Love Creek’s ‘RV City’ Plan ‘Just Does Not Fit’
Editor’s Note: The following Letter to the Editor of the Cape Gazette, Lewes, Del., was provided by William Baydalla of Lewes and concerns the proposed Love Creek RV Resort Park and Campground under debate in that community.
This Thursday, Aug. 22, after seven months of debate since the initial hearing on the Lingo/Townsend applications to build an RV City, the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commissioners must exercise its responsibility and vote on the proposed Love Creek RV Resort Park and Campground. The reasons for denial are overwhelming. One can simply go to the website www.StopRvCity.webnode.com to view the summary of objections or look up the 54 fact-filled letters to the Cape Gazette editor.
One of the many themes from the opposition can be summed up as follows: It just does not fit! The proposed RV development is not in character with the surrounding adjacent area. There are no RV parks or similar commercial tourist-type ventures within miles. There are many housing communities in multiple directions that either one must pass to reach the entry of the proposed RV project or are neighbors on the shoreline of Love Creek. There are several housing developments with the potential of adding an additional 1,000-plus homes which have already been approved. An RV city plopped among these residential communities “just does not fit.”
In evaluating this RV city, the commissioners can refer back to their own comments on other projects in establishing precedence on the suitability of this kind of development in the proposed area.
In his comments recommending denial of the Castaways Bethany RV campground applications, Commissioner Rodney Smith noted that rezoning is necessary to accomplish the developer’s goal of building a RV park and campground. He also commented that that it was not consistent with surrounding properties as well as Sussex County’s Comprehensive Plan. If approved, it would be detrimental to the health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the neighborhood or community. Commissioner Michael Johnson also voted for denial and stated that that the recent development and developing trend have been for single and multi-family projects. All of this same logic exists with this proposed RV city – “It just does not fit.”
About one mile downstream from the proposed RV site – as the local bald eagle would fly – is the Love Creek Landing subdivision approved with a density of only 1.12 units per acre on AR-1 zoning. When the initial development was approved in 2009, Mr. Johnson commented that it was a superior design because it had a density of only 1.12 units per acre while maintaining approximately 102 acres of open space and 60 percent of the forested land. At the same time, he recommended that the multi-family dwellings component of the development be denied because it was not consistent with the character of the surrounding property and the underlying AR-1 zoning of this property.
The proposed RV city requires re-zoning to AR-1 and conditional use approvals. The density of 628 sites on 162 acres translates to 3.88 units per acre, well beyond the approved density of current zoning and the standard of 2 per acre in AR-1 zoning. Furthermore, a resort park with RV sites and cabins is even more inconsistent with the area than a multi-family dwelling. Based on prior precedence, again, this RV park “just does not fit.”
The most recent RV applications for Massey Landing also provide some insights and precedence. Again, Mr. Johnson then noted “The proposed use as a campground is consistent with other uses in the Long Neck Road and Massey’s Landing area, and there are other campgrounds in the area that have been in existence for many years.” It should be noted that the proposed Love Creek RV City area has no existing RV parks or campgrounds in the area. The residents who live in the nearby communities are not subject to this type of nearby commercial and tourist venture. In the commissioner’s minds, a RV park may fit for Massey’s Landing but to be consistent with their thinking, the proposed development for Love Creek “just does not fit.”
In addition, there are many other factual reasons for the commissioners to vote no and stop this RV city. They have heard many solid arguments against from the residents. These arguments and volume of opposition should not be ignored.