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Letter: Lower, Slower Delaware slowly fading away

March 15, 2019

This area has been such a beautiful place! Unfortunately, looks like planning and zoning, and Sussex County Council have decided they like standstill traffic, strewn garbage, fields and drain ditches with standing water that never seems to dry up, more than keeping this county beautiful for those who live here. Unchecked residential development, most homes unaffordable to our area workforce, appears to be the chosen new look for Sussex County.

Take a ride down Route 24; hundreds of acres of both farmland and wooded have For Sale signs, Sale Pending signs, Public Hearing signs or are already past that stage, and just waiting for the heavy machinery to move in. Come on down Angola Road and see how many acres of farm and trees were ground up, and are now a huge mud hole as they attempt to create streets and what looks like a gigantic retention pond. They will need it!  All of us have watched the homes on Angola Road lose their property frontage to flooding and standing water. They tried fixing that once but it is a losing battle. The rest of the farmland on Angola is also slated for homes. What a mess!

Drive down Conley’s Chapel Road and see the acres of woods that have already been ground up into mulch, and the rest of the farmland and woods that is pending sale. And how about that construction at the Love Creek Bridge, on a marsh complete with recurrent flooding, mosquitoes, and smell! 

Apparently, per a Gazette article recently, acreage on Robinsonville Road has contaminated soil (mix that with a high water table) and the builder is fighting to be able to use the land anyway by going back to Sussex County Council after planning and  zoning said no. Will this be an investment opportunity for some unsuspecting out-of-towner?

Our agricultural footprint is dwindling as acres of farmland are plowed under and acres of trees, which clean the air and help with drainage, are ground up. Our carbon footprint is huge and growing bigger with each permit issued.

We have no road infrastructure to support this unchecked growth. Traffic lights, roundabouts and turning lanes are not going to fix anything. They are palliative measures talked up to sound like a plan.

What about the standing water everywhere you look? Retention ponds look so pretty and are now the new landscaping solution to areas that flooded before anyone even pours cement. We live in a state with a very high water table, which is a reason for all the swales along the roads. The water never seems to dry up now, and we are adding more cement? They say the ocean is rising. We live on the ocean!

What about all the garbage littering every road, both main roads and back roads? Apparently road cleanup ran out of money, and some residents and visitors ran out of the decency to not litter.

What of the fire and emergency response times as the traffic comes to a standstill? What of the stress on the medical services in the area?

Public hearings do nothing; it is impossible for local residents who live this every day to prevail over big business with deep pockets. The hearings are held because the rules say they have to be held. There is no plan, just financial gain, for some.  

The beach is great, only if you can get to it. How long will the area remain popular once the traffic, garbage, water and mud, and ensuing problems of overdevelopment are noted by outsiders? And those of us who live here will be left with the mess. If you think I am exaggerating, look around.

Sadly, Lower Slower Delaware will soon be gone.

Rosemary Mirocco
Lewes

 

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