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Lewes, Delaware
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February 25, 2000     Cape Gazette
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February 25, 2000

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14 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, February 25 - March 2, 2000 Lewes man takes UD land sale issue to Legislature and Council meeting for a vote. New Road Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), a division of Blenheim Homes of New Castle County, has a contract to purchase another 99-acre parcel of the re- search park lands. That group has also proposed a rezoning, to ac- commodate an age-restricted resi- dential community. A public hearing had been scheduled for Feb. 23 however it has been post- poned due to confusion in the city's subdivision and zoning process. Jay Sonecha of New Road LLC issued a statement on Thursday of this week saying his organization remains committed to demonstrat- ing the need for its proposed de- velopment and the benefits it could bring to Lewes. [See full text of Sonecha's statement at end of this article.] Petitions circulating Leading an organization called Citizens Against Town Sprawl (CATS), Lechliter has gathered more than 200 signatures on a pe- tition protesting sale of the lands. He also supports legislation spon- sored by Rep. Dave Ennis (R-Fox Point) and Rep. John Schroeder (D-Lewes) which would restrict the university's ability to sell lands purchased or improved with public funds and directing profits from such sales back to the state. Lechliter has written University of Delaware President David Roselle asking more than 30 ques- tions about sale of the lands and the process. He said he felt he was entitled to the information under the state's Freedom of In- formation Act. Roselle passed the letters on to Pierre D. Hayward who is vice president and univer- sity secretary. Hayward answered Lechliter's letters. Here is the re- sponse in its entirety: "Since the disposition of Uni- versity property is a Board of Trustee decision, President Roselle has referred your letters of January 24 and February 1 to this office for a response. "Trustee deliberations on the offer of a conditional sale of this parcel [the 99 acres under contract to Blenheim] were held during an executive session, and the record of that session is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. "The application to rezone this parcel was not submitted by the University of Delaware but by the New Road Limited Liability Cor- poration. The decision to rezone this parcel is to be made by the Lewes City Council. Concerns and comments on this rezoning are appropriately directed to members of the Lewes City Coun- cil. "No public dollars were used to purchase any of the university's Lewes land holdings. The state and federal monies used for infra- structure improvements on the parcel for sale were given with the intention they would result in job creation. After 18 years not one jobhas been created. The univer- sity has stated that if the Lewes property is sold, this same amount from the sale will be invested in infrastructure improvements in the Delaware Technology Park [in Newark], a research park that is indeed creating hundreds of jobs." Here is the written response re- ceived from Sonecha on Thurs- day regarding questions posed by the "Cape Gazette" about the fu- ture of the New Road LLC pro- posal: "While recognizing the senti- ment expressed by some against any development of this land, we remain committed to this worth- while project. Surrounded by ex- isting and proposed residential communities, the use of this land as an age restricted, active adult community is not only appropri- ate, but one for which there is a clear need, given the demographic trends. We also expect to demon- strate that the project will have a positive financial impact on the City of Lewes. Keenly aware of the environmental quality of the surrounding area, we are sensitive By Dennis Forney Gerald Lechliter took his cam- paign against development of University of Delaware's research lands in Lewes to the state Legis- lature this week. Lechliter lives in Harbor View development alongside the lands where two age-restricted projects have been proposed. He ad- dressed the state's Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday when it was discussing University of Delaware's request for $100 mil- lion in operating money for the next fiscal year. Lechliter took exception with the University of Delaware's deci- sion to sell two parcels, totaling about 175 acres, in the area of a marine research park which, after 18 years, hasn't attracted a single tenant. He questioned the univer- sity selling the land and taking profits from sale of lands in an ecologically sensitive area. One of the parcels, 75 acres, was sold to Beebe Medical Center a few years ago for about $900,000. At the time Beebe said it was interested in developing an eldercare and assisted living facil- ity. Since that time Beebe has shifted its focus to a parcel of land between Kings Highway and Sa- vannah Road near Cape Henlopen High School where it plans to build the eldercare facilities. It has since contracted to sell the other 75-acre tract to Cadbury of Lewes for an assisted living facili- ty. The contract price is in the realm of $1.8 million. Lewes has held a public hearing on Cadbury's request for a zoning change to allow it to build the non-profit assisted living facility. The next step in the rezoning process will be a public workshop at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, in the upstairs meeting room of Lewes Public Library. Purpose of the meeting is for Mayor and Council members to discuss de- tails of the project and rezoning proposal. After that workshop the issue will go to an official Mayor The 3L's in Real Estate! Location Location Location and List with Lou at Lingo's Lou Cristaldi...Realtor Office 227-3S83 lack lingo Inc. tlome 227-2qSS I-MAIl ; Iou2beach, 15th Annual Land and Sea Lectures Spend Friday, Feb. 25, with an environmental leader and former governor "Rebe/w,'th a Consc,00nce"with Russeff Peters, The former Delaware Governor and President of the Audubon Society will share his insights and look at how growing human activity is threatening life on Earth. In Seaford: 2 p.m. Auditorium Methodist Manor House In Lewes: 10 a.m. Virden Center/Pilot Room Hugh R. Sharp Campus rn00 CAF00 R00G,O00. GOt, COVERED, ] Call 645-7700 to subscribe. [ Submitted photo Gerald Lechliter makes a point during an appearance Tues- day before the state's Joint Finance Committee. In the back- ground is Rep. Dave Ennis who owns property near the Uni- versity of Delaware land in question and has also been a vo- cal critic. to the need for protecting and maintaining it. We have recently held informational meetings with the surrounding communities con- cerning this project, and plan to engage in constructive dialogue with the larger community in Lewes. Our goal throughout this process is to shape the project such that it: ". blends well into Lewes; "- is sensitive to the concerns of the surrounding communities; and ". lets the University of Delaware benefit from what has so far been an idle investment." WATERFRONT PARADISE ... Almost five acres of privacy on Rehoboth Bay. Unsurpassed panoramic views from this building parcel, to the east the nightlights of Dewey Beach, to the west Thompson Island and the Dodd Marsh, in the Pine Bay Subdivision. Listed at $875,000. Please coil Michael Real for more details 227-8525. G...::.:: ,: THE REAL NAME IN REAL ESTATE. ].":.;:'::  !-888-,500-7325 302-22/-os25