Jimtown residents divided over sidewalk, sewer plan

Some still oppose nearby Coastal Club development
June 4, 2014
Assistant Sussex County Attorney Vince Robertson explains the offers by Coastal Club to Jimtown Road residents at a resident meeting inside Faith Belltown United Methodist Church. BY TAGGART HOUCK

Story Location:
Lewes  Delaware  19958
United States

A meeting to discuss community upgrades offered to Jimtown residents by the developer of a neighboring community was interrupted when some residents instead opposed the development.

Property owners and residents along Jimtown Road gathered May 20 at Faith Belltown United Methodist Church to consider a proposal from Coastal Club LLC to pay fees for Jimtown residents to hook up to Sussex County-operated sewer and water lines and to fund other improvements including a sidewalk and streetlights.

Coastal Club, a 630-home community approved just west of Lewes, was approved in 2005 but is not yet built. Developer Coastal Club LLC has offered to build a sidewalk on one side of Jimtown Road and streetlights every 100 feet from Beaver Dam Road to Goslee Creek, a distance of about 2,500 feet.

More than 35 people attended the meeting, but no decisions were made.

Rose Allen is not a Jimtown Road property owner but said her grandmother is. Allen used the meeting to oppose the development, and she did not hold back.

“We've been here for 200 years, and all the sudden you discover Jimtown,” she said. “If you really cared, then don't say you're doing us a favor.”

Allen later said that she doesn’t believe the residents will have a say in what will happen. During the meeting, she continued to oppose the development, until resident Micheal Miller Sr. asked her to be quiet, drawing comments in Allen's defense.

Miller owns four properties along the road and said he favors accepting the streetlights, sidewalk and sewer connections.

“Some people weren't trying to hear the presenters and wanted to rehash the old stuff that was hashed out a while ago,” Miller later said.

In response to Allen's concerns, Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson said Jimtown residents will vote on streetlights and the sidewalk.

“The law says the residents do have a choice. It's up to the residents to choose if they want sidewalks and streetlights,” he said.

As to water and sewer hookups, Lawson said the developer and the county will not require anyone to hook up. Individuals will decide for themselves whether to hook up or maintain private septic systems.

Lawson also said emotions are a part of the process, and he acknowledged the need for another meeting. A date for a future meeting has not yet been set.

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