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Residents rally to protest RV park
County council hearing set for Feb. 19
By Ron MacArthur | Feb 13, 2013
Photo by: Ron MacArthur Area residents walk to Love Creek during a protest rally against a proposed RV campground.
About 100 people rallied along the shores of Love Creek near Lewes on a cold Saturday morning to oppose a proposed RV campground.
Residents from more than 10 communities in the area took part in the Feb. 9 rally at the Briarwood Estates clubhouse off Route 24. Many appeared with “Stop RV City” signs and chanted that slogan throughout the rally.
Plans to develop a 162-acre campground for RVs, tents and cabins have been submitted to Sussex County officials. Jack Lingo Asset Management has two applications pending for Love Creek RV Resort and Campground off Cedar Grove Road between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Lingo is asking for a conditional use and a zoning change from GR, general-residential district, to AR-1, agricultural residential, for 74 acres of the parcel. If approved, the entire parcel would be zoned AR-1. Campgrounds are prohibited in GR zones.
Included on the site plan filed with the county's planning and zoning department are 628 camping sites, including 516 for recreational vehicles, 30 for tents and another 82 sites for rental cabins. Within the resort are an amphitheater/chapel, welcome center, fitness center, laundry, clubhouse, general store, several pavilions and paddle boat launches, canoe outfitter, pumping station, swimming ponds, pools and RV storage.
Sussex County Planning and Zoning commissioners have deferred on a recommendation to county council, which has scheduled a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the county administration building on The Circle in Georgetown.
Following the indoor rally, with signs in hand, the group left the warmth of the Briarwood clubhouse to see the location of a proposed dock and canoe, kayak launch area included on the project's site plan. Several Briarwood homes would be across the creek from the site.
Neil Trugman, president of the Briarwood Estates Homeowners Association, said opponents should focus on the lack of infrastructure in the area and not dwell on the pros and cons of RVs and campgrounds.
“This county needs smart growth with the infrastructure improved first,” he said. “We are not against RVs. It's the infrastructure that needs to be better whether there are 500 homes or 600 RVs.”
In letters and emails to the county and during testimony, residents have complained about the area's narrow roads with no shoulders. The scope of the project is also a concern.
Paul Hammersfahr, president of The Retreat at Love Creek Homeowners Association, said once the campground was built out, there could be as many as 2,000 to 3,000 people at the site.
Hammersfahr read a letter from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O'Mara reiterating the department's position that the 162-acre parcel should be permanently protected from development because of its proximity to Love Creek.
“The question is do we want quality of life or quantity of life?” Hammersphar asked. He urged as many people as possible to write letters and send emails to be placed on the public record. So far, he said, more than 600 people have signed petitions in opposition to the project.
Nick Hammonds, representing the developer, said plans have been modified based on residents' comments, including additional buffers and the relocation of cabin sites and an entrance off Ward Road. In addition, the developer will be required to make improvements to Cedar Grove Road.
“I think we've addressed the main concerns,” Hammonds said. “I think some people make up their minds from the get-go, and it doesn't matter what you do.”
He said the public will hear basically the same presentation at the Feb. 19 county council hearing that was given to the planning and zoning commission.
He repeated what was said during the planning and zoning commission hearing on traffic concerns expressed by residents. As the parcel is currently zoned, on the GR zoned portion, the developer could build up to 322 homes or develop a manufactured home park and on the AR-1 zoned portion, another 190 homes could be constructed. “Traffic would be far more intense with residential development compared to a seasonal campground,” Hammonds said. “It's not a residential subdivision with traffic constantly coming and going. I think this gets overlooked.”
Protected from the chill, Emily Rose Crimmins of Lewes wears a sign in protest of a proposed RV campground along Cedar Grove Road. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Neil Trugman, president of Briarwood Estates Homeowners Association, tells residents that infrastructure should be in place before development occurs. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Terri Kordal, left, and Chris Eggert stand on a Love Creek dock to express their opinion about the proposed project. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
WMDT 47, Delmarva's Choice - Love Creek Residents Rally Against Proposed RV City
Listen to an interview with Paul Hammesfahr, President of the Retreat of Love Creek Home Owners Association, on 88.3 Coastal Connection.
County officials ask residents opposed to the RV project to raise their hands. More than 100 people were counted.
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Jason Beale of the Delaware Nature Society explained that there are rare species that call a pond on the property home. There are only 5 or less locations for these animals in Delaware – and they are also endangered in New York, New Jersey, Maryland & Virginia and the Welch’s Pond population is believed to be the highest of the known populations in Delaware.
Traffic and other environmental concerns, noise and safety were the primary issues raised by the over 100 area residents who showed up in opposition to the planned 628 unit RV development - which includes not only RVs, but cabins and tents, as well as amenities like an amphitheater, dock and dockside bar, paddle boats, general store, laundry center and more.
County planners have not made a recommendation on the Change of Zone or Conditional Use applications by the developer. The record remains open for written comment until 15 days after the announced receipt of DelDOT’s comments on the Traffic Impact Study. Another public hearing before the County Council will be held February 19.
A 162-acre property on Love Creek, west of Lewes, will have everything the modern RV camper could want: swimming pools, a fitness club, water views, p...
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Campground proposed for 74-acre parcel near Love Creek
By Ron MacArthur | Jan 25, 2013
Photo by: Ron MacArthur Residents of The Retreat at Love Creek have put up a sign in opposition to a proposed campground near their community.
Area residents who oppose a proposed RV park near Lewes are mounting a campaign in preparation for public hearings before Sussex County officials. Michael Weiss, media coordinator for the group, StopRVCity, said hundreds of people have signed petitions, written letters and emails to county officials and distributed flyers to rally support against the project.
In addition, Weiss said, residents have set up a website regarding the project at stopRVCity.webnode.com.
Plans to develop a 162-acre campground for RVs, tents and cabins have been submitted to Sussex County officials. Jack Lingo Asset Management has two applications pending for Love Creek RV Resort and Campground off Ward and Cedar Grove roads between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Lingo is asking for a conditional use and a zoning change from GR, general-residential district, to AR-1, agricultural residential, for 74 acres of the parcel. If approved, the entire parcel would be zoned AR-1. Campgrounds are prohibited in GR zones.
Included on the site plan filed with the county's planning and zoning department are 620 camping sites, including 451 for recreational vehicles, 20 for tents and another 149 sites for rental cabins. Within the resort are an amphitheater/chapel, welcome center, fitness center, laundry, clubhouse, general store, several pavilions and paddle boat launches, canoe outfitter, pumping station, swimming ponds, pools and RV storage.
Speaking for the group, Paul Hammesfahr, president of The Retreat at Love Creek Homeowners Association, said the project is inconsistent with the surrounding communities and will harm the environment.
The developers privately invited area residents to a Dec. 27 meeting in Lewes. “We thought it would be better to introduce the project this way prior to people getting a public notice and getting surprised by it,” said Nick Hammond with Jack Lingo Asset Management.
Hammond said developers looked at residential options for the parcel before settling on a campground. “After some financial modeling, this project made sense,” he said. “It's a great site for this type of use with Love Creek and the proximity to the beaches and shopping.”
The planning and zoning commission public hearing was scheduled for Jan. 24 and the county council public hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the county administration building on The Circle in downtown Georgetown.
The file on the project is available to the public in the county administration building's planning and zoning office on The Circle in downtown Georgetown from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Read today's article on the Love Creek RV and Resort Campground.
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