Planning Commission Further Mulls Highway Development

Cape Charles Wave

December 12, 2013

The Cape Charles Planning Commission and Northampton County planning and zoning staff continue to refine ideas about future development outside of Cape Charles on Stone Road (184) and Route 13.

Cape Charles Planning Commission reviewed ideas December 10 for how to influence development outside the town limits, including at the intersection of Route 13 and 184, which under the proposed changes to the Northampton County Zoning Ordinance would be zoned commercial.

At a recent County information meeting, Northampton Director of Development Charles McSwain asked Cape Charles Councilman Frank Wendell what he thought about having commercial enterprises at the Cape Charles traffic light that could potentially direct visitors into Cape Charles. Wendell replied that he would rather see commercial activity in the shuttered Meatland building just inside town.

The County Comprehensive Plan notes that residents are concerned about the level of commercial development on Route 13 at key intersections. The Plan says that while Route 13 has typically served through-travelers, residents are concerned that too much commercial development along the highway will create congestion, compete with commercial activities in the towns, and fundamentally alter the character of the rural “view from the road.”

The Plan also recognizes that Route 13 sits atop the prime recharge area for the County’s sole-source aquifer and ground-water supply. And it noted residents’ opposition to the extension of any Interstate road corridor running from Delaware to South Carolina, seeing it as detrimental to the County’s economy and way of life based on its natural resources and farming and maritime industries.

Planning Commission suggestions for managing commercial development coming into Cape Charles do not reflect either the County or the Town Comprehensive Plans (both of which call for encouraging development within the Town). The Planning Commission has discussed these suggestions off and on since 2010, but their origin is unclear, as they do not originate from the Comprehensive Plan or from the Annexation Agreement. [Read more…]


THURSDAY 12/12: Coastal Research Center Holiday Open House

The staff at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center invites you and your family to join us for our Open House 4-8 p.m. Thursday, December 12. [Read more…]