Due to power failure, Sussex County postpones ‘special events’ ordinance public hearing

GEORGETOWN – A power failure Tuesday afternoon put Sussex County Council chambers in the dark, resulting in council’s decision to postpone the public hearing on the proposed ‘special events’ ordinance until the New Year.

With a large turnout on hand in council chambers, county council opted to defer the public hearing after finishing other business during an afternoon session disrupted by the power failure.

The outage, which began around 3:15 p.m., affected various portions of downtown Georgetown. Power did not resume until approximately 4:30 p.m.

“For the safety and convenience of the public, the council felt it best to conclude today’s meeting, so we can give this ordinance the fair and complete hearing it deserves,” said Sussex County Administrator Todd F. Lawson. “This matter has garnered a significant amount of interest, and given that it may involve several hours of testimony, the council believed it was appropriate to reschedule the hearing for another date when the chambers would have proper lighting and ventilation. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are hopeful the public understands.”

The ordinance proposal, introduced at Sussex County Council’s Oct. 2 meeting, would amend the current special events provision in the zoning code. The draft would provide a criteria list for the county planning and zoning director in considering an application for a special event.

Criteria consideration includes number of attendees, parcel size, parking requirements, roads/traffic, prior events of the applicant, noise, lights, odor and dust, hours of operation, number of consecutive days and others.

The hearing will be advertised, per state law requirements, and rescheduled as quickly as possible. The new hearing date will likely be in early January 2018.

Sussex County will provide an update when the hearing is rescheduled.

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