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February 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 28, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 28- March 6,1997. 17 Spectrum of Sussex Countians chosen for land use summit By Rosanne Pack Southern Delaware and the Cape region are represented among the 99 members named to the Delaware Public Policy Insti- tute's Land Use Study Committee. The group convenes for the first time next week, Wednesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 6 to begin the work of developing statewide recommendations for future land use and infrastructure planning. Sen. Robert Voshell, state sen- ate majority leader and represen- tative of the 18th District, served on the steering committee for the Land Use Summit. A Democrat and retired department of trans- portation official, Voshell said that those asked to serve on the 99-member committee were cho- sen to represent as broad a cross- section of Delaware's population as possible. "We tried to get people on all sides of issues facing our state," he said. "There are farmers, real- tors, elected officials, developers, environmentalists. We hope to have good discussion, good input from the public and then, to reach some good recommendations for our future." Voshell and Sen. George Bunting, D-20th District, are the only General Assembly members from Sussex County to serve on the committee. Other Sussex elected officials asked to serve are Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper and Sussex County Coun- cil members Dale Dukes and George Collins. Sussex County Administrator Bob Stickels is also a committee member. Bunting is enthusiastic about the process involved in the DPPI Land Use Study. He said people should go into it realizing that, even though Delaware is a small state, there is great variety in land use and lifestyle, and that must be taken into consideration in any planning process. "One reason Delaware is so ef- fective in many areas is because people here work together," he said. "It's really good to look at what can come out of planning; it's not ever too late to try to plan for the future. "We can't look into a crystal ball; but we know what many of the issues are up and down the state. And, they are solvable prob- lems." No time to lose Mike Tyler, president of the Sussex County Citizen's Coali- tion, is also named to the land use study committee as a community representative. He is hopeful that the study and planning approach proposed is a fruitful one, however he feels that we will start to lose our inland bays, our estuary system, and that will start a subtle chain reaction that might not be apparent until it is too late. "It would affect everything about our way of life and econo- my. Unless we get our act together and create a network throughout the state, we may lose things that are irreplaceable." Tyler also takes issue with the representation of the 99-member committee. He said he is a little disappoint- ed that the selection is not as broad as it could have been. In his opinion, representatives of more community groups should have been included. As examples, he listed such or- ganizations as the Village Im- provement Association and home- owners associations. "I would have liked to see rep- resentatives of Colonial East, Gosling Creek," he said, "People who live in the areas most effect- ed by zoning and development. More care could have been taken to get a really representative group of people who are willing to listen and share ideas. Some peo- ple were chosen who have already exhibited closed minds." Another community representa- tive from Sussex County who will serve on the land use study com- mittee is Walt Bryan. He serves as vice chair of the governmental af- fairs committee for Sussex Coun- ty Board of Realtors, however he said his inclusion on the commit- tee is primarily because he is a working land use consultant/de- veloper. "I'm a member of the private sector, I'm not an elected official of any kind," he said. "I am an ad- vocate of leaving the land market to find its own level, rather than the government controlling an in- dividual's land. "We have a lot of issues to ad- dress: mass transit, water and sewer, roads and infrastructure. I have to go into this with a positive attitude; I have no particular ax to grind." Farmland issues Bunting said that he was chosen for the land use study committee as a government representative; however, as a small businessman, and as the chair of the Senate agri- cultural committee, he said that he comes with more than one per- spective. His memories of grow- ing up in Sussex County also col- or his vision of what he wants for the county and the state. "I'm looking at the counties to take more responsibility for man- aging and supporting the growth that they allow. I think we, as a county, should take care of our land preservation, I'm in favor of it. We need to make it attractive for our farmers to continue. Re- member, 90 percent of farm in- come comes back into the local community." Tyler also commented on farm- land issues, saying, "I hope the agricultural people understand that they do not have a God-given right to develop their land. No- body has that right. "What we have to think of is growth management, not growth stoppage. In this land use summit, we have to hope that it opens the state population's vision to a longer range so the perspective of Sussex County will be different. There is no 'One size fits all.;' certain things apply here and not in New Castle County, and vice versa." Vosbell said that the public must realize that the success of the land use summit depends on across-the-board participation. He said all sessions, the two-day sum- mit and the workshops planned for May, are all open to the public. A workshop will be held in each county on three successive days, and different agendas will be ad- dressed each day. "There will not be duplication, if people come to each workshop, they will hear something different each day," he said. "This whole process depends on the people giving input. It's not going to do any good just to have 99 people trying to determine the future of Delaware." Other Sussex County members named to the land use study com- mittee are Frank Calio, Sussex County Economic Development, community representatives Richard Collins, Halsey Knapp, Charles Marsh; and Mabel Granke of the Sussex County Citizen's Coalition. Also serving as representatives of business, agriculture and labor from Sussex County are Preston Dyer, developer; David Baker, Baker Farms, Farm Council; Ed- ward Jestice, Sussex County Farm Bureau; and Mary Ross, Sussex County Farm Bureau. Serving on the technical advisory committee are southern Delawareans Lawrence Lank, Sussex County Planning director; Gerald Esposi- to, DNREC, water resources; and Jonathan Sharp, University of Delaware College of Marine Stud- ies, Lewes. For information on attending the two-day land use summit, March 5 and 6, Clayton Hall, Uni- versity of Delaware, Newark, call 302-576-6571. The summit can take up to 400 attendees in addition to the 99- member committee. UNIVERSITY Be THE LAND & SEA Free public lectures with University of Delaware faculty Friday, Feb. 28 /I/y00 divlc.,e00ice in . @esl: for WILLIAM W. BOYER JR.  MARK W. HUDDLESTON Political Science and International Relations In Lewes: 10 a.m. Virden Center Hugh R. Sharp Campus In Seaford: 2 p.m. Auditorium Methodist Manor House In The Center Of Downtown Rehoboth Beach, DE South Elevation North Elevation Rehoboth Avenue Baltimore Avenue Prime Rehoboth Avenue/Baltimore Avenue Location Street to Street Shopping 750 - 1100 sq. ft. Available Real Estate Agents Welcome timing is all important, and there own," he said. "There are so many on managing the state's growth, ed. In Sussex County, we have to | iii`iiiiiii]iiii!i!i:i!i]iiiii#!iiiiiiiDiiiiii!iiii||il[iiiiiii[iiiiii]iii II !?!:i!!;:....1!`::::::!;:!.:.;:;m:.;;!m.#!!i.;!...:..1!5" ,.".':!:g v.:.::..?.1:i$,;:::!:.:;','.':'':.... " ".. grow any more. In fact, our land is but we also have to keep an ele- | [ inching away," he said. "If devel- ment of fairness to land owners. , But, when t comes to farm obserlb opment is not managed properly, " " I S e to the Cape Gazette... call 6/45-7700. [