I am writing in regard to the hearing for the proposal by the Carl M. Freeman Company to build a hotel and restaurant on Route 54 near Lighthouse Road. I am grateful for the vote to deny this proposal by Commissioners Bruce Mears and R. Kelly Hopkins. I am completely opposed to any commercial-residential building on the James Farm property.
Mr. Mears cited the hotel-restaurant is incompatible with the County’s Comprehensive Plan covering coastal areas. The building proposal is too intensive in an environmentally sensitive area and of use. This property is considered wetlands and a habitat for a variety of migratory bird species and animals. The increase of impervious surfaces, hundreds of vehicles, wastewater, trash and noise are not needed adjacent to our Delaware waterways.
This proposal is not only out-of-character with the surrounding properties, but the roadway connecting to Route 54 does not have any turn lanes or traffic light.
The intersection of Bennett Avenue only has a stop sign. It is a dangerous intersection both going east and west. I would like to see the actual proof that there will be an improved intersection from Deldot.gov. The residents who live off of Route 54 know that any improvement(s) to Route 54 will be 10 to 15 years. Developers make many promises they have no intention of implementing; it all sounds good on paper.
The Carl M. Freeman companies are developers with a lot of money. Mr. Mastrangelo and Ms. Freeman are experts in proposing their plans for development with their considerations for the “the environment” and use terms like “design aesthetics” to sell their ideas. This proposed hotel and restaurant will not be a “beautiful addition” to the already congested area of Catch 54, Zen Spa and the condos on Monroe Avenue. It will be an eyesore no matter what they plan to build.
What Mr. Mastrangelo and Ms. Freeman aren’t telling you is they already have plans to build a hotel on their property at Bayside. My question is why do they need another hotel and restaurant?
I don’t appreciate a commercial property developer telling me that “growth and change is tough to embrace” and I should be excited about their money-making project that will impact my community. I don’t want more traffic, more noise, more pollution and the heartbreak of seeing another set of buildings obstruct the view and waterways of Lighthouse Cove and Drum Point in the Little Assawoman Bay.
If the Carl M. Freeman Company truly cares about this community, they could give back by creating a park area, wildlife sanctuary and nature center for everyone to enjoy. Let’s show our children and grandchildren the value of our environment and how to preserve it.