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February 8, 2008     Cape Gazette
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February 8, 2008

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County toughens source-water regs Same rules apply to wellhead, recharge areas By Ron MacArthur Cape Gazette staff County officials will write in stricter groundwater protection regulations that could affect land use in some areas in a sec- ond edition of the Sussex source-water pro- tection ordinance. The changes comply with state recom- Showfield'. plan good, needs work mendations but are contrary to the draft ordinance presented by the county's source- water protection and technical advisory committee. The effect of the changes would be most obvious in new commercial developments with large impervious areas that are built in designated wellhead protection areas. Such developments will still be allowed, but developers would have to provide ways for rainwater runoff to be retained to replenish the aquifer. With the cleadline already past, Sussex County Council has gone back to the draw- ing board for another draft of the source- water protection ordinance. After a review of the original ordinance, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) recom- mended two changes - amendments that the county council approved 4-1 during its Tuesday, Feb. 5 meeting. The changes mean another public hearing is needed, said county attorney James Griffin. Councilman Vance Phillips voted against the new ordinance. "We need the ordinance as introduced," he said. "It .went through an exhaustive process, and we are only drag- ging it out. We need to vote on it. We are overreaching. We can always come back and tweak it." The state has threatened to hold up certi- fication of the county's comprehensive land-use plan without the inclusion of an approved source-water protection ordi- Continued on page 16 By Henry J. Evans Jr. Cape Gazette staff The engineering consultant firm hired by the City of Lewes to review Showfield's proposed subdivision and zoning plans has concluded its community design concept is good, but more could be done to make the development mesh with the character of Lewes. Kyle Gulbronson, senior project manag- er with URS Corp., hired by the city to review Showfield's tentative plot plan, provided a report on the project at a Wednesday, Feb. 6 joint public hearing held by the Lewes Mayor and Council and Lewes Planning Commission at the Lewes Public Library. "While the design concept is well planned considering site conditions, it could do more to extend the traditional rhythm, scale and layout of Lewes, and fit with the context [of] the city's historical character," wrote Gulbronson and Ryan Mawhinney, a URS planner, in an eight- page report to the city and planning com- mission. Continued on page 15 Ron MacArthur photo Bridge provides route to additional links at Baywood Greens Traffic goes under a new bridge on Route 24 near Long under construction to the west of the existing course. Neck Thursday, Feb. 7. The bridge, designed for golf carts The road was closed and the bridge was raised into place and small maintenahce vehicles, links the existing 18- Wednesday night, Feb. 6. hole Baywood Greens golf course to another nine holes See story on page 4 ices. Since then, water giants Tidewater Utilities and Artesian Water have developed proposals for land-based wastewater dis- posal. At the commissioners' workshop on Monday, Dec. 4, the city heard presenta- tions by the two companies. Tidewater's proposal calls for the company to lease land on Route 24 and use it for spray irrigation. Wastewater would be treated at Rehoboth's treatment facility and then pumped to a 340- acre field. The plan includes lagoons for on- site storage of wastewater during periods when it cannot be sprayed. Tidewater is in negotiation s to lease 700 more acres if the city goes forward with the project. Company officials say the estimated user cost for the project is $1,074 to $1,236 [in 2008 dollars] compared to an estimated Continued on page 20 City, county at stalemate on joint ocean outfall By Ryan Mavity " Cape Gazette staff The city of Reboboth Beach is under the proverbial gun to solve its wastewater dis- posal problems, and with a court issued consent order threatening to go "click" in December 2014 and the city and county at a standstill over a proposed ocean outfall project, Rehoboth officials are looking into additional alternatives. In 2005; consultants Stems and Wheler found land-based systems would be prohib- itively expensive and recommended ocean ouffall. But in 2004, about the same time the study was done, Delaware allowed pri- vate companies to provide wastewater serv- Water companies make pitch to Rehoboth