Cape Gazette

Sussex must have comprehensive overview

By Mona Schwartz | Mar 14, 2014

Although I was unable to attend the Feb. 13 Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission meeting related to the rezoning of property in Sussex County, I wanted my concerns noted.

I am a resident of Harts Landing on Route 24 and consider myself a realist. When I purchased my home seven years ago, I recognized and fully expected that there would be growth and development in this very desirable location on the eastern shore of Sussex County. However, it was my hope and belief that the growth would take a logical course with consideration of the infrastructure needed to support that growth.

When one examines each of the individual requests for zoning changes before the committee for the areas between Route 24 and Route 1 and the Mulberry Knoll/ Cedar Grove and Ward Road areas, it may appear that each one may have merit. I believe the mistake, and potentially faulty review process if they all get approved, lies with each proposal not being evaluated as part of a more comprehensive overall growth plan. Not viewing each request within this broader scope will ultimately have negative implications for the environment and quality of living for residents and visitors.

When considering growth plans, it is imperative that an evaluation of infrastructure, as it relates to meeting the needs of a growing population, also be completed including traffic implications, road and light requirements, medical support, police and fire department services, etc. Anything short of a comprehensive evaluation, which certainly requires interface between all involved agencies, reflects an approval rather than a planning process and reflects negligence on the part of our elected officials.

The mere consideration to approve the rezoning for a 114 unit housing development at Winswept Stables, a new school adjacent to it on Route 24, and the rezoning of agricultural property to a 600-site RVpark on Ward Road and Cedar Grove Road, which connects to Route 24, without specific plans to install lights, widen roads, implement turning lanes, etc., is unconscionable based on its potential impact on the safety and quality of living of the members of the surrounding community.

I submit this letter in the hope that the individual zoning requests be tabled until a more comprehensive view can be taken and shared amongst all agencies involved to make sure the that decisions are in the best interest of community safety and living.

Mona Schwartz
Harts Landing resident

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