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Lewes, Delaware
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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008
 

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CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 - 15 Rehoboth, Cape schools 00;eek compromise on zoning By Leah Hoenen Cape Gazette staff The City of Rehoboth Beach and the Cape Henlopen School District have long been locked in debate over the city's proposal to rezone Rehoboth Elementary School property. The city and its residents want to preserve the 25- acre tract as open space, but the school district wants assurances it can keep. its equity in case it wants to sell tI property, ,. : ' . To the srise of many, at a public llearing on the reoning, the district's affomey Stood, up to speak in favor of the rezoning - with a few stipulations. The school district has main- tained that rezoning the property school boards should they need or want to sell the property and use the equity to build elsewhere. The city says the property does not conform to the zoning code. Changing the zoning would pro- tect open space enjoyed by the public and bring the property into conformity. The city held a public workshop Tuesday, April 8. Everyone who spoke about the proposed zoning chang favored the cllange  zone, Bm city. com- missioners opted to table the vo in favor of pursuing a Compromise with the school district. The open space of the school property is dear to Rehoboth resi- dents. "It is the only open field between Nassau and south of or play a field sport, that's where you go," said Doug Hicks. "Slowly, we've lost the character of this area. We've got to draw the line somewhere," he said. "My property backs up to the school property and I have the pleasure of watching it used daily. It is used consistently and not only by city residents. It is used regionally. It is a very valuable natural resource and beneficial for llmtecting Silver Lake. There is a financial ' interest _in tlmt which .cannot be catcuhtdd, said Mable Granke, who Jives on Scarborough Avenue. Attorney Tim Willard, who rep- resents the school district, says he agrees. "The school board is hear- from residential to educational Dewey. If you want to run a dog, ing these comments and we're would tie the hands of future throw a Frisbee, take your kids out with you. This preserving open C0mmis e El n" g reg s ion rs table in By Ryan Mavity Cape Gazette staff After years of work, Rehoboth officials and representatives from the Cape Henlopen School District have figured, what's another two weeks? By unanimous vote, the Rehoboth commissioners agreed to table an ordinance at their Tuesday, April 8 workshop, that would create a new Educational/Residential, or ER, zoning district and rezone the Rehoboth Elementary School to the new designation. The proposed ER zoning dis- trict, which was part of the city's 2003 comprehensive development plan, would allow the city to pre- serve open space, while at the same time protecting the property value of the school. Tim Willard, attorney for the school district, suggested amend- ing an item in the ordinance that states that if garden-style apart- ments were to be built on the site, a developer would not have to reuse or renovate the existing school buildings. Willard also said some aspects of the ordinance are confusing, such as the setback requirements. Willard and the district suggest- ed the city retain acertainpercent- age of the site, should it be sold, while the rest would be zoned R- 2 and retained by the district. While the commissioners agreed to work toward a compro- mise to be reached, city officials are also prepared to go forward with the ordinance on the table should the two sides fail to agree. Mayor Sam Cooper said the city was not looking for a fight and hopes the school would stay Continued on page 16 space - we're with you," Willard said. He reminded the commis- sioners and the public that the school district has no current plans to sell or develop the prop- erty. School board member Camilla Conlon said the district would start considering the school in 2013 when it looks at renovating all four of the district's elemen- tary schools. .... We don't want anybody to with the property. Our interest is protecting, maintaining some value in the property, some equi- ty,;' said Willard. He offered the mayor and cam- missioners some legal issues to consider regarding the zoning and suggestions for making the ordi- nance clear. It is the district's offer of a com- promise that is new, said Superintendem George, Sne. The district suggested theparties think We're about to do anything 'i : Continued on page 16 ' "li I  ii "7 I Now...50% Off! 00igner Inspired Sterling Silver Cobblestone Jewelry! 1. $#0 SZO :PfJ  ,.o 3. $H $x2.50 " r. s,je szo  Shipped to your door for $5 more! Call (302)227-17071 SILVER 00WORKS00 Jevaetry. to inspire ..... 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