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Northstar Nightmare on Nine II

Northstar by the Numbers

● 431 acres between Route 9 and Beaver Dam Road
       o Straddles both Beaver Dam and Mulberry Knoll Extension
       o 28 acres of forest, 5 acres to be removed
       o 19.5 acres of non-tidal wetland

● Area: .625 square mile,
       ○ Geographically larger than South Bethany (.5 square miles),
           Dewey (.3 square miles), and Henlopen Acres (.3 square miles).

● Traffic: +13,359 vehicle trips per day.

● Zoning: Now AR-1 in the Coastal Area,

      o Seek AR-1, C3 (12 acres), MR (8 acres)

● Projected: 852 residential units
      ▪ 758 single family units
      ▪ 94 multi-family “Affordable”, Includes Gov’t funds, deed
         and/or income eligibility restrictions.”
● Population:
     o If 2,130 residents, Northstar will be 4x more populous than
        South Bethany, 17x more populous than Henlopen Acres, and 6x
        more populous than Dewey.
     o Will add approximately 2102 school age children to the CHSD

● Commercial space: +96,000 sf
    o Businesses unknown
    o Required Parking unknown, not accounted for in Preliminary
       Site Plan.
    o Excellent Groundwater Recharge area to be largely paved over
       by commercial parking.
    o Commercial area is located near a wellhead.

1 Delaware households =3.08, Used a conservative multiplier of 2.5 x 852 residential units = 2130
2 Used primary residential rate as CSC @ 55%. 2130x.55=1,172 primary residents. Primary
residents x factor .18 used for CSC = 210


Position Statement - Northstar

Sussex Preservation Coalition (SPC) opposes the proposal for a mixed-use development between Route 9 and Beaver Dam Road to be known as NorthStar. Included in this proposal are requests to rezone 12 acres from AR-1 to C-3 and for a conditional use permit of MR for 8 acres to accommodate multifamily units.  SPC supports mixed-used communities as one effective means for lessening sprawl and for providing healthy, walkable communities.  SPC supports such communities when built in accordance with County and State investment strategies and plans; in areas with sufficient infrastructure to support a large community; with sufficient environmental protections; and when designed well. NorthStar meets few of those conditions.


SPC opposes NorthStar for multiple reasons, including the following:

  • Highway infrastructure. Plans remain unclear for Beaver Dam Road and Mulberry Knoll Extension which run through residential areas east-west and north-south.

  • Safety. Both Beaver Dam Rd and Mulberry Knoll Extension are and will be heavily traveled, threatening the safety of pedestrians and cyclists residing in NorthStar. Directly contrary to the purpose of a master plan community.

  • Inappropriate zoning. Developer requests C-3 zoning for the 96,000 square foot commercial area to provide maximum flexibility in attracting tenants. C-3 would allow a wide range of businesses to locate next to a high-density residential area, including car lots, convenience stores/gas stations, self-storage facilities, warehouses, and manufacturing.

  • Sequestered housing. Workforce housing will not be integrated with the larger community. It will have a separate name, a different developer, and separate amenities. Will establish undesirable precedent for master plan communities.

  • Traffic. Traffic on Route 9 is now 15,000 vehicle trips (VT) daily. NorthStar will generate 13,359 daily VT, nearly doubling the already heavy traffic on Route 9 and creating potentially unsafe conditions for motorists.

  • Uninspected environmental threats. State agencies requested opportunities to inspect potential damage to environmentally sensitive areas and habitats, the presence of endangered species, and damage to mature trees. The developer refused access, arguing that their own experts’ opinions are adequate.


We urge the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission to recommend denial, and the Sussex County Council to deny the applications for NorthStar.

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