Delaware Park Plan Facing Strong Opposition

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March 6, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

A drawing of the proposed Love Creek RV Resort and Campground, a 628-site park near Lewes, Del., is superimposed on this aerial photo by Ron Arthur for the Cape Gazette.

Sussex County officials are awaiting a review of a traffic impact study by state transportation staff before voting on a proposed RV campground near Lewes, Del. The public record will remain open until comments are received in mid-March and then remain open another 15 days for public comment, the Cape Gazette reported.

Traffic issues have surfaced as one of opponents' major concerns about the campground proposed for a 162-acre parcel off Cedar Grove Road.

Following the Feb. 19 county council public hearing, Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, requested the public record also remain open for the following: to obtain a clarification on what is permitted in the county's campground ordinance; obtain an analysis of tax revenue from other campgrounds; and ask Delaware Department of Transportation why the traffic impact study only considered travel to the site from one direction.

Jack Lingo Asset Management has two applications pending for Love Creek RV Resort and Campground. The developer 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 162-acre parcel would be zoned AR-1. Campgrounds are prohibited in GR zones.

Included on the site plan are 628 camping sites: 516 for recreational vehicles, 30 for tents and another 82 sites for rental cabins. Proposed amenities 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.

The plan has twice been modified based on comments from residents and an environmental expert.

Sussex County Council will vote on the applications following a recommendation from the county's planning and zoning commission.

Traffic Issue Complex

The traffic question is a complex one. The developer says the proposed campground would become a destination for seasonal campers who would park their RVs or travel trailers during the season and take advantage of on-site amenities.

The campground would be open from April 1 to Oct. 31, when all RVs would be removed from sites and stored in a designated area within the park or driven off the property. Nick Hammonds, representing the developer, said RV parks have been successful in the Cape Region. “There is a demand for more sites; occupancy rates have been high,” he said.

He said the plans are for more seasonal rentals than week and weekend rentals, which would reduce transient traffic.

Opponents disagree. They say people would come to the campground to visit the beach and take advantage of shopping and restaurants in the area – therefore creating more traffic on already-congested roads.

“As nice as Love Creek is, it cannot provide entertainment for the estimated 2,500 people who may stay for months at this RV city,” said Charlie Tinacci, a spokesman for a coalition of homeowners associations opposed to the project. “And this will mean increased car traffic throughout the day that is not being considered in the traffic impact study.”

The developer points to proposed road improvements on Cedar Grove Road as part of the traffic impact study.

But opponents say the study is flawed. Tinacci said the developer's traffic impact study focuses only on traffic from the east to the proposed campground. He said most traffic would come from the north and west on roads with no planned improvements. “While the developer does plan to improve a small, straight portion of Cedar Grove Road to the east, the more used and more dangerous portion of the road will remain unimproved and subject motorists to more hazardous conditions,” he said.

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