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Lewes, Delaware
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April 11, 2014     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2014
 

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cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS FRIDAY, APRIL 11- MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 International Baccalaureate as its instructional program. It is a fine scholastic program, but it is generally known that if you want to use high school-earned credits for college (and therefore save tuition costs), you can use only AP classes. Most U.S. colleges do not accept IB credits. But the most obvious reason why they are forced to pander to the elite, is that they have encumbered a huge capital cost that mus t be paid offby either soliciting from parents, holding fundraisers, seeking grants (for a public school), or burdening the limited operational finances they have for teachers and instruction. I do not think anyone acted in anything but the best intentions. Yet, I believe that by default they built a system that is inherently discriminating and will be the subiect of resolutions, lawsuits and public ire. I hope they rethink what they are doing for the sake of all. Dr. Nancy Feichtl author/original executive director Sussex Academy Lewes Planning Commission stumbling The Lewes Planning Commis- sion must process preliminary consent for the Harbor Point subdivision correctly because preliminary consent is a pre- requisite for later annexation of this land. So far, procedural and substantive errors have plagued the commission's actions, and the commission has been silent about addressing them. The recent Cape Gazette article about the commission's April 2 public meeting grossly simplified the issues. Public com- ments centered on adherence to law: The commission must follow its own bylaws for scheduling agenda items and have acom- plete initial application and other required reports meeting city code requirements before sched- uling a subdivision public hearing and formal review. The subdivision and its R-3 zoning agenda item for presen- tation and consideration at the commission's Feb. 19 public meeting violated the commis- sion's own procedural posting bylaws. If the building official must review it, he must send the item to the city manager's office 30 days prior to posting on an agenda. The subdivision revised plans and engineer report were received no earlier than Feb. 4; yet the agenda item appeared on the agenda published Feb. 12 for the meeting on the 19th. Simple math shows the commission vio- lated its own procedural rule. The developer has told the city it wants a speedy process and even provided a proposed timeline. Cui bono, as the Godfa- ther asked: Was the procedural violation for the benefit of the developer or Lewes citizens? State law dictates "at annexa- tion" Lewes "shall by ordinance rezone the area being annexed to a zoning classification consistent with the adopted comprehensive plan," in this case, lots of two to 10 acres for this environmentally sensitive area. Further, if any subdivision requests a change in zoning, i.e., a "rezoning," city code mandates the subdivision hearing and review take place only after rezoning is determined. The commission was to consider the R-3 zoning at its Feb. 19 public meeting, but refused to discuss it.even after a citizen stated the requirement publicly. The com- mission has been informed the R-3 zoning with 5,000-square-foot lots is not consistent with the comprehensive plan. It is only 5.7 percent of the minimum compre- hensive plan lot size of two acres. A commissioner stated land comes to the city as a "tabula rasa," i.e., with no zoning, at annexation, and it isn't rezoned, Cape parent proud of referendum voters would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the voters that came out in support of Cape Henlopen s referendum. As a parent and member of the Facili- ties Task Force III, I have seen firsthand how badly our district's students need this new building and additional classrooms. I am so pleased that our community responded to the needs of the students and the district as a whole. I would like to recognize a few of the many people who worked tirelessly to make this referendum a reality. Thanks go to the Cape Henlopen school board for putting the plan, and subsequent referendum, into motion. I would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of Bob Fulton and Brian Bassett. They are two of the most hardworking people I have ever met, and their passion for this district is unparalleled. Additional thanks go to the district adminis- tration, building administrators, teachers, and staff who have done, and continue to do, an amazing iob with our children on a daily basis. I would also like to thank the members of the Facilities Task Force III, who spent close to a year meeting, discussing and planning. Thanks to all of the parents, especially ]en McKean, who mounted one of the best community movement efforts ever, and April Betts, whose two daughters, Maddie and Abby, wrote the lyrics to our awesome "Referendum Song"; and thanks to everyone who talked to their neighbors, sent emails, and spread our mes- sage on Facebook. We live in an incredible community, and I am very proud to be a part of