My take: A Sussex concrete plant and an unhappy neighbor

Pixabay file photo of concrete plant.

Good evening,

There was a saying in Colorado that newcomers were the first to complain about growth.

The same applies in Sussex County where a resident of the Village of Five Points community near Lewes continues to file lawsuits against longtime construction supplier Atlantic Concrete. 

The village is a nice place and a rare example of an attempt to provide walkable development in the county, thanks to a nearby grocery store and restaurants. 

Atlantic, a longtime Sussex employer, is busy these days keeping up with the rapid growth around it. Not that long ago, the company expanded into an adjacent tract to add a concrete recycling operation.


That’s a good thing. 

Stiil breaking up is hard to do and the result was a noisier neighbor and the resident Julian Karpoff taking Atlantic to court a couple of times, the Cape Gazette reported. This time around, Sussex County is listed as a defendant.

The allegations are typical of not in my backyard lawsuits that end up dealing with the complexities of the zoning process.

In the end, an aerial photo accompanying the Cape Gazette story illustrates the issue. Developers rolled the dice and decided to buy land near the materials plant betting that a landscape barrier was sufficent. In Coastal Sussex, demand for housing has been strong and buyers are more than willing to overlook their industrial or agricultural neighbors.

Based on the photo the developer-friendly zoning process in Sussex County did not allow enough of a buffer between the plant and the planned community. 

The brouhaha led one Cape Gazette letter writer to tell the plantiff to move somewhere else, noting that the operation dates back to the ’70s.

The legal wrangling is a reminder to prospective residents to spend some time in the neighborhood they are considering, especially in the summer and to check out that empty field. Odds are that open space won’t be around for long.

Enjoy your weekend. If you need an update on the week’s news checkout our our Week in Review. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.