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March 11, 2005     Cape Gazette
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March 11, 2005

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$ Ill i CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 11 - March 14, 2005 - 9 Dewey planners support conversion of Marina Suites By Jim Cresson By a unanimous 6-0 vote on March 7, Dewey Beach Planning and Zoning commissioners rec- ommended town council approve its first-ever request to convert a motel to condominiums. Marina Motel Ventures LLC principal owners Joseph Corrado and William Galbraith were pres- ent to answer questions about their limited liability corpora- tion's plan to convert Marina Suites' 84 rooms into 46 condo- miniums. As described by Galbraith, the larger of the two existing motel buildings would be converted to six, two-bedroom units and 22 one-bedroom units. The smaller of the buildings will be converted to three, two-bedroom units and 15 one-bedroom units. Each unit will contain one bath and a full kitchen. Of the existing 148 park- ing spaces at the motel, 92 will be used for the condominiums. The condominium units would range in size from 763 square feet of living area to more than 1,600 square feet, with an average living area size of slightly more than 1,000 square feet, Galbraith said. They would range in sale price from $500,000 to $800,000, he said. The motel, consisting of two buildings on the bay side of Collins Street, was strongly op- posed by townspeople when it was planned in 1999. When it was completed in 2000, raising the to- tal of motel rooms in Dewey to 584, town commissioners placed a moratorium on any more new motel construction. Planning commissioners voted unanimotisly late last year to rec- ommend approval of an ordinance to allow conversion of existing motels to condominiums as condi- tional uses in the resort-business zoning district. Town council vot- ed 4-1 to make the ordinance law. After a one-hour presentation of the plan, the meeting was opened for citizen comment. Although four citizens had questions about the plan, none expressed either support or opposition to it. Town attorney Rob Witsil ad- vised planning commissioners that a lawsuit has been filed against the town challenging the recently approved conversion code. Witsil also noted that the four town commis- sioners who favored that ordinance are sat- isfied the new code protects the health, welfare and safety of Dewey Beach resi- dents. He said there was no temporary re- straining order re- quested in the lawsuit and no court action has occurred since it was filed last month. "The adoption of Ordinance 523 carries a presumption of va- lidity that courts and Delaware case law recognize," said Witsil. "You should proceed with a vote." Planning commissioner George WILSON Metz cast the In'st affh'ma- rive vote, saying the appli- cants met all requirements and made a good presenta- tion of facts. Commissioner Carolann Gerstner agreed for the same reasons. Commissioner Mike Harmer agreed, saying the application was profession- ally done. Commission chairman Harry Wilson also voted in the affLrmative, saying the ap- plication meets all code require- ments and that he believes the conversion will improve the south end of town. Commissioner Suzanne Ziegler agreed, as did Commissioner He- lene Bruhl. John Miller v. Town of Milton case to go to trial By Kerry Kester long as I have anything to do with In an opinion released March 8, it.' Although Mayor Bushey de- U.S. District Court Chief Judge nied making such a statement, he Sue L. Robinson ruled the case of admitted using such derogatory John Miller v. the Town of Milton racial slurs because he does not will go to trial as planned for think 'n-----.' is a 'strong April 18 Miller, who is black, is word.'" suing the town for racial discrimi- "We expect to file an appeal nation because he was not pro- with respect to the 1981 dis- moted to chief of police in 2001. missal," said Miller's attorney, Robinson ruled on a summary Jeffrey K. Martin. judgment, which is a motion par- 'the events that [Miller] claims ties make to determine whether a were discriminatory are not suffi- case should be dropped or pro- cient for a reasonable jury to infer ceed to trial. She determined that [Town of Milton] had a cus- Miller may go to trial and al- tom or policy of discriminating though he may not seek punitive against African-American em- damages, he may assert claims for ployees generally," the judge star- future damages. Neither Miller ed. She referred to Miller's nor his attorney would release the claims that during the hiring amount of damages they are seek- process he was treated differently ing. than other candidates for the job, The judge stated Miller's case the town opted to employ an open does not meet the criteria for vio- hiring process rather than pro- lating the federal law, known as mote from within and he was de- section 1981, pertaining to racial nied opportunities for training discrimination. However, the even when he offered to pay for judge's order noted Mayor Jack the courses himself. Bushey, who is also a Rehoboth "That's what I do not agree Beach police officer, "was heard with," said Martin. "The standard to remark, as part of a conversa- is whether the decision makers tion regarding whether [Miller] are biased." would be the next chief of police, Miller worked for the Milton 'that n-- will never be chief as Continued on page 22 Jfa.qter Imlta//ers t WATERFORD" Celebration of our Heritage Celebrating Waterford's Heritage We are 6ffering two "First Edition" items at a very special retail. Lismore Footed Beverage Pair $79 - Killarney 8" Vase $119 Established 1977 25 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971 302-227-8331 800-225-8331 www. woodenindianltd, corn Monday-Saturday 10-5 Sunday 11-5 Join us for Irish Coffee March 11 thru March 17 Receive a lb of our Freshly ground Irish Cream Coffee with all Waterford purchases