Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sussex County Council adopts revised "special events" ordinance

Delaware Public Media
The Sussex County Council OK’d a revised “special events” ordinance this week - after more than a year of haggling over what it would look like.";s:3:

The Sussex County Council approved a new “special events” ordinance this week.


The Sussex County Council has been working for more than a year to draft an update to the County’s “special events” requirements, and delayed a vote on it in January to revise and clarify the rules further.

The Council adopted a final revised version of the ordinance this week. The update was approved by a 3-2 vote.

The rules focus on events like carnivals, races and rodeos held at sites where they don’t normally take place. The goal is to keep these occasional events from becoming permanent deviations from a property’s permitted use.

“It took us over a year to get there, but listening to the public feedback, the County Council finally adopted the amended “special events” ordinance. This isn’t a new ordinance; the “special events” ordinance has its roots all the way back to the ‘90’s when the Council back then started looking at how to oversee the unique special events that take place throughout Sussex County,” said Sussex County administrator Todd Lawson.

He says the updated ordinance offers a clearer definition of a special event and the land use review and permitting process required to hold one. It also streamlines how to coordinate providing public safety services, such as police, EMS and transportation crews needed for larger and longer events.


“This recent initiative was to clarify the ordinance and to make sure that folks knew who should come in and apply and who shouldn’t; who does not really fall within this “special events” ordinance….groups like VFW’s, fire companies, American Legions, schools and etcetera.”

The update keeps the limit on special events permitted on a property each calendar year at three.


To view a copy of the adopted ordinance, click here.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.