Stop unbridled growth in Sussex County

October 8, 2019

I read with great interest the letter to the editor in the Sept. 10 edition of the Cape Gazette by Stephen Groo and Andrew L. Herrick. I would ask that all members of the council read both letters. 

Mr. Groo voiced the feelings of many residents of Eastern Sussex County that the unbridled growth must stop. He gave a great example of a county in Maryland that was in a similar growth pattern and the county leaders listened to the residents, and took bold action to reduce the growth pace and worked out a compromise with developers and landowners.  

The Maryland county instituted farmland preservation, passed regulations that made developers responsible for the full cost of infrastructure improvements, especially expansion of roadways, intersection improvements and other changes necessary to absorb the impact of increased population.  Everything our council has not done over the years. 

The regulations referenced in Mr. Groo’s letter sounded like an adequate public facilities ordinance that many counties in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey have adopted to slow down growth to a manageable level.  Again, something our council has not done. 

With the exception of Mr. Burton, who has tried to introduce common sense changes to help get our growth under control, very little action has been taken to reduce the growth rate.  Instead, new developments continue to be approved one after the other.  An example of another unneeded project is the development proposed for Log Cabin Road and Hudson Road.  Over 400 homes in this area is a disaster due to loss of open space, overburden of roads and utilities, etc. Please register my disapproval of this project.

You have heard the voices of the people to take action, and ensure infrastructure is in place before development, but we are so far behind, we will never catch up without council taking action to slow development.

Again, I ask council to read Mr. Groo’s letter and all the other letters in the Cape Gazette pleading for a major slowdown in the pace of development. I would also like to remind letter writers to ensure that the council sees their letters to the editor by emailing copies to them at the Sussex County website (

I also ask the council to please take the bold actions needed to stop the destruction of Eastern Sussex County.  Please stand up to the developers and large landowners. Please listen to your constituents. 

James LaBella


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