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Lewes, Delaware
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January 25, 2002     Cape Gazette
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January 25, 2002
 

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CAPE GAZET'I, Friday, Jan.g5-Jan. 81, 2002.21 eyeing " th limit hotel motel00 ..... stays Lewes now slx-mon on , By Dennis Forney What a difference a public hear- ing can make. Up until this week, Lewes city council members were consider- ing a two-week stay limit on ho- tels and motels to prevent those units from becoming permanent residences. As the Jan. 22 hearing on the proposed ordinance change was coming to a close, the proposed limit had-expanded significantly - to six months. After hearing from motel own- ers that a two-week stay limit would hurt their business, Coun- cilperson Stephanie Tsantes asked those at the sparsely attended hearing whether they would ob- ject to a six- month stay limit. No hands were raised. "If we went for a six-month lim- Rehob0th Board denies two requests The Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment denied, two requests Friday, Jan. 18 - one for partition- ing of lots 14 and 16 Cookman St., and for a variance for front and side yard setbacks for 31 Olive Ave. The board ruled that neither applicant, Bob and Debbie Reed for Cookman Street nor Thomas Petry for Olive Avenue, provided all of the information needed to grant the requests. Members of the Refioboth Plan- ning Commission presented reso- lutions they passed at their Jan. 14 meeting, requesting that both of the applications be denied on vari- ous grounds, includinglack of in- formation. When requesting to speak on behalf of the planning commission, planner Ron Pater- son was t01d he must speak as a private citizen, as the planners had no standing to address the Board of Adjustment on these matters. Representatives of Petry's areex- pected to return to the planning commission at the Feb. 11 meet- ing seeking partitioning" of the Oli've Avenue parcel into two lots, despite the fact that they don't have the necessary setbacks. it," said Tsantes, "it would give the building official, a line to fol- low. Beyond six months, you're probably not talking a transient guest ." No action was taken on the pro- posal, since the meeting was only a hearing. "The original coni:ern that arose - after we passed a change allowing kitchen facilities in hotel and motel rooms - was that transient guests would be- "come non-transient," said Coun- cilman Jim Ford. "We're re- sponding to public input here. That's government in action. That's why we're here tonight. No one's agreeable with the lan- guage [two weeks limit] that's be- fore us tonight. And no one seems tO have a problem With full kitchen facilities. But if someone cuts a deal with a motel owner - not paying the full rate - and goes to becoming a resident, that's where a six-month limit could be- come useful." - In anticipation of changing the language to some other limitation - perhaps six months - Lewes Building Official Bill Massey said he would check with other resort communities to see how they han- dle similar circumstances. Massey said he also needed some guidance. "We had a foul abuse by a facility that was a noncon- forming use that allowed cooking facilities. It's important that we don't allow people to abuse the privilege Of their hotel or motel zoning." Councilman Jud Bennett started the hearing out by saying he did- n't think Lewes has a problem. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Bennett. "If someone wants to come in and stay for 60 days and can afford it, God bless them." He also suggested that hotel and motel owners in Lewes be con- tacted to see what they want." There was discussion about whether the six-mtnth limitation should only apply to hotels and motels with kitchen facilities in rooms. But Tsantes ultimately felt that the limit should apply to all hotels and motels . "That way Bill will know what he's doing," she said. Early in the hearing, objections to the two-week stay limit came from Tsantes and two motel own- ers. Tsantes suggested there be an exemption for medical situations. .... You might have a health care professional in town for some rea- son or someone here for cancer treatment or staying with some-. one getting cancer treatment who needs to stay more than two weeks," said Tsantes. John Maysky, who operates the Vesuvio Motel, said his is the only motel in town open at this time of year. "I have a gentleman in there now. He's already been there 14 days. He's wondering what the outcome will be - he's looking for a home in the area. What do I tell him?-Fourteen days doesn't sound right to me. Some cus- tomers come in the summer for three weeks." Michael Cryne, owner and op- erator of the Zwaanendael Inn, quesfiod ho4 firnits: would  be enforced and wanted to know whether cooking facilities are de- fined. He was told that enforce- ment is up to the building official and that kitchen facilities are not currently deft.ned. Cryne ultimately objected to the 14-day limit. "There's a handful of people who come for 14 days. I don't want to be the one who turns them away." Following the meet- ing Cryne added that he doesn't like the six-month limit either. "I'm a minimal|st when it comes to laws. We should be taking them off the books, not adding more on." Wendell Alfred, a resident who also serves as a member of Lewes's Board of Public Works, advised council members to think carefully about that they ultimate- ly decide. "In my professional life which involves a lot of travel up and down the state, I've run in- to a lot of negative publicity over this issue. Let's make sure this gets defined clearly so we don't ruin the good reputation Lewes has." Council members will now re- view the comments and decide whether to proceed with the six- month language change. If so, an- other public hearing will be re- quired prior to passage. 5tonee Lonen Gtsla & tqrao sptm00s olin at 5:oo lmaThur.lay throush Sunday Friday q"lalf-Pri Ale Batter EkE l. Chips Dimter" and Sunday "All Fresh Fish Entm Half-Prie," 3oz - z17 - z664 www.stoneylonen.com Groin Continued frompage 17 North Shores to repair its groin, :but that it cannot expand the size of the existing, deteriorated struc- ture. That approval came in a Jan. 17 decision. In 2000, the North Shores Board of Governors had asked to exparld its groin size considerably, but that request was withdrawn and scaled back. North Shores engineer Ed Fulford said at the September hearing that the impact to Cape Henlopen State Park "will be very minor and very temporary." Robert Martin and Nick Carter raised questions about the project at that hearing vith Martin saying that groins ause erosion ;and denying that is like sticking your head in the proy.erbial beach sand .... ".; _ :,- . . ,.. ..... eb ng -.10 years nte I t a I i a n 0 ::iii ii   | | l I [] l