Lewes Homeowners Object 55+ Housing Complex - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Homeowners Object 55+ Housing Complex

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LEWES, Del. -- Lewes homeowners are up in arms about a proposed housing development moving in next door.

Thursday evening's Sussex County Planning and Zoning meeting in Georgetown attracted a full house of homeowners eagerly waiting to express their concerns about the development proposed by Ocean Atlantic, LLC.

The Schell Brothers, a well-known luxury home developer in Delaware, want to build a 147-unit 55 and older housing complex behind Tulip Dr. in Lewes, right along Coastal Highway and adjacent to the Villages of Five Points.

But opposed neighbors are saying the site where they want to build currently has only one entrance and exit along Route 1.

Kaya Elliot lives on Tulip Dr. in a community known as Dutch Acres. She said traffic is already hectic as it is because of the church next door.

"I just don't think it's really a good idea," said Elliot. "With all the traffic we have in this neighborhood as it is, and then being right on the highway I just think it's going to create some issues."

At the meeting, the developers said a study they conducted through DelDot proved that 55 and older communities generally have less traffic than non-age restricted complexes.

But neighbors said they are also worried about the environmental impacts the development will have on the wetlands nearby.

Greg Burton bought a home in the Taramino housing complex that sits along Tulip Dr next to Dutch Acres. Burton said he and his wife purchased their home based on the seclusion and state-protected land their realtor promised them.

"I mean that's what the realtors told us when we purchased the house that it was protected marsh land that they couldn't develop on it," said Burton.

But the proposal's site design tells a different story. It outlines a 20ft buffer that would surround and protect the existing wetland.

"We're a little disappointed to be honest," said Burton.

"We bought here back in September and we purposely purchased something along the back of the developments so we'd have a little seclusion, a little quiet and now we hear that they might be developing back there."

Other objections neighbors raised at the meeting were worries about unattended children at the development's onsite playground, and the possibility of having younger families moving into the senior community.

The Planning and Zoning commissioners did not vote on the proposal Thursday night. Commissioners will take action on the item at the next meeting. 

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