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Lewes, Delaware
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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 10 - April 16, 1998 Jolly Trolley won't pursue extending southern Dewey route By Jen Ellingsworth Owners of the Jolly Trolley, David and Christine Hastings, have withdrawn their proposal to the state's transportation de- partment to add to the trolley's existing southern Dewey Beach route and eliminate a stop at the Ruddertowne cul-de-sac. The Hastings filed a proposal with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in early March, seeking an ex- tension of their Dewey Beach route to Collins Avenue, two blocks south of the trolley's current, southernmost stop at Rud- dertowne. Since the March 3 filing with Motel Continued from page 1 about certain buildings east of the building line, then FEMA funds could be yanked. I think it would be better to stop this before a building permit got into the hands of the developers if there is a FE- MA problem," said Graves. "If we have an issue with the 30.5-foot limit, I'm not going to call the giraffe a horse. I'm going to call it a giraffe, and we're going to have to go back on this deci- sion." Peter Jones, representing the partnership proposing the Dolphin Bay project, said his clients were informed that the 40-foot height limit that applies to all commer- cial zones in Lewes was the height limit on which any variance re- quest would be based. "There was no evidence intro- duced at the variance hearing that the 30.5 limit should have applied, and there's nothing to indicate now that it should have," said Jones. Tempe Steen, attorney for the Lewes Board of Adjustment, said that Lewes Building Inspector Massey told her that the flood plain height limitation noted in the laws of Lewes is only intended to apply to residential districts. She added that FEMA is really only concerned about where the bot- toms of buildings are, not how high they are. "The flood plain regulations say nothing about height. Their real concern is the area of the building accessible to flooding." Vince Robertson, representing the Ocean House Condominium Association, and Richard Antho- ny, representing himself, cited sections of Lewes law where it is stated that there is a 30.5-foot height limitation in the coastal high hazard area and the coastal flood plain district. All parties in the case agree that the Dolphin Bay project, proposed for the bayfront site where the abandoned DeBraak shell stands, is in the coastal flood plain dis- trict. Massey: "No problem" Lewes Building Inspector Bill Massey said this week that he is "absolutely certain" that the 30.5 foot height limit listed in the laws of Lewes does not apply to the commercial zone. DelDOT, they withdrew their proposal be- cause of "lack of enough documented evi- dence to avoid a route extension public hearing," said David Hastings, adding that response the trolley received from officials at Ruddertowne and DelDOT was not sup- portive of their proposal. He said they de- cided to seek the addition to their south Dewey route because of safety concerns and feedback from trolley passengers. "Since the time we started operating the Jolly Trolley, safety has been our top-most priority," said David Hastings. "To avoid our riders from having to cross Route 1 and "There have been several com- mercial buildings constructed in the coastal flood plain and in all cases the 40-foot limit has applied as it was in the case of the Dolphin Bay proposal," said Massey. "I'm Lewes's FEMA agent, attend lots of seminars and know that FEMA has no problem with the way Lewes is administering its flood plain regulations. That 30.5 foot number is a Lewes number, not a FEMA number. FEMA only cares about making sure that the first floor of residential structures is above the predicted flood plain in a 100- or a 500-year storm. No- body's flood insurance would be jeopardized by this situation. That 30.5-foot height limitation was al- ways a residential height limit and was never intended to apply to anything other than commercial. In fact, it was increased in 1994 to negotiate Dickinson, we wanted to move further south." Another reason they sought to extend the route, he said, is because the Ruddertowne area is overcrowded and dif- ficult for the large vehicle to negotiate. Cit- ing that "at least three nights a week that circle can be overrun with intoxicated peo- ple," Hastings added that the majority of his riders aren't going to Dickinson Street and the bay, where the Rusty Rudder is located, but to more southern stops. "Because of the huge parking lot [at Ruddertowne], drivers know they can drive and park there for free," he said. Cindy Issel, a manager of the 34 feet. The problem is that the should have asked the Dolphin table of district regulations [which Bay clients to go with a plan that lists the various building require- violated the town's height limita- ments in different Lewes zones] tions, when it could have been wasn't amended to clear up the built without variances. confusion and it still states that there is a 30.5-foot limit. We're proposing to change that at Mon- day's council meeting to make the language consistent with the in- tention and the interpretation of so many years. That's a change that was in the works long before the judge raised the question because it's been raised a number of times. Right now I'm digging up documents to show what the in- tent has always been and to show how it has been consistently ap- piled." Judge Graves also questioned at the April 3 hearing whether Lewes' Commercial Architecture Review Commission (CARC) Play for exciting jackpots that will really get you going at Dover Downs Slots. VYhere else could youWIN a new car or truck for as little as $1.50? Dover Downs Slots offers you more ways to win big! A ROUTE 13 * DOP.. DE 1'4100-711-.l vrv.daverdawns.corn Rusty Rudder, said she doesn't view over- crowding in the area as a problem and that the police in Dewey Beach do an adequate job patrolling the thoroughfare. Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick said he doesn't understand why the Hastings' did not inform the town of their wishes to change the route and that once the town be- came aware of the Hastings' proposal, it re- quested a public heating from DelDOT. "We're a team player," said Frederick. "I think we could have expedited the whole process had they only included the town in their thinking." 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