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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1998 - 19 Lewes CARC votes down Lewes [Tt/e- ........ Beach condo storefront proposal iPaperclip [ I I Property owner appeals decision to board By Dennis Forney By a 3-2 vote, members of the Lewes Commercial Architecture Commission (CARC) at their Thursday, March 5 meeting turned down a proposed commer- cial-condominium complex at the corner of Bay Avenue and Savan- nah Road. Those who voted against the project sided with a number of neighbors in the residential area. The neighbors objected to the traf- fic the project would generate on Bay Avenue, which they said would create a dangerous situa- tion for the many pedestrians and bicyclists who use that narrow street. Michael Makowski, who owns the property along with Bill Schab, said he and his partner will appeal the decision to the Lewes Board of Adjustment. "We feel they made an improper decision," said Makowski. "There was one comment that the project was in- compatible with the neighborhood when a year ago the same exact project was unanimously ap- proved," said Makowski. "Anoth- er member said that I was inflexi- ble and should revise the proposal to have only one storefront instead of two. All that would have done was eliminate one parking space. We still want to go forward with the project and we don't feel that the traffic that would be on Bay Avenue for a total distance of 90 feet would create a problem. We've asked for a hearing before the Board of Adjustment at its ear- liest convenience." If Makowski's appeal goes for- ward as he has stated, it will be the first appeal of a CARC decision since the body was formed more than three years ago to review the architecture of commercial pro- jects. The CARC was formed in response to community concern that town laws had no means of denying construction of the empty shell of a building how known as the DeBraak, fronting on Lewes Beach, which most feel is an inap- propriate and ugly building for Lewes. Part of the mission of the CARC is to ensure that proposed projects fit the scale and style ofstructures in the neighborhood where pro- jects are proposed. The Makows- ki project, on property zoned com- mercial, sits between commercial buildings and residential build- ings. Members cite reasons CARC members Ed Patchell and Michael Krausz cited lack of compatibility with the neighbor- hood as their reason for voting against the proposal. Krausz added that he was concerned about traffic safety in the area. CARC member John Lester said he voted against the proposal be- cause of a lack of flexibility on Makowski's part in seeking alter- native solutions to possible ways to provide ingress and egress to and from the property. CARC Chairman Cliff Diver said this week that although he didn't cast a vote, he would have voted to approve the project if he had. "I'm empathetic with the community and would prefer that the project not be commercial but at some point we have to adhere to a higher standard," said Diver. "I don't think that the reasons given were enough to deny. I don't think we had the legal basis to de- ny. Because of the way the CARC law was written [which states that CARC members can consider matters of health, safety and the general welfare of the community in their considera- tions], we're functioning as a de facto planning commission. The way the city is functioning now there is no other place that pro- jects like this get discussed. Com- mercial projects in commercial zones aren't required to go to the planning commission for a permit. They're only required to come be- fore us. At my request, the health, safety and general welfare provi- sion will be struck from the CARC law in the new zoning or- dinances being considered. The planning commission will instead consider these matters. Do I think that the project proposed is in the best interest of the community? Absolutely not. But I don't think that was our option. But if we weren't talking about this project, nobody would be, in any official capacity. The people wouldn't have had any place to express their concerns." SPECIAL PRICING THRU MARCH 19th 'It's a bad idea' During the hour-and-a-half hearing on Makowski and Schab's proposal for a commercial build- ing with two residential condo- miniums and two first floor store- fronts, R.G. Nardi summed up the feeling of a number of residents of the area: "There is such a thing as a bad idea and I believe, and most of the people in this room believe, that this proposal is a bad idea. It's a bad idea because it's unsafe and because nobody in the neigh- borhood wants it." Rob Davis, who lives across Bay Avenue from the corner prop- erty where Makowski proposes to build, said DelDOT (Delaware Department of Transportation) of- ficials indicated that there were some alternative arrangements, such as sharing an entrance from Savannah Road with the Ocean House property next door, that could get approval from DelDOT. "Why don't you talk to DeiDOT about some of their options?" said Davis. Makowski answered that he had been before the CARC five times over the past 13 months and he preferred a vote be taken on the proposal before CARC members that night. "We've done every- thing this committee asked us to do," Makowski said. "We think we deserve an answer." CARC had approved a plan whereby traf- fic would enter and exit the pro- ject property from Savannah Road thus bypassing Bay Avenue alto- gether. However DelDOT denied an entrance permit for that pro- posal saying such a traffic pattern would cause confusion at the beach end of Savannah Road. DelDOT's Joel Leidy wrote a let- ter saying a proposal for traffic Continued on page 20 = Office Supplies, Copy Service = I I i Fax, 13ueineee Cards i I and much morel! i I I I Next, t,o Poet, Office, Gingerbread 5ouare Mall I I I I gehobot,h Beach I I 226-2271 * Fax 226-2278 I I I I mon.-fri. 9 t,o ,5 eat,. 9 t,o noon cloeed eun. I I I ,, ' I L ........... -I mmmmmmmmmmmmm m I Subscribe to the Cape Gazette - Call 645-7700 If you've never tried a Futon... you should! BE00I00E FURNITURE invites you to visit our showroom and experience the com- fort and convenience of the FUTON PHENOMENONH/ Reg. Bettor Beseho $378 ! qll IALO*0NSI00 1CO00ON COV. CO, SOLD m ti I work Reg. Better Besche $468 Reg. 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