County council should stand with P&Z’s Osprey Point decision

September 15, 2023

I am a neighbor of the Osprey Point residential development and am writing to express my strong opposition to the creation of a restaurant, bar and/or commercial marina inside our quiet residential neighborhood. After due diligence, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to deny a developer’s application to build these facilities. I urge Sussex County Council to concur with that wise decision. 

In line with what was found by P&Z, I have several objections to the developer’s application: 

1. Increased noise: The applicant plans to have bands and other amplified music at the site until 9 p.m., seven days a week. Like others who have chosen to live near Old Landing Road, I cherish the quiet of our neighborhood. The sound coming from the restaurant/bar will be invasive and inescapable, particularly for those at the southern end of Old Landing Road. There is no sound ordinance in Sussex County, and so there will be no legal recourse. Still, I expect there will be numerous calls to our local police to beg them to put a stop to the noise. 

2. Reduced traffic safety: Old Landing Road is a two-lane, winding, dead-end road that has already been plagued with multiple traffic accidents, many resulting from alcohol-impaired driving. Adding a bar at the end of this road will obviously multiply this problem. Any waterfront restaurant – like Paradise Grill – will attract patrons from far beyond the neighborhood and turn our once country road into an endless line of traffic, with additional delivery trucks and garbage trucks, as well as private cars. The sheer amount of additional traffic will endanger bicyclists, pedestrians and cars entering and exiting local neighborhoods.

3. Convenience and necessity: There is no necessity for a commercial enterprise in our neighborhood. Multiple restaurants and bars are already at the junction of Old Landing Road and Route 1 in appropriate commercial areas. The restaurants range from fine dining such as Michy’s to quick lunch spots like Hammy’s and everything in between: Agave, Fin’s, Moe’s, Pete’s Steak Shop, Poke’s, two Chinese takeouts, Miyagi’s, Minh’s Bistro, Rosenberg’s Deli and more. For many living on or near Old Landing Road, these venues are closer to home than the proposed new restaurant would be. 

4. Harm to the environment: The proposed site adjoins important creeks and wetlands that would inevitably be harmed by the comings and goings of motorized boats. Denying permission for the proposed marina will help protect the natural environment that we all enjoy and depend upon.  

I implore all of our county council members to keep our residential neighborhood residential, to spare us from unwanted noise and traffic and to protect our fragile environment. Stand with the considered decision of P&Z and deny the application for restaurant, bar and marina. Thank you.

Leslie Calman
Rehoboth Beach
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