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Court overturns zoning decision allowing homeless shelter

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(AP) — Plans to establish a homeless shelter in southern Delaware have hit a snag after a judge ruled that a local government board erred in granting a special-use exception to zoning laws.

The judge late last week overturned a decision by Sussex County’s Board of Adjustment clearing the way for the proposed Immanuel Shelter home in Lewes.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by area residents who oppose the project.

In approving the proposed shelter, the adjustment board compared it to a “tourist home.” The county code defines a tourist home as a dwelling having no more than six rental rooms for guests.

The judge said a homeless shelter does not fit the definition of a tourist home, noting that people would be staying there would not be paying rent.

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