Beg to differ on Overbrook Town Center

June 19, 2014

As a resident of Red Fox Run I take exception to your position that “with its Route 1 location - this proposal raises fewer traffic concerns than other large projects in Delaware’s Cape Region often face.” Your reporter Ron MacArthur has done a great job of keeping the public up to date on the proposed Overbrook Towne Center.

The site plan that was in your June 6 issue indicates a preliminary traffic flow that will create a major bottleneck on Route 1 at Cave Neck Road. This plan calls for all southbound Route 1 traffic headed for OTC to make a right turn onto Cave Neck Road and then left onto the overpass. All northbound Route 1 traffic headed to go west on Cave Neck Road to Milton must go into OTC, make two right turns, then go onto the overpass and then make a left onto Cave Neck Road. All traffic on Cave Neck Road to go south on Route 1 will have to fight the overpass flow and the traffic coming from Route 1 onto Cave Neck. Cave Neck traffic to go north on Route 1 will have to use the overpass into OTC.

Traffic flowing past Red Fox Run is usually going 50-70 mph. This traffic will come to a halt in the right lane since there is no room to put an exit ramp onto Cave Neck. Cave Neck Road will be one mass of confused drivers. The proposed overpass will be within 150 feet of existing homes in Paynter’s Mill. In my opinion, within the limitations of the private land to be used for the overpass, there is no safe solution to the traffic problems.

The land to be used for this center sits on an aquifer that has “excellent” water quality. There are several hundred homes and farms on the north side of Cave Neck Road and both sides of Route 1 that have private wells and septic systems that could be compromised from the daily wastes from thousands of vehicles being parked in this center. In addition, the wastes will end in the marshes to the east of Route 1.

Logic would say that the rezoning of the land to commercial-residential makes no sense. The Nassau Vineyards Center on Route 9 is an example of what could happen to this center. Clear the land, have the center go bankrupt, and thousands of viewers every day will be looking at empty parking lots and empty stores. If this center gets approved - all Route 1 users can expect the traffic to start backing up at Route 16 and add additional time to get to the Delaware beaches. For all those homeowners along Cave Neck Road and all the daily commuters and other towns - let Sussex County Council, your state representative, state senator and our governor know that this pristine farmland should not be destroyed for a shopping center that is not needed in Sussex County.

Charles Lee
Red Fox Run

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