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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997

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Briefly ee )er ex ro 15, )N -IE IN- T- lO- IN SE DR G tp- us- be art- ; of IV. IG of ho ari- lck s in the ,at hin Martin Luther King Jr. parade cancelled Due to the exceptionally cold weather, the Cape Gazette has learned that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Parade, slated for 1 i a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18 in Rehohoth Beach, has been can- celled. However, all other festivities, including the dinner theatre slated for the BayCenter that evening, will continue. (See complete de- tails in this week's entertainment section.) For tickets to the event, contact Diaz Bonville, 645-7544, or Janie Miller, 227-3118. Rehoboth OKs two zoning code changes The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners approved two re- visions to the zoning code after short public hearings on Friday, Jan. 10. The first revision estab- lished a new definition of gross floor area which precludes inclu- sion of any floor to ceiling height of less than six feet. It does, how- ever, include any space beneath a structure created by pilings, piers or other support which is greater than four feet in height, unless the structure is located within a spe- cial flood hazard area and re- quired to be elevated in excess of four feet. This provision was adopted to prevent people from being able to build up to the maxi- mum height limit without includ- ing the square footage at ground level and then, perhaps in the fu- ture, converting that area to living space. There was very little dis- cussion about this revision. There was more discussion and a couple of letters received con- cerning the second zoning change, which requires that at least 40 per- cent of a residential lot be dedicat- ed to natural area such as trees, grass, flowers, bushes or other plantings and mulch. This pro- hibits the use of clam shells, deco- rative stones or other hard materi- als as being included in this 40 percent. Anyone now exceeding that limit may not expand the non- conformity. Both provisions came out of the city's Long Range Plan, with the latter one designed to preserve the natural environment. Planning Commission member Bob Scala reminded the board that when set- backs are taken into consideration, 40 percent devoted to natural area is not burdensome. Only Commissioner Bitsy Cochran voted against passage of the measures, citing after the meeting that they would "place undue hardship on the citizens and I don't like it." Planners given land use plan deadline The Sussex County Council has given the county's planning and zoning commission until Jan. 27 to submit recommendations on the county's proposed land use plan. That deadline was developed by County Council on Tuesday, Jan. 14 which has been concerned that it is taking too long to get the rec- ommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission. County Councilman George Cole has been especially vocal in saying the County Council should move forward without waiting for a rec- ommendation from the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission. "We need to move along," according to Cole. County Planning and Zoning, which normally makes recom- mendations to County Council, considered the land use plan dur- ing its Jan. 9 meeting. But that meeting was cut short because the county planners did not have ordinances introduced on Jan. 7 by Sussex County Council. The planners delayed some of the land use plan debate until after they see the proposed ordinances, which impact strip development and manufactured homes. Dukes had urged the planners to consider the ordinances. He agreed that time was a concern, but said on Jan. 9 that the new or- dinances had caused some confu- sion and concern. Sussex has until March 31 to submit its plan to the state. Al- though the planners cut the dis- cussion short on Jan. 9, they agreed with the County Council ordinance to limit strip develop- ment. That proposed ordinance would allow landowners with sufficient road frontage to develop four lots along the roadway on their prop- erty. That minimum amount would be allowed "over the counter," but developing any ad- ditional lots would require a sub- division and a public hearing. The goal of the proposal is to cut down on the number of "strip lots" developed along roads in Sussex. Planning Chairman John Allen asked Lawrence Lank, di- rector of planning and zoning for Sussex, if having a four lot maxi- mum would give the county more control over large strip develop- ment. Lank said yes. The county's planning and zon- ing commission is scheduled to consider the plan at its next meet- ing on Jan. 23. If the planners don't reach agreement on recom- mendations for the land use plan, a special meeting is expected to be called. County gives approval to Rehoboth Bay expansion Sussex County gave approval on Tuesday, Jan. 9 to a 39-1ot ex- pansion for Thetavest Inc. Condi- tional use number 1174 would al- low the addition of 39-lots to Re- hoboth Bay Mobile Home Com- munity, located on Old Landing Road. Craig Hudson said that a traffic impact study found there would be little or not impact caused by the additional lots being added to the existing community. The new home sites would be located on the former spray irrigation system CAPE GAZET]FE, Friday, January 17. January 23, 1997 -3 used by the manufactured home community. Hudson said there is heavy de- mand for lots in the park, which borders Rehoboth Bay. There are 486 developed lots and virtually all of them are occupied. There was no public opposition at Tuesday's meeting. New road signs slow in coming to Sussex Sussex Administrator Bob Stickels has asked for money for signage as one of the county's top priorities in the Capital Improve- ment Program of Delaware's De- partment of Transportation. Stick- els made the request at a Tuesday, Jan. 14 meeting on the CIP plan held