Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/970152

Reader thinks editorial missed the mark

By Jim Schneider | Mar 07, 2013

I am writing to take exception to the March 1 editorial in support of the Love Creek RV resort and campground. The writer simply glosses over serious concerns about safety risks and demands on infrastructure services that will result from the project. The increase in traffic caused by the development won’t just be an inconvenience to area residents, it could be life threatening. There’s no doubt that traffic congestion will dramatically affect the response time for our police, EMS and firefighters.

If one looks to the future, there are already nine additional communities in the area approved by the council, meaning an increase of 1,400 building lots. This proposed RV development would add an additional 628 lots - an increase of 45 percent above all nine communities combined in one densely populated community. Over the last 10 years in Sussex County, there has been a 15 percent increase in demand for paramedics and a 35 percent increase in 911 calls. With the Lewes/Rehoboth area being the fastest growing area in the county, the stress on our services will be exorbitant once all the other communities are developed.

When this resort plans to operate in the high demand summer season, the EMS handles twice as many calls as those that occur than during other times of the year. With the increase in seasonal traffic congestion, the result can only be a serious impediment to the response time for our voluntary fire departments. The risk to our citizens and vacationers will be increased and, no doubt, more injuries and fatalities will be the inevitable result.

From a personal experience, I know that Hart’s Landing has had two houses burn completely to the ground in the last year and half. The fire company did the best it could do in getting to the fire and keeping other houses from catching fire. However, I also know that, if the fire department had been delayed due to increased traffic congestion, an adjacent house would also have caught fire.

Having campfires in a campground is a popular thing to do. Most of the surrounding communities have a ban on open fires. But if open fires are allowed in this campground with such dense population, it will only increase the risk of fire in the area - and the threat to the surrounding population. And if there is a fire, there is only one entrance and exit to the resort community creating a bottleneck for fire trucks to enter and vacationers to leave.

Another safety issue concerns the months of operation of the proposed development and its impact on our schoolchildren. This RV resort will be open for four-and-a-half months when our schools will be open. We are concerned that the increased traffic threatens the safety of our students, teachers, parents, community members and staff entering and exiting Beacon Middle School on Route 24. School buses stop and pick up students from all our communities on Cedar Grove, Route 24, Plantation, Robinsonville Road and Mulberry Knoll Road. And the increase in huge RVs and related traffic traveling on these back roads gives us safety concerns.

The population of the Lewes/Rehoboth area increases dramatically by 50 percent during the summer months, which is not news to any of us. Putting in an RV campground off of many back roads will compound the difficulty in evacuations in case of emergencies such as hurricanes. The proposed campground has only one entrance/exit point, and we worry what will happen if the campground needs to evacuate large RVs quickly through that one exit. Once they hit the roads, these large vehicles could easily back up and clog the small back roads creating a safety hazard for the entire area’s population.

None of these issues was raised in the editorial, and if they were, I believe your readers would be more inclined to oppose this dangerous development to our community. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jim Schneider
vice president, Hart’s Landing Homeowners Association
Lewes

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