Sussex County Housing Development Calls for Nearly 400 homes - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Housing Development Calls for Nearly 400 homes

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Sign on Mullberry Knoll Road in Lewes calls for Thursday night's public hearing (Source: WBOC) Sign on Mullberry Knoll Road in Lewes calls for Thursday night's public hearing (Source: WBOC)

LEWES, Del. - One developer has big plans for some farmland near Lewes, although many neighbors are already lining up in opposition. Large crowds are expected to speak in opposition at the Planning and Zoning Commission's public hearing on Thursday night for the "Belle Terre" housing development, off of Mulberry Knoll Road. 

The developer is looking to build 200 single-family homes, and 178 duplexes, for the plot of land just north of where the Love Creek Elementary School will be located. This plot of land, measured at more than 123 acres of land, is located in between Route 24 and Cedar Grove Road. 

In advance of the public hearing, dozens of neighbors have already sent in letters in opposition to the Commission. That includes messages from the Homeowners Association for both Harts Landing and The Retreat at Love Creek. 

Jim Schneider, the vice president for the Harts Landing HOA said the concerns focused on traffic, density, and environmental concerns. 

"My concerns is with the number of units that they're going to bring in," he said. "That it's going to drastically increase the traffic. That it's going to make it very difficult for our people... to get out on Route 24."

The land has been owned by the Dorman family for generations. According to Travis Dorman, the grandson of the owner, the property is being sold because of the "changing landscape" around it.

"With the school coming in this close," he said. "And the police barracks. And the development around it. He's not able to use this property the way he wants to use it. So unfortunately we are going to be making the move. Development is the best move for the property value-wise and in accordance to what's going on in the area." 

At the Retreat at Love Creek, President of the HOA William Baydalla said the board voiced their opposition because of the density discrepancy. According to data provided by Baydalla, there would be a density of 3.71 units per acre at the proposed Belle Terre development. This would compare to a density of 1.72 units per acre at Harts Landing, and 1.16 at the Retreat at Love Creek. 

"The reality is our infrastructure is being outpaced by the development in the area," he said. "And that's one of the reason we can't stop development, but we need to restrict the level of density." 

Baydalla said that the development is expected to bring approximately 1,000 car trips per day if constructed.

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