Many reasons to oppose park restaurant

November 18, 2022

The following letter was sent to Gov. John Carney, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, Parks & Rec Director Ray Bivens, Senator-elect Russ Huxtable, Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf and Lewes Mayor Andrew Williams.

This letter is to register my vehement opposition to the plan for a new restaurant within Cape Henlopen State Park. This plan is wrong on so many levels.

Environmental: disturbance of crucial dunes (“Please stay off the dunes” – DNREC, read your own signs!); increased trash; increased demand for water and treatment of wastewater. 

Ecological: noise pollution and light pollution that will negatively impact the native fauna; the proposed location of the restaurant is within the natural migration pattern of many bird species. 

Traffic/parking: has this actually been studied? Is DNREC aware that the existing parking lot is already insufficient for beach parking on busy summer weekends? Restaurant visitors will compete with beachgoers for limited parking spaces. The many hikers and bikers who enjoy the beautiful trails within the park will be put at risk from the increased traffic within the park. Finally, delivery trucks will cause increased wear and tear on the park roads.

Quality of life: I can imagine not one improvement to quality of life offered by this proposed restaurant. A restaurant within the park is not needed. There are so many wonderful restaurants in the area, starting with the nearby ferry location, including the City of Lewes and the many establishments leading up to and situated on Coastal Highway. This planned restaurant provides no improvement to quality of life. 

Legal: DNREC has an obligation to administer this park for the public benefit. There is no public benefit to this proposal, except for the few who hope to realize financial gains from it.

The development pressure in this area is intense. Farms are falling left and right in favor of new housing developments. Please keep it away from our beautiful and cherished Cape Henlopen State Park. 

For all these reasons, I respectfully request that you oppose this plan and work to prevent its realization.

Suzanne Obusek
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