of problems with this business but I had to smile when new councilman Rob Arlett decided to insert himself into the equation. The locale of this auto repair shop is Lewes and Rob’s district is nowhere near Lewes.

So Rob begins to offer arguments against this auto repair shop given to him recently by nearby residents. The county lawyer, the fine, fine (and very handsome, insert wink here) Everett Moore reminds Rob that consideration of public input is not allowed if given AFTER the public hearing.

I say good for you Rob but first, well like Mr. Moore said, not allowed and second, this isn’t even his councilmatic district. Still and so, he’s new and he seems to be doing a very good job. I’ve been impressed by Rob’s attention and input so shortly into his term.

Finally, the other day I go out into my back yard, a land that I have loved and nurtured for the over twelve years that I’ve lived here. And what do I see but another pair of surveyors poking around my property. They won’t leave me alone, people.


I was writing for the “other” Delaware political site at the time the first bunch of Beaver Dam residents, nice, nice people….had the builder of that development send me a letter to tear down my fence, it is on their property. At that time it was TWO residents, formerly from New Jersey who moved here and didn’t say Hi, didn’t give me a friendly wave…just sent the authorities in on me. I sent the builder a notice that I had a survey that showed my back fence on my very own lawfully registered property. The fine, fine nice people then sent in the county adjustment guy and he told me if I didn’t tear down my fence by a date specific that Sussex county would tear it down.

This all happened right after my husband died and, indeed, a bunch of those awful, awful surveyors were roaming around my backyard on THE DAY OF MY HUSBAND’S FUNERAL! I sobbed many hours over this, what the hell did I do? I bought the house in 2003, I got a legal survey from the seller, all with a seal from Sussex county indicating it is properly on file somewhere in the Circle.

And so it began. I went to a Sussex county council meeting and told my story. Of course I had already sent the county head of the board of adjustments my own survey and notified both Joan Deaver, my sussex county council rep, and Brian Pettyjohn, my state senator.

The upshot of it all was….well what do you think? Due to a weird configuration of the lots behind me somehow about four of those fine folks from New Jersey’s (did I tell not a single one has ever even said Hi, just sent me papers to tear down my fence?) land abutted my back fence. I had to fight everybody off.

And just when I thought I could go back in the water, just last week ANOTHER set of surveyors are out there tying pretty pink ribbons around the trees behind my fence and driving me crazy.

Why don’t they just take me to court?

I’ll tell you why. My survey is dated 2003. It was accepted as accurate by Sussex county. You don’t get to get a new a pretty survey and over-ride that which already exists.

I do know that the fellow who sold me my house had this lot carved out of a big block of land he owned, including some of the land now owned by those fine New Jersey people. He had this big block of land sub-divided and here my little rectangle piece of land sits, all surveyed, when not a single other person had a legal survey until 2012 when they all began to get new surveys, including my current neighbor who all of a sudden alleges that what shows on my survey as MY fence, was suddenly his.


The oldest division of property rules and this is why none of those fine people from New Jersey have taken me to court except one really terrible guy who threatened but never carried through Because he’d lose, that’s why.

Bear in mind yon gentle reader that we are only talking a few feet of land here, maybe three or four. And the fence my neighbor suddenly says is his is an awful piece of crap that I’d let him have if I didn’t have dogs needing to be kept in.

And now they’re back again, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, will they EVER leave me alone?
I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Picture post. Send me any pics of Delaware or Delaware people you think are interesting. Tune in and also a Tidbit post coming up with some scoop on Fred Silva.

One Comment on "What’s Going on With the Sussex County Council? Come on In for the Scoop-The 3/17/15"

  1. mouse says:

    The health department regulates mobile food vendors..

Got something to say? Go for it!