in Georgetown. Delaware's Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has not allocated money for new signage for roads following the county's development of a road naming program. Stickels listed money for signage as the sixth priority of the Sussex County Council and noted that DelDOT has traditionally ap- propriated money for signage. The new road naming project replaced road numbers and is de- signed to make it easier to find residents in case of an emergency. The project is designed to cut down emergency response time. Retirement for Benson, Stevenson set Jan. 25 Sussex County Council will host a retirement dinner in honor of newly retired County Council- men Bill Stevenson and Ralph Benson on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Sussex Pines Country Club. Fes- tivities will start with a cash bar at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend the dinner should contact Robin Grif- fith at 855-7743 by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17. The cost of dinner is $18.50. Rehoboth gives blessing to July 6 fireworks If Rehoboth Beach Main Street can raise the $30,000 it needs to produce a fireworks display and comes up with an acceptable traf- fic control and safety plan, the City of Rehoboth Beach will al- low the group to go on with the show on Sunday, July 6. July 6 was chosen rather than July 4 be- cause they felt that congestion would not be as much of a prob- lem on Sunday. Commissioner Jan Konesey ad- vised they may want to keep the dates open so that they have lee- way in case July 6 doesn't work out. Main Street President Kathy Kramedas said Sunday will work well because they will save a lot of money piggybacking on a barge for fireworks which will be in Cape May, N.J. that week. Kramedas said they have been co- ordinating the event with the po- lice, which the city will pick up the tab for, and fire police for traf- fic and crowd control. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible, as Main Street is a non-profit organization, and, ac- Delaware Ave. comfort station hits snag A contract was expected to be awarded to the low bidder Jan. 10 on the building of new restroom facilities at Delaware Avenue and the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. However, at the last moment it was discovered that the design called for an elevation of 13-and-a-half feet while the actual elevation is 15 feet, as an old flood plane map had been used in the design. The plans were expected to be refined over the weekend, but it was noted this new elevation will result in an increase in cost for the facility. If they rebid the project, the city would be dead in the water for this summer, as work couldn't be completed in time. A special meeting to approve the bid was slated for Ja 16, but postponed until Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 4:30 p.m., as the city wasn't expected to have an estimate from the contractor on the additional cost until today (Jan. 17). The new structure calls for 14 women's stalls, with four for the men and three urinals. Both have diaper changing areas, with auxiliary areas for the janitor, an information kiosk and storage, for a total of 1,552 square feet. One part of the women's area can be dosed off to allow for cleaning one area at a time. The cost had been estimated at $340,540. The Jan. 21 meeting also includes awarding a bid for King Charles Avenue storm sewer drainage work. I cording to Kramedas, the city an- ticipates the display will attract an additional 50,000 to 100,000 visi- tors. Levels of sponsorship in- clude: $10,000 presents the grand firecracker; $5,000, a major spon- sor of the grand finale; $1,000, major sponsor of the opening bar- rage; $500, a snapdragon; and $100, a whistler. Anyone wishing to donate to the fireworks display off the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach should contact Anne Marie Bur- nell, program coordinator, at 227- 2772, or send checks to P.O. Box 50, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Main Street will establish an 800 fireworks hotline and presenting monthly reports to the city on its progress. Rehoboth sets meetings on cable 'IN contract The Rehoboth Beach Cable TV Committee, chaired by Commis- sioner Betty Ann Kane, will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m., Thurs- day, Feb. 6 in the Commissioners Room to discuss a route to go on a new cable television agreement. Rehoboth Beach's 15-year fran- chise agreement expired Dec. 29, 1996 and the city agreed to an ex- tension of that contract until June 30, 1997 or until a new franchise agreement is executed, whichever occurs first. Kane received the blessings of fellow commission- ers at a recent meeting to put out a request for proposal (RFP) to as many potential providers as they can identify, along with Comcast, which presently services the city. As Comcast didn't make a formal request for renewal as required by federal law, the city isn't required to follow federal renewal proce- dures, Kane said at a meeting in December. The city informed Comcast they didn't want an auto- marie renewal and that they are re- viewing their options. In a letter sent Jan. 13 to a vari- ety of Sussex municipalities, the Cape Henlopen School District, medical facilities, libraries and other public entities, Kane wrote that "it appears it would be advan- tageous to Rehoboth Beach and all of the other cities, towns and unincorporated areas serviced by Comeast if all franchisers would cooperate in an effort to obtain an improved quality cable television service." In order to foster this coopera- tion, Kane's committee will host the Feb. 6 meeting and anyone in- terested is invited to attend. She and her committee, comprised of Doug Butner, Bill Bahan and Richard Sargent, are prepared to discuss their thoughts on the RFP specifications relating to program content and performance stan- dards. They are also considering requiring a community channel Continued on page 4 ...... r rrr-xrrTrrl -It .... r 1 rl