The latest “progress” we are told is essential to the Fenwick Island landscape is a hotel with a restaurant and amenities on the Bennett property at Lighthouse Road and Bennett Avenue. We vehemently disagree with approval of a hotel, restaurant, amenities and any new houses at or near this location.
I must ask each and every member of Sussex County Council if they have spent any time at all on Lighthouse Road during the months of June, July and August? If the answer is “no,” then you have absolutely no idea what a nightmare Lighthouse Road is between Zion Church Road and Route 1. Route 54 is bumper-to-bumper traffic on this stretch of Lighthouse Road every single day, with Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays being particularly brutal. Right now, a 3.5-mile drive on eastbound Lighthouse Road from Zion Church Road to Route 1 becomes an excruciating 1-plus-hour drive on a Saturday or Sunday.
If you have been on Lighthouse Road during the months of June, July and August — especially on a weekend day — you’ve likely experienced this crushing congestion and significantly long drive times. Here I must ask you: Do you think a traffic signal at Lighthouse Road and Bennett Avenue is going to help anything? Certainly not the congestion or lengthy drive times. Does any of this make you even want to visit Fenwick Island again? I think not.
Let me not forget the walkers, runners, bicyclists and scooters who also frequent the Lighthouse Road traffic jam. The only thing worse than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is worrying if you’re going to hit a jogger or bicyclist each time you advance 2 feet in traffic. And then tragedy strikes (https://www.coastalpoint.com/news/police_fire/selbyville-area-man-critically-injured-in-van-crash-with-scooter/article_ce1d8096-e71e-11eb-81d4-f7d6b3fbf2bb.html) and you're sitting waiting for the first-responders, the ambulance and, in the worst-case scenario, the airlift helicopter.
My unhappiness stems from the need to allow at least an extra 60 minutes in my commute to volunteer at the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. As importantly, both of my kids have (or had) summer jobs in Fenwick Island, requiring them to also add an extra 60 minutes to their commute times so they aren’t late for work. All of this to go a distance of 3.5 miles.
Fenwick Island and the Lighthouse Road corridor are beyond saturated. The rationale for a hotel, as presented by the Carl M. Freeman Companies, does not pass the “stink” test. There are plenty of lovely, high-quality, high-class restaurants in the area. There is ample lodging for those who plan and book with a reasonable lead time.
Please do not approve the proposed Carl M. Freeman Companies plans for building or development of a hotel, restaurant, amenities and/or any new housing on the Lighthouse Road corridor between Route 1 and Zion Church Road. An approval would be a detriment to the residents and community of Fenwick Island and Selbyville, and the environment in general.