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Lewes, Delaware
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February 16, 2010     Cape Gazette
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February 16, 2010

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4 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 - THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010 NEWS ca Ga-eue Briny Water council meeting upstate cancelled The Delaware Clean Water Advisory Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17, has been cancelled. The council's next meeting will be in March; details will be posted at Cape district considers teacher layoffs As many as 19 Cape Henlopen School District employees could receive pink slips this spring. Ten teachers, eight paraprofes- sionals and another district em- ployee could lose their jobs, said district business di- rector Oliver Gumbs. He explained the positions are funded through stabi- Oliver Gumbs lization funds given to the state as part of the federal stimu- lus package, which will be re- duced this coming year, then eliminated. The district-cannot afford to pick up the $961,000 cost of those positions on local funds. Gumbs said he cannot identify the specific positions or people affected; he said the district will not know for sure if it has to lay off staff until the state finalizes its fiscal year 2011 budget June 30. Parrot permit request on Rehoboth agenda The Rehoboth Beach commis- sioners will hear a permit of compliance request from the Purple Parrot Grill to renovate the existing location at 134 Re- hoboth Ave. and expand into the adjacent property at 41W'timing- ton Ave. The commissioners will hear the request at their regular meet- ing at 7 pan., Friday, Feb. 19, in the city commissioners' roon'L They will also consider a pro- posed ordinance that would re- duce, under certain circum- stances, the requirement that each lot created in a major subdi- vision must front on a public street at least 50 feet in width. The agenda also includes con- sideration of an ordinance that would require the construction of missing or discontinuous side- walks upon the occurrence of certain events, as well as discus- sion of proposed revisions to the city's tree ordinance. The commissioners will dis- cuss the draft of the comprehen- sive development plan presented by the planning commission and the process for commissioner approval. They will also consider ap- pointments to city committees, commissions and boards. Millsboro Garden Club cancels brunch Due to recent weather condi- tions, the Garden Club is cancel- ing its Brunch With the Garden Club originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20. It will be rescheduled at a later date. Park regs ntl from Ige 1 Bobble Hemmerich, a resident of McNichol Place in Lewes, said variances are handed out like penny candy. "They should be handed out very rarely 7 she said. Boucher said a hardship must be presented to allow for a vari- ance. "What is a p for allow- ing a doublewide on a sin- glewide lot?' she asked. "What is hardship? How do you deter- mine that?' There is no clear definition of hardship; the board of adjust- ment decides on a case-by-case basis, said Lawrence Lank, com- mittee member and director of county planning arid zoning. Boucher said park owners should be required to combine two small lots into one larger lot for the placement of doublewide homes if the home coverage ex- ceeds code. Park owner and committee member Steve Class said the cost of combining two lots into one would be prohibitive to homeowner "Would people go from $400 a month rent to $900 a month to place their home?' he asked. "I don't think so." Lank said some parks predate county zoning in 1968, and even when zoning was instituted in 1971, parks were permitted to have lots of less than 4,000 square feet. Boucher said placing homes close together, with variances for lot-size coverage and setback in- fringement, creates safety prob- lems related to fires. Class said there have been five fires in 35 years in his parks con- taining 700 lots; most were caused by human error. He said there are fewer manufactured- home fires than fires in stick- built homes, and today's homes are built to strict fire standards. He said the distance between homes should not be an issue ei- ther. He said the City of Re- hoboth Beach allows 5-foot set- backs between property lines. County code requires a 10-foot setback from the property line, but some older parks have set- backs of only 5 feet. Boucher suggested that the state Fire Marshal's Office should review every variance ap- plication before it is presented to the board of adiustment. "We will take a look at that, but we can't force them to respond," said committee member David Baker, the county administrator. Class said the time has come for the county to change its 20- foot separation regulation, what he called, an isolation district. No structures can be placed within the 20-foot section between homes or violate the setback reg- ulations without a variance. He said the separation district should be reduced to at least 17 to 18 feet to better accommodate wider homes in older parks. He said most new homes are from 16 to 20 feet wide. Boucher said she did not sup- port a change without input from the Fire Marshal's Office and planning and zoning staff. "There was a reason they choose 20 feet. To change the regulation, I want it iustified," she said. Lank suggested removing sheds from the regulation,which would allow for a little more lee- way in the separation zone. Jeanne Sisk, who lives in Sea Air Mobile Home Park, said the regulation should be changed to include living space only and not include attachments such as porches, decks and sheds. The committee has a hit list of items for discussion: changes in regulations for steps and land- ings; exemption of handicap ramps from variance require- ments; changes in setback, vari- ance and separation zone regula- tions; and a better definition of accessory buildings. Class said changes should be in the direction of less govern- ment involvement. "More should be done within the communities and not the county government," he said. Other committee members are J. Everett Moore, county at- torney, and Ed Speraw, president of the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association. Al- ternates include Boucher; Robert Tunnell Ill, park owner;, V'mce Robertson, assistant coun- ty attorney;, Shane Abbott, assis- tant director of planning and zoning; and Hal Godwin, deputy county administrator. J00us AND We've Served in the Area for Over 25 Years TURN YOUR GOLD ,me CASH! Gold pricesare going down, but we still pay the highest prices. Must have valid I.D. Did you know Fifth Avenue Jewelers does more than just sell beautiful jewelry? Remount Diamonds & Gemstones Jewelry Repairs Change Watch Batteries Engrave Free Ring Cleaning & Inspection Pelican Square, Rt. I Between Superfresh & Marshalis Reheboth Beach, DE 302-645-0305