Nomination aims to fill vacancy on Sussex planning and zoning panel

Bruce Mears

GEORGETOWN — A proposed shuffle could fill one vacancy and create another on leadership boards in Sussex County.

Sussex County Councilman Douglas Hudson at his first meeting Jan. 8 nominated Millville resident J. Bruce Mears for appointment to the county’s planning and zoning commission.

If approved by council, Mr. Mears would move from the county’s board of adjustment to the planning and zoning commission. He would replace Mr. Hudson, who relinquished his P & Z position following election to council.

Meanwhile, at is Tuesday, Jan. 15 meeting, county council officially appointed Bridgeville businessman R. Keller Hopkins to remain on the planning and zoning commission.

Approval was unanimously granted, with council members John Rieley, Irwin “I.G.” Burton III, Mr. Hudson and council president Michael Vincent supporting the recommended appointment tendered by District 2 councilman Samuel Wilson Jr.

Mr. Hopkins, who resides in District 2, was appointed to the five-member commission in November 2016 to fill out the remaining term of Michael Johnson, who resigned several months earlier after serving 11 ½ years on the commission. Mr. Johnson’s term expired in June 2017.

Mr. Hopkins’ current term will run through June 2020. Planning and zoning commission terms are three years.

The nomination of Mr. Mears to the commission triggers a process that will include a public interview at a future county council meeting.

Nominated by then councilman George Cole to represent District 4, Mr. Mears was formally appointed to the board of adjustment, with council’s unanimous approval in September 2017.

Mr. Mears, founder/owner of Bruce Mears Designer-Builder, succeeded Norman “Bud” Rickard, who retired after 5 ½ years on the board of adjustment, a five-member quasi-judicial body that hears individual cases regarding requests for variances or special use exceptions to Sussex County Code.

BOA members are appointed for three-year terms.

R. Keller Hopkins

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