Speak Up: Response to development and inland bays question

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The 32 square miles of Delaware’s inland bays — Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay and Rehoboth Bay — pack an economic punch of $4.5 billion annually. Deemed a great place to retire, Sussex County has seen explosive growth recently, with over 10,000 building permits issued per year from 2017-20. How do we balance development with protecting the inland bays?

  • I think future development in Sussex County can avoid harming the inland bays if laws and regulations are enacted now to make it happen. My thinking is that strict laws protecting the bays should be enacted. Following this, I think that future development needs to be regulated to first include the development of infrastructure. Sussex County is in dire need of water and sewer infrastructure, new roads and traffic-control measures, and technology options. While groundwater is usually plentiful living here on the Delmarvalous sandbar, the quality of that water is questionable; and we cannot continue to flush our waste into the ground for hundreds of thousands of people without causing eventual negative consequences. While the increase in population will eventually entice more cable companies to serve populated areas of Sussex, the effects of gridlocked traffic will eventually impact our tourist industry negatively. I think we should enact regulations delineating a new framework now that includes the use of state and federal money, grant and business money, and funds from developers, who should be required to pay for such infrastructure a certain number of years prior to starting their developments. They can pass the cost along to their buyers. — Ruth Ashby
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