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March 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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March 28, 1997

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Silver Lake Continued from page 13 state agency assigned by DelDOT and an elected official of Dewey Beach, if the town would like to participate," Two of the petitioners are will- ing to remove their private docks, said Manning, while one petition- er has agreed to open his dock for limited public use. The corpora- tion would design and improve a path from the eastern end of Lake Drive to the dock. The owner of the dock would have the right to remove the structure at any time. The petitioners would be party to a "conservation easement agreement" with DelDOT, in ex- change for paying the state agency $50,000 for vacating the path. The money would be put into the department's Transportation Trust Fund, from which DelDOT's At- torney General Frederick Schranck said DelDOT obtains its operating capital. "The level of enjoyment be- tween the public and the petition- ers can be reeL" said Manning. However, both Manning and Judge Graves agreed that the lat- est proposal will most likely be met with a negative response from the opposition. 'q'his has been a very difficult case," said Judge Graves. "In try- ing to be fair, the 'haves' in this decision will think it will be great, while the 'have nots' will be mis- erable." Judge Graves questioned both Manning and Schranck about the absence of involvement on the part of the Department of Natural Resources (DNREC). "If you vacate it, why wouldn't DNREC have a stake in it?" he asked. "It's not your business, or your stake in business to concern yourselves with a conservation easemenL" Schranck said the issue is one of a routine, right-of-way closure process, and that DelDOT could assign its conservation easement rights to another state agency, but the matter first lies in the hands of the Department of Transportation. Judge Graves said he had not read letters which have been sub- mitred to the court concerning the matter. He invited those who op- pose the vacation to present their closing remarks. Dewey Beach resident Bob Bar- ry read the closing statement for the absent Martha Tillman, a Chesapeake Street homeowner who has led the opposition. "Privatization of roads should only occur when such a road is found to be useless or burdensome to the public as a whole," read Barry from Tillman's statement. "We, the public, testified to the use and enjoyment of this area and how the interest of the petitioners, the public, and our wildlife could be protected." Manning and Schranck both said that the interests of the public will be met by closing the path, because the vacation will restore Nan4 around with us for the doyl 11m CmMay o Park k zoo vrt) Sotwdlty, Notch-1190 Come see 250 species of animals, birds and reptiles in beautiful settings at the Cape May County Park & Zoo. Stroll the paths winding through the Zoo, let your kids play on the Park's gym equipment, and have lunch at our food court. Here's how to join us for plenty of monkey business: I. Call 1-800-64-FERRY to reserve your tickets. 2. Come to the Lewes Terminal at 00 a.m. and park your car. 3. Catch the I0:00 a.m. Ferry to Cape May. 4. Ride a shuttle bus to and from the Park & Zoo. 5. Return to Lewes on the 4:20 p.m. Ferry. only $15.00 for adults and children, including round-trip Ferry passage, zoo admission and shuttle service to and from the Zoo. Tickets are available on a first-come, first- served basis-so reserve your ticket today $1ERRV by calling 1-800-64-FERRY. and preserve the ecology that ex- ists there. "The only way to serve the pub- lic is to keep people out of the right-of-way," said Manning. Vivian Barry, who is opposed to the closure, also read her state- ment, which expressed concern as to why the homeowners would be allowed to buy the titles of the property from DelDOT. In his rebuttal to Barry's com- ments, Schranck said "DelDOT does not own the right-of-way, it simply has a stewardship require- ment." Also among those who spoke in opposition to the closure were Dewey Beach residents Anna Legates, Mark Marderwald, Nell Dolan and Michael Duffin. American Association of Univer- sity Women of Delaware repre- sentative Anne Alexander pre- sented remarks opposing the peti- tioners. Alexander, who has been involved with similar road vaca- tion issues before, said the pub- lic's interest could be maintained if the right-of-way is kept open. "Trespassing and littering are burdens to the homeowners," said Alexander. "But these problems could be solved with fencing or policing." Alexander said the enactment of a conservation easement would al- low "private waterfront property for the four homeowners." Judge Graves did not rule on the issue, bUt said he will accept com- ments on the homeowners' latest proposal for the next two weeks. 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