Sussex must vote against RV park

January 18, 2013

I am writing this letter in reference to the proposed RV resort and campground in the Ward Road/Cedar Grove Road area. I have reviewed the Plus report and also studied the site plan available in the zoning office. Being a full time resident of Lewes and a homeowner in one of the communities which border the project, I have several concerns regarding the development of this plan.

First and foremost is the negative impact this campground will have on Love Creek and the Hetty Fisher Glade wetlands and the surrounding woodland areas that encompass this parcel. A project of this magnitude which includes the construction of roads, buildings, lots, pools, docks, pavilions, the running of underground electrical wiring, and the addition of septic and water components would involve the removal of a great deal of existing forest and plant life, thus displacing and destroying much of the wildlife that make this their home.

Native plants and grasses along with marine wildlife which border the glade and creek would also be effected by the continual use of these waterways for recreational purposes. Also, the run-off pollution from the campsites would have a negative impact on the integrity of the wetlands and its natural habitat.

Water quality in these areas must be preserved to best protect and ensure continued growth of the existing wildlife population that live in these waters and on the land; and for that reason, the location of this RV resort is not a good fit for the area.

Secondly, the impact that this project would have on the current traffic situation in the area is of major concern. The development of this site would add more then 600 (that is a conservative number knowing that some sights will have two allotted parking spaces) vehicles that would use the small back roadways to get to and from the campground, beaches, restaurants and shops; thus making a bad situation even worse.

Currently, on any given afternoon during the season, the traffic going north on Route 24 toward Route 1 is backed up from Plantation Road and down Route 24 for at least a mile. Because of this, traffic will bypass Route 24 by using Mulberry Knoll Road to go north onto Cedar Grove which then causes a backup there, creating delays on Cedar Grove Road.

The intersecting roads at Cedar Grove Road, Plantation Road and Postal Road can be hazardous during the season due to the growing number of cars traveling in several different directions. The addition of this campground would only compound the existing traffic dilemma. Also, we need to consider the exhaust emissions that would pollute our air from the additional traffic flow.

Finally, I would like to address the site plan of the resort itself. It is large....very large! It could accommodate well over 2,000 people at any given time, depending on the amount occupied by each unit. That is a great number of vacationers in a very condensed area. Also, according to the site plan, the piece of land which borders Love Creek and Hetty Fisher Glade would be comprised of 200 RV lots, a pool, an amphitheater, a dock, a bar and spaces for parking. This particular piece of land narrows out at the point, and is surrounded by water on both sides. Knowing that sound is magnified as it travels across water, noise coming from this area would be invasive and create a major issue to the communities and homes which border the site. For that reason, building a bar, amphitheater, and parking lot toward the end of the point would not be conducive to that particular area.

There are many beautiful campgrounds in our local area that can comfortably accommodate RVs and campers and also offer a wide array of amenities to anyone who would like to visit our lovely beach towns. Adding another campground, especially one of this size, at the proposed location would not be advantageous to the surrounding area.

With all that being said, I am asking the commissioners to consider how this project would jeopardize the sustainability of our forests and wetlands, and ask them to help minimize the potential for additional "resort sprawl" in rural areas by voting against the zoning change and against the conditional land use application set forth by the Jack Lingo Assessment Management Corporation.

Knowing that the Lingo and Townsend families have grown up here and make their homes in these beautiful resort towns, I would also ask that they and their asset management team reevaluate their plans for this area and consider permanent preservation alternatives to the forest and wetlands bordering Love Creek and Hetty Fisher Glade. It is the right thing to do!

Lorrie Falkinburg

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