Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/970561

Proposed RV park not a good fit

By Dick Snyder | Mar 07, 2013

The “Stop RV City” campaign is not just a not-in-my-backyard effort led by a few people simply banging their pots and pans about the impact on our housing values. Several hundred concerned county residents have spent countless hours doing their homework in developing a compelling set of reasons why this is not a good idea. In fact, it is counter to the criteria spelled out in the county’s comprehensive plan which states: Sussex County encourages appropriate types of development in compatible locations at suitable densities….emphasizing quality of life…”

The developer says it should be approved because it will grow tourism by satisfying a currently under-served market for RV campgrounds in our area (shown to not be true); will bring economic benefits to the county (shown to be significantly less than those of a by-right residential subdivision); generate less traffic than that by-right residential subdivision (also shown to not be true); and do all of this without harming the environment in what has been defined as an environmentally sensitive area by the state of Delaware. If all of this seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The crux of my argument is that even if it were the five-star resort the developer “intends” it to be, it simply doesn’t fit into what is a predominately residential district and apparently will continue to be. In addition to the 15 already-built communities surrounding the proposed site, another 1,400 home sites have been approved within a one-mile radius.

I drive these secondary roads daily and have already noticed an increase in volume at all times of the year. Drivers coming from the west trying to avoid the Five Points intersection on Route 9, frequent backups on Route 24, or who are heading to destinations further south on Route 1 have discovered how convenient it is to use Robinsonville Road, Dairy Farm Road, Kendale Road, Cedar Grove Road, and Plantation Road, all of which are right in the sweet spot of the proposed site. This is a pattern that occurs at all times of the year, but is even worse during the months this RV vity is proposed to be open.

And, there are no DelDOT projects on the books that would offer any relief (I would argue the straightening of the Cedar Grove/Postal intersection won’t help traffic flow as much as improve safety). Adding over-sized Class A and Class B RVs into this mix is a formula for what I have called the perfect storm.

OK, I’m not a home-grown local, but hundreds of other Sussex County residents just like me care a lot about what is going on in the place we have chosen to invest in and make our home. We are concerned about the record growth going on in this county absent a professional county planner who will take a 50,000-foot look at what’s going on and, hopefully, make sure it is less driven by politics and the local old-boy network, and more by the comprehensive plan. We may not be locals, but our tax money is and so is the money we pour into the local economy all year, every year, not just while we’re visiting.

I respect the right of the Townsend dynasty to sell the land they have held for years, but not when it violates my right to “quiet enjoyment.” Surely they have property elsewhere that is better suited for this venture.

Dick Snyder
Lewes

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