County Councilman Says Parts of Eastern Sussex Are "At Capacity" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

County Councilman Says Parts of Eastern Sussex Are "At Capacity"

REHOBOTH BEACH, De. - Each summer, the Delaware coastline is flooded with tourists and seasonal visitors, which brings the area a tremendous amount of economic business. But one county councilman has voiced his concerns with the tremendous growth in Eastern Sussex County, saying that parts of the area are at full capacity. 

The most visible piece of evidence of this growth can be seen on the roadways, where summer traffic lines up on highways like Route One. However Councilman George Cole said that the problem goes far beyond just the roads, reaching the beaches, the boardwalks, the sewer lines, and nearly every other part of Southern Delaware's coastline infrastructure.  

"You get into Rehoboth," he said. "And there isn't any parking available. The sidewalks are at capacity. The boardwalk is at capacity, the beach is at - the umbrellas touch. The blankets on the beach touch. And when you get into the ocean, you can't even swim there are so many people."

The debate centers around how high buildings should be in the county. Cole said that building higher is not the solution, because it would just bring more people into an already crowded area. He said the last thing the county needs is a greater density of people. 

However Jamie Odonnell, a manager at "The Ice Cream Store," in Rehoboth Beach said that these tourists play an obvious and important role for coastal businesses. 

"There's more people, more ice cream, more money," she said. 

However, Odonnell did admit that there were associated problems when these visitors come to the area. She said infrastructure changes should be made to make getting around the area easier. She said it takes hours for her to get to work, although she lives just 20 miles away in Georgetown. 

Cole said that the county should call for a study in order to see which parts of the county are open to growth, and which should be considered "at capacity." 

Bill Sloan of Milton said that there is still room for the area to grow. 

"I think it's very well exaggerated," he said of the capacity issue. "You can go to any resort area during the season. And you're going to find the traffic and the congestion and the people you're going to see here."
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