A pair of roundabouts on Beaver Dam Road?
If plans for the Anchors Run subdivision are approved by Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission, state transportation officials could require the developer to construct roundabouts at two proposed entrances proposed about 100 yards apart.
Insight Development Company LLC has filed a subdivision application for 265-single-family lots on 133 acres along Beaver Dam Road, south of Hopkins Road and across from Stockley Road.
Following the Sept. 13 public hearing, commissioners unanimously voted to defer a vote to a future meeting.
Roundabouts part of plan
Traffic engineer Betty Tustin, an engineer with the Traffic Group of Baltimore, Md., said roundabouts are safer and require little maintenance. “They help to cut speeds on roadways with minimal delays by keeping traffic constantly moving,” she said, adding the speed limit on roundabouts is usually 25 mph.
She said the roundabouts would help motorists trying to make a left-hand turn out of the development onto heavily traveled Beaver Dam Road. She said average daily traffic on the road is 7,000 vehicles a day. “The roundabouts would easily handle that,” she said.
She said each roundabout should be about 125 feet in diameter, similar to the design of the Zoar Road roundabout near Georgetown.
The developer would also be required to provide funding to the Route 5-Hollymount Road traffic signal project and improvements to the Beaver Dam Road-Hollymount Road intersection.
Tim Willard, the developer's attorney, said a forested section on the parcel would be left undisturbed, and the preliminary site plan includes up to 40-foot forested buffers between neighboring communities.
Average lot size would be 8,750 square feet. Amenities would include a pool, community building, trails and a multi-use sports court.
Willard said, as with most Insight Homes projects, solar power would be used to power lighting and equipment in the recreation area.
Dealing with water issues
Two developments adjacent to the site – Oak Crest Farm and Oak Wood Village – have been plagued with water-related issues.
Insight Homes representative Jack Haese told the commission that the Anchors Run stormwater management system would have enough capacity to help relieve some of the the stormwater issues those communities are having.
In addition, a plan is being worked out to allow the residents of Oak Crest Farm to hook into a new pump station on the Anchors Run parcel to allow their wastewater to flow through the station to the county pipeline along Beaver Dam Road. Haese said the Oak Crest spray-irrigation system is worn out and leaching into a nearby pond
The developer's engineer, Brock Parker, said six to eight linked ponds would capture 100 percent of storm runoff, and it would be pumped out to nearby Branch Creek with a limit of no more than a 1.5 inch rise in the stream.
Public offers concerns
Attorney Dean Betts, who lives in the adjacent Beaver Dam Acres community, acknowledged a meeting residents had with the developer the night before commission's public hearing.
He said many of the residents’ questions and concerns were answered during the meeting.However, he said residents are still concerned about water issues, and they are hopeful Insight Homes will be a good steward.
Henry Glowiak, who has owned property in Beaver Dam Acres since the 1970s, said the only redeeming part of the proposed project is that the existing woods would be left intact. He said infrastructure in the area is already overwhelmed as county officials recently have approved 2,000 new lots. “Beaver Dam Road was a farm road, and now it's an alternate Route 24,” he said.
Glowiak said farms are slowly and systematically disappearing in Sussex County. “I thought you were supposed to protect farming,” he said. “It's still the backbone of the economy on Delmarva.” He told commissioners they need to look at the cumulative effect of development.
Greg Bunting, whose parents once owned the farmland where the development is proposed, said he didn't want 265 neighbors in his backyard. “And two roundabouts 100 yards apart. That sounds like a great idea,” he said sarcastically.
In addition, he said he is well aware of how runoff water flows in the area. “I don't see how they will get water to run uphill,” he said.