Heritage Shores residents raise concerns over proposed concrete batch plant, concrete crusher

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – Residents of the Heritage Shores 55+ development say they’re concerned over a proposed concrete batch plant, complete with a concrete crusher. Resident Denise Kessel says her main concern is the potential health impacts the plant could have on the community. “The smaller particles are able to enter your airway, get into your lungs, cause scarring, pulmonary fibrosis, and a whole bunch of other issues,” said Kessel.

Kessel says those concerns over health and safety are paired with property value. “If it’s dusty people are not going to want to move there. It’s very simple,” said Kessel.

Residents tell 47ABC the impact of the proposed plant could go well beyond the limits of Heritage Shores and the coming years. “All these houses are going up. The schools are busting at the seams. The community at large has to be informed about this because they’re going to see the ramifications more than us, because we’re not going to be living 20 years from now,” said Kessel.

Bridgeville Town Commissioner and Heritage Shores resident Tom Moran says he and others wish they had had more notice. He says that only residents within 200 feet of the property had to be notified by law. “We know that the constituents are concerned their air and water are media that carry well beyond the border of 200 feet,” said Moran.

Moran says he’s also concerned about the operational hours of the proposed plant. “It didn’t say what time. It didn’t say whether they’re going to be backing up the cement trucks at 6 o’clock in the morning, because most construction starts at 7,” said Moran. “Sussex County doesn’t have a noise ordinance. So, we’re going to have these cement trucks with their back up alarms beeping constantly.”

Moran explains to 47ABC the County’s Planning and Zoning Commission held a hearing on the batch plant. Moran says he doesn’t feel enough people were notified about it. Meanwhile, the County’s Board of Adjustment is handling the concrete crusher. So, Moran says he hopes residents can make their voices heard before the site plan is given final approval. “With COVID-19 they can only allow 30-50 people and we’re hoping that they see enough comment that they realize that we haven’t been able to fulfill our opportunity to speak,” said Moran.

That Board of Adjustment meeting will happen on Monday. 47ABC did reach out to the County. They declined to comment on an ongoing proposal process. “The County does not comment on active applications. It would be inappropriate to comment on a matter that members of the board will have to then render a decision on,” said Sussex County Communications Director Chip Guy.

Categories: Delaware, Local News