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January 25, 2010     Cape Gazette
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January 25, 2010

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IIHIII IIIIII1111------------" + 18 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 - MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2010 NEWS pe Gazett Centre Continued from page I man Sam Wilson, R-George- town, voted in favor. The applicant, Lingo- Townsend Associates LLC, was seeking a zoning change from AR-1 to CR-1 for a 46-acre parcel. What happens next no one is saying, but most said the parcel will not remain as farmland for- ever. "This is not over by a long shot," said Jules Jackson of Lewes. "They'll be back with an- other plan. They've already come in with two plans" Mike Tyler, president of the Cape Region Citizens Coalition, said it would be at least a year before another application could surface, if indeed that is what happens. "I'm pleased and happy that the swing vote swung our way," Tyler said. Mable Granke smiled a little. "This gives us some hope," said the longtime Cape Region ac- tivist and Citizens Coalition board member. Granke and Tyler were among the standing- room-only crowd of more than 120 people in council chambers. Applicant's representatives didn't say much. "My client is disappointed by the outcome," said Dennis Schrader, attorney for the applicant. "We will be meeting in the next few days to discuss the options available" The decision could be ap- pealed to Chancery Court. At least one grassroots group doesn't see any grounds for an appeal. John Mateyko, spokesman for Managing Growth Around Lewes, said the only grounds for an appeal would have been faulty voting by members of the council who vot- ed against the application. "They went out of their way to articu- late reasons for denial based on the record," he said. He said they did everything properly. FOR NOW, THIS PARCEL at the intersection of Kings Highway and Gills Neck Road will remain as farmland. Sussex County Council voted down rezoning for a "We owe it to the residents of Sussex County to show that this council can act responsibly and not support conceptual plans for large-scale commercial develop- ment where it is not needed," Cole said. Deaver read a long list of rea- sons why she was against the ap- plication. "Rezoning is not by right and the comprehensive plan does not mandate a change" she said. She choed some of the same concerns expressed during more than 10' hours of public testimo- ny. "This does not promote the orderly growth of the county," she said. No other sinailar project exists in the area, and its location across from Cape Henlopen High School could create safety concerns, especially related to increased traffic in the area, she said. Denver said large-scale de- velopment like the proposed V'fl- lage Centre would be better suit- ed in a commercial area such as Route 1. She was also concerned about the cumulative impact on congested roads by other proj- ects already approved along Gills Neck Road. She said Kings High- way is a road that does not serve a wide area, but is congested be- cause of traffic from the high school, Cape May-Lewes Ferry and Cape Henlopen State Park. Cole agreed that increased traffic would bea problem, and he used what has occurred on Route I as an example. Cole said even with multi-year and multi- million-dollar improvement projects to widen and improve the corridor, there are still signif- icant traffic problems on Route 1. "We have well-documented, high traffic volumes, and the question is do we want to contin- Ue to create more problems with excessive commercial develop- ment?" Cole asked. RON MACARTHUR PHOTO planned shopping center and office complex that would have covered 46 acres of the parcel. Wilson said no one had proven to him the traffic concerns were legitimate. He said from his stud- ies of the application, traffic would be increased only by about 1 percent. Phillips disagreed with Deaver's and Cole's summation. "Our comprehensive plan clearly encourages this type of develop- menL" Phillips said. "The public reaction to this application re- flects the frivolity of master plans." In addition, he said, the state's Livable Delaware program pro- motes growth around towns. "That's a document I take to heart," Phillips said. Tyler said he was surprised that Phillips voted in favor of the application. "It was overwhelm- ing and so obvious the case should not be done, and he still went against the tide," he said. "He could have gained a lot of re- spect and a lot of points if he vot- ed against it." Vincent said he could only make a decision based on the public record, not emotional comments made by the public. He said after reviewing all of the testimony and record he still had two concerns: the large size of the project and its effect on the surface water recharge area. "It's an area we must take all measures to protect," he said. In addition, Vincent said he had faith in the planning and zoning commission and its rec- ommendations. By a 3-2 vote, the planning and zoning commis- sion had recommended denial of the application. The decision al- so puts a kink in a proposed col- laboration between L.T. Associ- ates and the Sussex Family YM- CA. Had the application been ap- proved, adjoining land to the Vil- lage Centre would have been available to expand the YMC& now located in Rehoboth Beach. Group says John. Mateyko, spokesman for Mamrging Growth Around Lewes, said a new day has dawned. "The slam dunk approval of the good ole boys is behind us," he said. "From now on develop- ers will have to work harder to get three votes for approval. The new Sussex is growing as its de- mographics change. As more professionals, retired and still working, move into Sussex they expect professionalism, not poli- tics, to prevail in public land-use issues that shape the quality of their life and the public interest over the special interest. "Developers will have to more carefully select sites, de- sign appropriately for the site and work with the community - propose the fight project, in the right place," he said. Mateyko said the time has new day dawned in Sussex of Lewes to b_ire'professional, ex- perienced planners. "We had to spend $39,000 be- cause of a lack of a county plan- ner" he said referring to funds spent by the coalition of commu- nity groups. "We did the work the planner should have done." Grassroots groups, Lewes City Council and Board of Public Works, Lewes Historical Society, several elected officials and the National Trust for Historic Preservation opposed the re- quest. Petitions with 2300 signa- tures against the application were presented to county offi- cials. Mateyko said everyone's effort paid off. "What bugs me is celebrating what should have been done all along" said Nadine Wick, also of Managing Growth Around Lewes. "We should not have to Continued on page 19