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January 24, 2014     Cape Gazette
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20 FRIDAY, JANUARY 24- MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014 NEWS Cape Gazette Rehoboth commissioners limit side-yard setbacks Ordinance prevents bulky houses, promotes light and air By Kara Nuzback knuzback@capegazette.com In an effort to prevent bulky houses that block light and air, Rehoboth Beach commission- ers voted 6-1 to widen side-yard setbacks for lots that are more than 5,250 square feet and 52.5 feet wide. Mayor Sam Cooper, who voted in favor of the ordinance, said the zoning code was written to address single-family homes on 50-by-100-foot lots. The ordi- nance, he said, "really puts the larger lots on par with the 50-foot lots." Commissioner Lorraine Zellers said she does not want to penal- ize property owners with larger lots, but the ordinance promotes the well-being of the community. "I feel that it's about striking a balance," she said. "I think it's fair, and I think it's reasonable." Commissioner Stan Mills, who cast the dissenting vote, argued the ordinance prevents property owners from using side yards for.home accessories that do not block light and air, such as patios and in-ground pools. Mills also said the ordinance punishes homeowners with wid- er lots. "We're penalizing the person that has a wider proper- ty," he said. "We're kind of taking something, but we're not giving anything back." Commissioner Mark Hunker voted in favor of the ordinance but agreed with Mills; he wanted only to address bulk, not take away the ability to install a pool or a patio in the side yard. "The smaller you make someone's house, the more they will want to do something outside," he said. Commissioner Bill Sargent, who approved the ordinance, argued furniture placed on the patio and a fence surrounding the pool would account for mass and would have a visual impact on the city. Resident Walter Brittingham opposed the ordinance, saying many property owners who are affected by the change do not re- alize it. "You're going to change side-yard setbacks for a lot of people," he said. "This takes a big chunk away from a lot of people's property." Resident Tom McGlone asked commissioners how many lots were affected by the change and whether those property owners had been notified of the ordi- nance. Cooper said city officials do not know how many property owners the ordinance would affect. Mandalas said the neces- sary noticing requirements had been met, and it would be too burdensome to notify each prop- erty owner of the change. Planning commission Secre- tary Francis "Bunky" Markert said the commission recommended the change. He said the ordi- nance allows property owners to build a substantial house but prevents massive structures that deter from the small town streetscape of the city. "We cer- tainly support this ordinance," Markert said. The commissioners also ap- proved a resolution to grant relief for property owners who have invested at least $5,000 toward a renovation that exceeds the new setbacks prior to the Jan. 17 vote. Town Attorney Glenn Man- dalas recommended the change based on a letter from Betha- ny Beach attorney K. William Scott, whose clients bought the home at 607 Scarborough Ave. in September and have invested $40,000 into a side-yard exten- sion of the home. Eligible property owners must apply for relief by Friday, Jan. 31. For more information, call Rehoboth Beach City Hall at 302-227-6181. KARA NUZBACK PHOTO PROPERTY OWNERS in Rehoboth Beach can seek relief for new side yard setback encroachments until Friday, Jan, 31. Retractable Hose Systems . Installation for new and existing homes TOM VACL Showroom & Home Demos We service oll bronds! L J..a ,LB. ,.N 410-924-3334 , ,,,!t ...... MH.I.C. 128960 Democrat Marie Mayor files for RD 20 Milton resident says creative thinking is needed By Kara Nuzback knuzback@capegazette.com A local farmer and former edu- cator is kicking the 2012 election to the curb and running again. Marie Mayor filed for the 20th Representative District seat ]an. 21, at the Board of Elections in Georgetown. The Milton resi- dent is co-owner of Lavender Fields Farm on Coolspring Road. Mayor, 66, ran for the same seat in 2012. She won the primary race handily against two fellow Democrats, but she was defeated in the November 2012 general election by Rep. Steve Smyk, R- Milton, a former state trooper. The Democratic candidate said supporters convinced her to run again. The 20th District Democratic Committee is more organized this year, she said. "I'm starting earlier." Mayor said, "I think the same issues are even more important now than they were two years ago." If elected, Mayor said, she plans to improve transportation safety, develop wiser land-use practices that would protect communities SUBMITTED PHOTO REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 20 CANDIDATE Marie Mayor files for office with her grandson, Lucas Gorlin Tarbell. in Sussex County and expand options for seniors who want to remain in their homes. She also said improving coastal resiliency to extreme weather would be a top priority if she were elected. "I think we need to have more creative thinking," Mayor said. Rather than pretending improv- ing the economy and protecting the environment are mutually exclusive, legislators should find a way to do both, she said. Mayor said she plans to add a new issue to her 2014 campaign - inclusiveness. 'l families have value to our district and should have equal respect," she 'said. "This will be expanded upon dur- ing the months ahead." Mayor is chairwoman of South- ern Delaware Tourism Council and is a board member of Milton Chamber of Commerce. 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