Castaways project generating public input

Are you one of those people who just love to get into arguments with your friends and neighbors? Want to know how to get one started in this area pretty quickly?

Mention the proposed Castaways Bethany project. That should do it for you.

For those of you unaware of this proposed project, it involves a campground and water park being built off of Cedar Neck Road near Ocean View. People who live in that surrounding area have been up in arms over the potential traffic and noise concerns, as well as the environmental impact on that community. People for the project argue that it will bring more jobs to this community, as well as potentially more visitors. More visitors to our area means more people in area restaurants and shops, which is good news for nearly every business around here.

On Sept. 6, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission held an open meeting that was met with more than 100 opponents to the project, and “hundreds more” sending in letters of opposition. The commissioners decided to leave the record open of the public hearing while they awaited the receipt of Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) responses and a “letter of no objection” from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT).

By their Sept. 20 meeting, the board had received what they needed, but wanted to hear more from the public. They have received so much response that they have not been able to get through everything yet, and P&Z has been unable to make their final recommendation to Sussex County Council.

This is a tough situation for P&Z, and ultimately will be a harddecision for members of County Council. On one hand, they do not want to stifle the rights of businesspeople to operate freely and without governmental hindrance. On the other, they are ultimately in office to aid the quality of life for the county’s residents. It is a juggling act that puts them in an unenviable position, to say the least.

We are pleased that P&Z is taking this matter so seriously, and that they are listening to the people who will be most directly affected by their decision. Hopefully, both their final decision, and the one ultimately made by Sussex County Council, are based on both facts and residential impact.


As a reminder, next week’s Coastal Point will be your final chance to run letters to the editor concerning local elections. It has been our policy since we started to not run any letters that final week before the vote, because no candidate has an opportunity to refute something written by one of our readers. Thank you.