Activists protest the planned Coral Lakes subdivision on Georgetown Circle
GEORGETOWN, Del. – If you walked around Georgetown Circle on Tuesday afternoon, you probably saw a group holding signs and collecting horns of support. Their mission: to call for an end to what they call overdevelopment in Sussex County. “We are here specifically for a proposed development – a cluster subdivision just outside Lewes called Coral Lakes,” said Jill Hitch of Sussex Preservation Group (SGP).
This development includes 115 new homes, which means the clear cutting of 110 acres of trees. SGP members say the loss of these trees could mean the loss of healthy wetlands, important wildlife habitat, and the erosion of water and air quality. “I think you need balance. There must be the interest of the developer and the landowner. But, there must also be the interest of the greater community. I see it’s underrepresented,” protester Judy Bresler said.
Previously, the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission halted development of the planned Coral Lakes neighborhood. But the developers appealed the decision. Hicks says it renewed the SGP’s urgency to keep fighting. “We hope they will confirm the refusal of the Planning and Zoning Commission. We would like to see an end to this irresponsible app,” she said.
According to SGP, it is not just the Coral Lakes project that threatens the environment and the citizens of Sussex County. As other developments continue to flourish in coastal Delaware, Bresler says she wants residents to do more than just protest; but be very careful and voice their opposition at the polls. “Unless that translates into votes or people signing petitions or coming here for that kind of thing or contacting their reps and letting them know how they feel, then they’re invisible,” Bresler said.
Sussex County Council is due to meet on May 24 and address the issue. SGP says that’s when they hope to meet the developers face-to-face, so they can tackle the conversation head-on. “I know there is a lot of anxiety and even anger about what seems to be an uncontrollable development. We can get involved in different ways,” Hitch said.
47 ABC contacted Sussex County Council Chairman Michael Vincent for comment, but he did not respond. 47 ABC has also contacted the Sussex County Public Information Officer. He replied, “The county does not discuss pending land use applications awaiting decisions by the county council and/or the planning and zoning commission.”