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The residential growth spurt in coastal Sussex County, before it was cut short by the recession, added thousands of homes. Now that the county is seeing signs the recession has receded, some of its leaders and residents are wondering if there's enough room left to do it all over again.
The big question is if coastal Sussex County can accommodate more residents and visitors or if it is full to the brim already. A few of them – most vocally, Bethany Beach-area County Council member George Cole – say they believe the region is simply maxed out.
"Coastal Highway is at capacity, the beach is at capacity, the boardwalk is at capacity, parking, everything is at capacity," Cole said at a recent gathering of the County Council, Board of Adjustment and Planning & Zoning Commission, a rare instance of the county's three land-use bodies sitting in the same room and talking growth. "You're hustling people into a place that's already full. The box is full."