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March 11, 2005     Cape Gazette
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March 11, 2005

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 11 - March 14, 2005 - VIEWPOINTS Editorial On leased land, identify need Who's to blame for rising land rents in manufactured home com- munities in Sussex County? The free enterprise system that allows owners to maximize return on assets? Low taxes that draw retirees seeking to stretch their retirement dollars? Publicly owned beaches and parks that make this a desirable place to live putting upward pressure on land values? Delaware's renowned Chancery Court sys- tem that attracts corporations from all over the world, giving a healthy shot of revenues from outside our borders and keeping our state taxes low? Our ideal location at the sweet spot of the mid- Atlantic coast that provides such a beneficial climate? Or is it our proximity to the multi-million population of the mid-Atlantic mega- lopolis and the hundreds of thousands of prosperous baby boomers? The answer involves all of these factors. Anyway you cut it, the cost of living in Sussex is going up, not only for those on leased land but for renters and homebuyers as well. Few will sell their homes or land for less than the market will bring to help keep things afford- able. Under our free enterprise system and democratic government, we rely on taxes to get done collectively what we won't do individual- ly. The important thing is that our tax dollars are spent well to adjust for deficiencies. Increasing income taxes from those prospering from the market and increasing real estate transfer taxes from those driving the market offer resources to apply to needs. Defining the truly needy in this scenario is an important starting point. Sussex County Council - our liaison between the public and the private sector - could start that ball rolling by using surplus funds to commission University of Delaware's Public Policy Institute to assess this complex situation. If funds are needed to address a clearly defined need such as subsidized housing for those displaced by rising rents, lawmakers can use taxes as a tool to help keep things in balance. Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Kerry Kester, associate editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; and Laura Ritter, news editor. The Weather Picture : i HI to Pro March 3 37 25 None March 4 41 23 None March 5 41 34 None March 6 52 30 None March 7 70 43 None March 8 60 27 1.26 March 9 35 20 None As reported by the Lewes Board of Public Works Power Plant, an official U.S. Weather Station. Dennis Forney photo The old drawbridge building alongside the Broadkill River reflects in an ebbing tide on a late winter afternoon. Sussex Council deserves kudos Many of us have criticized the Sussex County Council for allow- ing overdevelopment in the east- ern part of the county. So it is only fair to give credit to the council when they strike a blow for reasonable growth. At their March 1 meeting, the Council, with Councilman Lynn Rogers leading the charge, reined in developers who wanted to build a conglomeration of 351 multi- family, duplex, and single-family units in the proposed Nassau Grove development. The property is located just north of the Nassau Bridge along Rt. 1 and Road 265, now known as Minos Conaway Road. At earlier hearings, neighbors had pointed out that multifamily and duplex housing was out of character with the surrounding area of single-family homes. We expressed concerns about the amount of traffic that would be generated by 351 housing units. We noted environmental issues, access to Rt. 1 and Rt. 9, and many other matters. Jane Nicholson, of Mill Pond Acres, organized a petition which result- ed in 485 signatures of neighbors opposing the development. In testimony, neighbors agreed that, while we would prefer that the development be denied, we knew the land was much too valu- able to remain as a soybean field for very long and that single-fam- ily housing would be an accept- able compromise. Lynn Rogers led the fight to drastically reduce the density by 107 units, from 351 down to 244 single-family units. He accom- plished this by denying the request for multifamily and duplex housing in the develop- ment. That move also brought the Nassau Grove development into compliance with the character of the surrounding community of single-family homes. Rogers was able to convince the other members of the Council to vote in favor of his major revi- sions and to attach some 15 condi= tions the developers will have to meet in order to move forward. Our sincere thanks go to Lynn Rogers and the rest of the Council for listening to their constituents and opting to support reasonable growth find development. Joe O'Neill Lewes Volume 12 No. 82 Publisher Dennis Forney, Ext. 303 dnf@ Editor Tdsh Vernon, Ext. 315 newsroom Office Manager Kathy Emery, Ext. 305 Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 317 kester @ Sports Editor Dave Frederick, Ext. 320 davetredman @ News Editor Laura Ritter Iritter @ Sports Writers Tim Bamforth tim @ Frederick Schranck Fschranck @ News Steve Hoenigmann, Ext. 321 steveh @ Jim Cresson, EXt. 318 jcresson @ Jen Ellingsworth, Ext. 319 jen Karl Chalabala, Ext. 338 kad @ Jim Westhoff, EXt. 339 jwesthoff @ Janet Andrelczyk, Ext. 335 Rosanne Pack Maggie Beetz, EXt. 337 mbeetz @ Bridin Reynolds Hughes Henry Evans, Ext. 336 hevans @ Photographers Dan Cook Steven Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate, Ext. 308 Classified Sandy Barr, Ext. 300 sbarr @ Kirn McPike, Ext. 310 krncpike @ capegazette.corn Jean Sarro, EXt. 302 jeans @ Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ Sharon Hudson, EXt. 306 shudson Amanda Neafie-Lucks, EXt. 311 amandal @ Chris Rausch, Ext. 312 crausch @ Steve Lhotsky, EXt. 313 Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks@ capegazette.corn Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodriguez Ron Winterstein Ken Dunning Sheri Oswald Kristin Comell Edwin Krumrn Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Webmaater Catherine M. Tanzer web Receptionists Kandy Vicary Beth Vorhauer Circulation Joni Weber, EXt. 360 joniweber Email for news, letters: newsroom @ Email for advertising: production @ Email to aubecdbe: subscribe @ Herring Pointe project not sound planning Last week it was reported that Georgetown officials put a mora- torium on perrni,','ts for new subdi- visions until they can have a chance to evaluate whether or not the infrastructure can support more urbanization. Well congratu- lations to those officials for using sound judgment, It really does make stnse to take that approach. It's a shame the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission won't demonstrate a similar atti- tude. The "Herring Pointe" subdivi- sion was finally approved on Feb. 24. This is the same subdivision that the Planning & Zoning Commission said had "too little of the superior design' expected of "cluster" developments in which homes are located on relatively small lots in order to leave ample land for community open space." These words were taken from a recent article in a local newspaper. Well, the developers made virtual- Continued on page 7 The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- lished by Cape Gazette Umited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Le, e_.s, DE 19958. Second- class postage paid at Reh0both Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. I:OSTMASlUN: Send address changes toThe Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes." Asian proverb