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Lewes, Delaware
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January 26, 2007     Cape Gazette
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January 26, 2007
 

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CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, January 26 - Monday, January 29, 2007 - 9 Milton planners warm to Iguana Grill With two unanimous positive votes from Milton Planning and Zoning Commission, Iguana Grill is one step closer to opening a Milton branch on the banks of the Broadkill River. At a Jan. 23 special meeting, commissioners approved an appli- cation for a special permitted-use permit to operate a restaurant at 122 Mulberry St., and an applica- tion for preliminary site-plan approval for proposed construc- tion. The special permitted-use permit was required because the former site of Mulberry Street Caf6 and original Norma's Restaurant was closed and vacant for more than a year. The prelim- inary site-plan approval is for construction of an exterior deck and covered gazebo that Iguana Grill owners would like to add to the existing building. Two of the Iguana Grill owners, Scott Pierce and Drew Raucci, represented the applicants at pub- lic hearings for the requests. The hearings preceded the special meeting in which commissioners voted in favor of both applica- tions. Comments from the public were dominated by concerns of noise spill-over from the restau- rant, primarily from the outside deck. Fewer than a dozen mem- bers of the public attended the hearings, and the four or five who spoke said they are in favor of the restaurant. However, they fear music and other associated noise would intrude into their placid surroundings on the bank of Wagamons Pond. Owners assured them they would make every effort to be good neighbors and respect the opinions of the residents across Mulberry Street on Lake Drive. The approval of the preliminary site plan came with a lengthy list of conditions that must be met before the commission will con- sider final site-plan approval. Before the vote, town engineer- ing consultant Robert Kerr ticked off requirements that must be met for site-plan approval. Included on Kerr's list were compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations for construction in a 100-year flood plain, detailed data regard- ing the number of parking spaces existing on the property and spe- cific information on outdoor light- ing. In granting the preliminary site- plan approval, commissioners instructed Pierce and Raucci to supply proof of" compliance with the imposed conditions by two weeks before they come back to planning and zoning for final site- plan approval Tuesday, Feb. 20. New trial for John Miller awaits appellate court ruling By/g'ry Ke.tm, - aga00 a;O' The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is studying whether the system U.S. District Court in Delaware uses to develop jury pools is fair. John Miller, who is suing the Town of Milton for racial discrimination, learned Wednesday, Jan. 24, that his trial originally scheduled for Feb. 5 will be postponed, pending the outcome of the appellate court's ruling. Miller's attorney, Martin,  said he originally filed for a continu- ance after learning from another discrimination case that the lone minority member of a jury favored a plaintiff in a discrimina- tion case but was shut down by the white jurors. Martin said in that case, when the minority juror tried to present ideas for the jury to consider, members rejected her ideas and a loud argument ensued. • Martin said.he then started con- ducting research to see whether it was common for juries to not actually be representative of the general population. He said he found what he thifiks is a fatal constitutional flaw. "'It appears to be fair on its face," said Martin, "but in the practical sense, it isn't." Martin said U.S. District Court sends out 10,000 questionnaires to potential jurors. Many courts send out questionnaires simulta- neously with a summons for the juror to appear at court. He said only about 12 percent of the dis- trict court •questionnaires are returned, so it is from those that jury pools are selected. He said he then sought research from the University of Delaware, which confirmed that with U.S. Census questionnaires, black peo- ple are half as likely to respond as white people. Therefore, he rea- soned, the number of minority people who are likely to become part of the jury mix - based on the likelihood minorities will return the jury questionnaires - is signif- • icantly lower. Martin said his goal for seeking a continuance for Miller's trial in U.S. District Court was for the judge to consider whether the court's jury plan is adequate. She denied that motion Jan. 16. Martin subsequently filed the motion with the appellate court. "This issue has not been raised - that there's no cross section in the jury pool," said Marin. "The big question is does this jury selection in Delaware give across section of people from Delaware?" He said only six out Continued on tare 17 A one-year condition was also imposed on live and recorded music at the location of what own- ers hope to be a second Iguana • Grill. After hearing residents of neighboring Lake Drive voice concerns about spill-over noise from the restaurant, Dean Sherman recommended the condi- tion that will allow Milton to revisit allowing outdoor music at the restaurant. inside and recorded music would not be played after the main din- ner rush was over at about 9 p.m. Some residents were not satis- fied with assurances that restau- rant owners would adjust music levels that disturbed those who live nearby. Several s/aid they did not want to listen to music that was not of their choosing and encroached on the enjoyment of their decks and porches that over- Pierce and Raucci explained  look Wagamons Pond. thatlive music would primarily be Resident Suzanne, Thurman one or two acoustical imusicians a skedif owners would consider a and recorded music would be in compromise and only allow music the dinner music category. They inside. Pierce and Rancci could said live musicians would perform not agree with that would work with all neighbors to keep music t an acceptable level. Ruacci said Iguana Grill owners do not intend to offend anyone in Milton with their presence. Both men said they want the restaurant to restore another positive eating establishment in Milton and to be a contributing member of the community. In setting deadlines for proof of compliance with conditions, com- missioners said. they are in favor of the restaurant opening in Milton, but they want to see appli- cants better informed of what they need to have established before but said they they come to planning and zoning. WOo000 " 25 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971 302-227-8331 ° 800-225-8331 Monday-Saturday 10.5 Established 1977 , Sunday :11"5 Visit our exciting new web site www. woodenindianltd.com and receive Free Shipping and Complimentary Deluxe Gift Wrap