Coral Lakes is a test for Sussex County Council
The following letter was sent to Sussex County Council with a copy sent to the Cape Gazette for publication.
It is now well known that the residents of Sussex County have had enough of the uncontrolled development of recent years that has resulted in the destruction of cornfields and forests, exploded the amount of traffic on our roads, and generally degraded our quality of life. One only has to read past issues of the Cape Gazette and social media to verify that this is true.
On March 10, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission denied the application by Schell Brothers to clear-cut 110 acres of forest and build 315 homes on 152 acres (including wetlands) off Robinsonville Road, known as the Coral Lakes cluster development. This came after much public opposition, and after deliberation and two deferrals of this decision by the commission. In the end, the commission made the correct decision to deny this development.
As is their right, Schell Brothers has now appealed this decision to Sussex County Council. This now requires council to either confirm the commission’s denial of this subdivision or accept the developer’s spurious argument and overturn that decision.
I would hope the council in its deliberations takes note of the fact that the application for this subdivision did not meet many of the county’s own requirements for approval of such developments. Moreover, and because the council is an elected body, I would hope that it will take note of the already significant and rising opposition to such developments by the residents/voters of Sussex County, and confirm with finality the commission’s denial of this application.
Finally, and as has already been suggested by some Sussex County residents (including in letters to the editor of the Cape Gazette), I would urge Schell Brothers to demonstrate their stated commitment as “good stewards of the environment” and consider donating the Coral Lakes property to the state to be preserved for the enjoyment of current and future generations of residents and wildlife.