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Ocean View, DE, Residents Oppose Self-Storage Project

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Residents in Ocean View, Del., are opposing a self-storage project proposed by Galbraith Development Group LLC. Ron Golden, who lives across from the potential site on Muddy Neck Road, has collected signatures from 156 residents against the 46,000-square-foot development. The property is zoned agricultural-residential, and would need a conditional-use permit for self-storage, according to the source.

“I was pretty dumbfounded by the storage unit. I can’t quite figure out why they chose that location,” said Golden, who moved into the community in 2015 with his wife, Damien.

The site is on a curve in the road, near other businesses including a funeral home, garden center, at-home business and seasonal produce stand. Golden called the businesses "unobtrusive" and said they fit the residential characteristics of the area.

William Anderson, whose property would be behind the storage facility, signed the petition. “This guy is trying to sugarcoat something that is ultimately bad for the neighborhood,” he said of the applicant and developer, Mark Galbraith.

During a Nov. 16 planning and zoning meeting, Golden and other residents cited a drop in property values, increased traffic and potential crime as their main concerns. The proposal didn’t require a traffic-impact study by the Delaware Department of Transportation, the source reported.

“To make [the storage facility] both attractive and thief-proof, you have a clash there,” said Anderson, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2004. “Thief-proof means high fences and barbed wire, and then it feels like you’re living next to a prison.”

Golden and Anderson said they’d rather see a residential project developed on the property.

The planning and zoning commission has received 13 letters in opposition to the project and one in support, written by someone who’s known Galbraith “personally and professionally for many years.”

Galbraith, who’s owned a residence near the proposed site for 13 years, told the planning board that he and his wife wanted to move to Ocean View full time. He noted the facility would be “aesthetically pleasing” and a place he wouldn’t mind living near. It would contain a single pole light at the front of the facility and include security measures, muted colors and landscaping.

The proposal will go before the Sussex County Council on Dec. 12. However, it’s unlikely the council will vote on the project until the planning and zoning, which will hear the case again on Dec. 14, offers its recommendation.

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