Activists protest planned Coral Lakes subdivision on Georgetown Circle

GEORGETOWN, Del. – If you drove around the Georgetown Circle Tuesday afternoon, you probably saw a group holding signs, and garnering honks of support. Their mission: calling for an end to what they call overdevelopment in Sussex County. “We’re here specifically for one proposed development – a cluster subdivision right outside of Lewes called Coral Lakes,” said Sussex Preservation Group’s (SGP) Jill Hicks.

That development comes with 315 new homes, which means the clear cutting of 110 acres of trees. Members of SGP say the loss of those trees could mean the loss of healthy wetlands, an important habitat for wildlife, and erosion of water and air quality. “I think that you need balance. There has to be the interest of the developer and the landowner. But, there also has to be the interest of the greater community. I see that being underrepresented,” said protestor Judy Bresler.

Previously, Sussex County’s Planning and Zoning Commission put a halt to the development of the planned Coral Lakes neighborhood. But, developers appealed the decision. Hicks says that renewed the SGP’s urgency to keep fighting. “We’re hoping that they will uphold the denial by the Planning and Zoning Commission. We would love to see an end to this irresponsible application,” she said.

It’s not just the Coral Lakes project that’s threatening Sussex County’s environment and citizens, according to SGP. As other developments continue to boom in coastal Delaware, Bresler says she wants residents to do more than just protest; but pay close attention, and reflect their opposition at the ballot box. “Unless that translates into votes or translates into people signing petitions or coming out here for this sort of thing or contacting their representatives and letting them know how they feel, then they’re invisible,” said Bresler.

Sussex County Council is expected to meet on May 24th and address the issue. SGP says that’s when they’re hoping to meet face to face with the developers, so they can tackle the conversation head on. “I know there’s a lot of anxiety and even anger about what seems to be out of control development. There are ways that we can get involved,” said Hicks.

47 ABC did reach out to Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent for comment, but he did not respond. 47 ABC also reached out to the public information officer for Sussex County. He wrote back, “The County does not discuss pending land use applications that are awaiting decisions by either the County Council and/or the Planning & Zoning Commission.”

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