Nicola Family Pizza Restaurant is a step closer to moving from Rehoboth Boulevard to Lewes after the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved its preliminary site plan Thursday night.
The plan shows a two-story restaurant at 17501 Coastal Highway in Lewes. It included 144 parking spaces, a deck and other site improvements on the 1.86-acre lot.
“This preliminary site plan complies with the Sussex County Zoning Code and the requirements of the Combined Highway Corridor Overlay Zone,” said Jamie Whitehouse, director of Planning and Zoning . “Staff is waiting on agency approvals.”
The design includes a cross blanket access easement that allows vehicles to enter and exit through a parking lot that connects to two hotels, Savannah Road and Route 1 via a parking lot owned by the restaurant.
Kim Hoey Stevenson, a member of the commission, asked if it was possible for the owners of Nicola’s to ask if they could interconnect with a nearby Arby’s. The traffic light by the fast food restaurant connects with Savannah Road.
“It would just be safer for people to go out where the light is,” Hoey Stevenson said. “I understand that it would be up to Arby’s to say ‘yeah, sure, great,’ but it just seems like that makes it a better option for people getting in and out of the restaurant.”
Whitehouse said he would include that request in the documentation provided to the restaurant owners.
After nearly 50 years in downtown Rehoboth, Nicola Pizza announced in August 2020 that they would be moving their Rehoboth Beach location to Coastal Highway near Five Points.
Nick Caggiano Sr., who founded the restaurant with his late wife, Joan, in 1971 and now operates it with his son, Nick Jr., purchased a storage facility located next to Ocean One Plaza, which is already owned by the Caggianos.
They hope to have the new location open by the fall of 2021.
Here are the two diagrams the planning commission looked at Thursday night.