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Lewes, Delaware
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March 19, 2004     Cape Gazette
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March 19, 2004

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 19 - March25, 2004- VIEWPOINTS ? Increased density makes no sense A proposed conditional use for a 24-acre parcel along Old Landing Road would increase the allowable density on that Agricultural- Residential (AR-1) parcel from approximately 48 units to 140 units. Granting such a conditional use in the face of congestion concerns expressed by Delaware's Department of Transportation (DelDOT) - and knowing full well that roads in that area are already at their sat- uration point - would be irresponsible. Sussex County has tons of AR-l-zoned land available for housing. There is no need to grant zoning changes or conditional uses that will add units beyond what is permitted, in turn increasing density and congestion. Unless such proposals specifically address the dire need for affordable housing in our area, and can demonstrate such affordability now and in the future, they should be denied. If anything, developers with proposals on the table should await passage of a new zoning ordinance that will permit clustering of per- mitted units on smaller lots. That ordinance is currently before Sussex Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration. It will allow more cost-effective infrastructure and will encourage more open space - in some cases increases of as much as 200 percent in open space - in proposed communities. This clustering proposal makes so much good sense that planners will likely embrace and rec- ommend quick passage by county council. More open space: yes. Increased densities: no. Letters Property values: double-edged sword Rapidly increasing property values in Delaware's Cape Region are taking their toll on affordable housing. People earning local wages and salaries can barely afford to buy land within 10 miles of the coast, much less build a house. As a result, more and more people working along the coast are relocating to the Milford and Georgetown areas and points further west. Rising property values are also the villain making mobile home community owners less responsive to tenants' concerns about increasing land rent. Many park owners have purchase offers sitting on their desks from developers who would like to convert their parks into fee-simple residential communities. Many of the parks are in desirable locations - close to the beaches and shopping and water- ways of coastal Sussex. The park owners win either way. If they can increase their land rents by double digit figures they make more money on their investments. If renters decide the rents are too high and leave in droves, the park owners can sell their lands for many, many times their original investment because of rapidly escalating land values. Usual rules of supply and demand don't apply here. Affordable housing is a serious issue for eastern "Sussex County. Escalating land values make it virtually impossible for private entre- preneurs to construct projects that meet the definition and needs. This is a problem that requires governmental intervention. The Weather Picture Steven BIIlups photo A robin perches on a holly tree branch to sample a few berries as spring quickly approaches, not a minute too soon for the damp and dreary Cape Region. Remove underground wiring for four streets The following letter was sent to Gary Stabley, Lewes Board of Public Works, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication. I want to address your proposals relative to underground wiring for some of the streets in Lewes for the referendum to be voted upon in the near future. The information on my part comes from the newspaper and is subject to misinterpretation and sup- posed facts in their write-ups. The items of necessity outlined - i.e., the sewer plant, water lines, power transmission - are of long-term value and must be so considered. However, inclusion of underground wiring for Madison, Jefferson, Chestnut and Franklin streets is sheer folly and in my opinion, poor business management on your part. The proposal is reportedly based upon enhanced property values for these owners. If so, why not have them pay for it, rather than placing the payment on all power users? Think of it in this manner: In our newest devel- opments, i.e., Pilot Town Park and Village, and Bay Breeze, their proper- ty owners paid for their underground wiring and telephone fines when they purchased from the developer, so why demand they pay again for someone else? In addition, we living on the beach should never have it because the wires would be in the water most of the time. The proposal is not needed, wanted or justified, and if held in the referendum, may condemn its pas- sage. Please use good management and delete this phrase and think of all the voters and our needs. However, the underground wiring for Second Street is a different story. Here there is a definite improvement of ambiance for everyone to enjoy and will enhance the business people and tourists. The underground wiring will be 110 volt for the sweet fights and the pre- sent wooden poles removed as the telephone lines will be buried also. In my opinion, the BPW should follow what has been suggested by some of your group as an alternate and remove the distraction offered with the other four streets. The referendum needs to be passed; remove the four streets dis2 cussed in the first paragraph. Howard H. Parker Lewes Cape students addresses block scheduling Currently, I am a junior at Cape Henlopen High School and have some concerns about the upcoming end of the third marking period on March 25. The school district was closed due to inclement weather conditions for four days. Since we run on a block schedule, this means eight days of classes have been wasted. This isn't the issue though; the issue is if we've missed over a week of lessons, why isn't the district pushing back the marking period to compensate for the loss of class time? After talking with some teachers who teach just nine-week, courses, the vote is unanimous. Sue Comorat and Chris Mattioni, both social studies teachers, agree they haven't had enough time to cover all the facts they need to. Wouldn't it make sense to give them the time they need, since juniors are required to take the DSTP in this subject in May? Dale Eckrote, who just started teach- ing the nine-week SAT math prep course this year, says he agrees too. "This last quarter I have not covered the same amount of material as the previous two quarters." This com- ment seems to be continuous through- out the halls of Cape. Rhonda Baker, an llth-grade chemistry teacher who teaches an 18-week, or full-credit course, is in complete agreement with the other teachers. "Starting a new marking period on a Friday is just Continued on page 7 ilium* iiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiii!iiiiii00i00i00iiii!i00iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii00iiii00iii00!ii00ii00iiiii00iiiiiii00 Volume 11 No. 44 Publisher Dennis Fomey, Ext. 303 dnf @ Editor Trish Vernon, Ext. 315 newsreom @ Office Manager Kathy Emery, Ext. 305 kemery @ Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 317 kester@ News Steve Hoenigmann, EXt. 321 steveh @ Jim Cresson, EXt. 318 icresson @ Rosanne Pack Jen EIlingsworth, Ext. 319 jen @ Bridin Reynolds-Hughes bridintini @ Janet Andrelczyk, Ext. 335 Andrew Keegan, Ext. 336 akeegan @ Amy Reardon, Ext. 337 Karl Chalabala, Ext. 338 karlc @ Glenn Vernon glennburnside22 @ Photographer Dan Cook Steven Billups Sports Editor Dave Frederick, Ext. 320 davefredman @ Sports Writers lqm Bamforth tbamforth @ Frederick Schranck Photo Production Molly Wingate, Ext. 308 Advertising Cindy Bowlin, Ext. 307 Sharon Hudson, Ext. 306 shudson @ Amanda Neafie-Lucks, Ext. 311 amandal @ Chris Rausch, Ext. 312 crausch @ Pat Jones, Ext. 314 Glenn Vernon Classified Sandy Barr, Ext. 300 Kim McPike, Ext. 302 Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer Receptionist Kandy Vicary Beth Vorhauer Circulation Joni Weber, Ext. 310 joni@ Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks @ Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Roddguez Laura Kucharik Ron Winterstein Cassie Hillis Ken Dunning Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Email for newa, letters: newsroom @ Emall for edvertlalng: production @ Email to subscribe: subscribe @ Email for classifieds: sbarr @ kmcpike @ The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pubnshed by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes, DE 19958. Secl-dass postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address an eoresponaence to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscdpo m avan at $27 per year in Stm= County; $45 . "here is no fiercer hell than the failure in a great object." Keats