it. Alison Myers Cape parent Facilities Task Force III Member school board candidate only zoned. The cited state law says otherwise, as does common sense: The land loses its Sussex County zoning and is rezoned to be consistent with the compre- hensive plan at annexation. Completing the initial applica- tion also requires the commission to address subdivision of a parcel before a subdivision hearing and review. This 108-acre subdivision will be subdivided from a 635- acre parcel, and the developer intends to subdivide the 108 acres into two parcels. The commission has said nothing about subdivi- sion. The developer hasn't indicated the status of a state-required review. State review is required before subdivision hearing and review if zoning is inconsistent with a comprehensive plan. Mr. Moore's comments were on point: The Lewes Parks and Recreation Committee report, necessary for subdivision hearing and review, fails to satisfy code requirements. The commission gave no co- gent responses to these concerns. In correspondence with commis- sion counsel, he merely stated disagreement with them without any rationale. At the meeting, counsel seemingly opined iust the existence of a report was suffi- cient. Is content irrelevant? Commission counsel stated he could provide a written legal opinion for these issues under attorney-client privilege if the commission requested it. The Freedom of Information Act requires a public process since there is no pending or poten- tial litigation. The legal reasons for reiecting citizens' concerns should be stated in a public forum on the record. The com- mission should not deign to hide behind the cloak of attorney- client privilege. These are important issues and go to the heart of good, open government. Lewes has involved, knowledgeable citizens, and the commission owes them answers to their questions about these alleged serious procedural and substantive errors. The commission should weigh the comment by a sitting Chan- cery Court master at the meeting: The commission is traveling a road that could make its decision "voidable ab initio" (from the be- ginning, as if never made). That is a waste of taxpayer money and effort. Yet despite the public input and warning, the commission passed a motion for scheduling the public hearing. Is that mo- tion unwise right now? Does the commission's conduct create an adversarial situation between it and the citizens? Why rush? Cui bono? Gerald A. Lechliter Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) Lewes Proposed development doesn't fit core values Yesterday morning as I took my regular walk from my home Continued on page 8 Coaches, weather delays and an E1 Nifio watch ormer Lewes High School football and baseball coach Tony Georgiana rolled into town recently to celebrate his 93rd birthday and swap smiles and hugs with some of his for- mer players and friends. They gathered at the Greene Turtle in the Villages of Five Points to share stories of the glory years when Georgiana and his lifelong friend Don Hanley were posting championships in baseball and football which they co-coached. Two Major League Baseball players - pitch- ers Chris Short and Johnny Morris - developed under the coaches. In 2001, Cape Hen- lopen School District named the stadium at Cape Henlopen High School Legends Stadium in honor of Georgiana, Han- ley, Don Edgerton and Frank Coveleski. "Everybody had a good time getting together with Coach," said Charlie Howard. Winter storms delay projects This past winter's persistent storms did more than just boost sales of salt, sand and booze. They also set back two signifi- cant proiects in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore state parks. Regional parks adminis- trator Pat Cooper said the $10 million campground, prom- enade, parking lot and pavilion proiect at Indian River Inlet is at least a month behind sched- ule. So too is the connector trail proiect between Gordons Pond and Herring Point at Cape Henlopen. "The contractors told me that each storm meant at least a three-day setback," said Cooper. "Each time they had to reset. But now that the winter weather has broken, they're re- ally starting to move." He said Delaware Seashore had been taking camping res- ervations for August through December, holding off on any earlier reservations until a clearer picture was available as to when the new campground on the south side of the inlet will be ready. "I think we will have some areas open to camp- ing in early June, so we're now taking reservations starting in mid=June. "The biggest pieces are parking lots and camp- grounds. The contractor is go- ing to focus on the south side of the inlet first. Construction will continue through the summer, with the fancy walkways and pavilions on the south side get- CHARLES HENRY HOWARD PHOTO COACH TONY GEORGIANA dons a football helmet and shares a lighthearted moment with Jim Brittingham. Georgiana celebrated his 93rd birthday by vis- iting Lewes and getting together with some of his former players and friends at the Greene Turtle in the Villages of Five Points. ring attention after the camp- In Cape Henlopen State Park, ground is open. Then we'll get Cooper said, the framers work- to the restrooms on the north ing on the boardwalk section of side of the inlet and in the fall, the campground there." Continued on page 8