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Lewes, Delaware
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April 14, 1995     Cape Gazette
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April 14, 1995
 

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lo:r ' r%.. r -. ..... r.=JJr .Fr'r%','"b CI[r' ..  r CAPE GAZE'rI, Friday, April 14- April 20, 1995- 13 Dewey Beach commissioners tighten noise ordinance By Denise M. Marshall The Dewey Beach Town Com- missioners on Saturday, April 8 voted unanimously to approve a measure which prohibits commer- cial establishments from permit- ring "loud and mucous" noise. "It's an ordinance that I spon- sored in an effort to balance the quiet right of enjoyment of tourists and residents versus the right of tourists and residents to go out at night," Dewey Beach Mayor Robert Frederick said. The new law is an amendment to the town's previous noise ordi- nance, which provided for regula- tions and fines for noise volume levels which can be heard in a nearby bedroom. Town officials determined that the law was diffi- cult to accurately measure and reasonably enforce. The amendment replaces the ex- isting standard for noise control of commercial establishments with new standards. Specifically, the amendment makes it unlawful for businesses to allow "loud and ran- cous noise" to be heard from pub- lie or private streets, in any public park, in any public or private building or grounds, in any occu- pied residential unit, or from any location 50 or more feet from the source of the noise. The measure prohibits loud or raucous noise from sources such as loudspeak- ers, radios, amplifiers, phono- graphs and musical instruments. The new noise ordinance pro- hibits loud and mucous noise 24 Inland Bays Advisory Council briefed on state planning efforts By Steve Hoenigmann Guiding the direction of future growth in Delaware is going to be a complex task. That was the message David S. Hugg Ill, state planning coordinator, delivered to members of the Inland Bays Citi- zen Advisory Committee on Mon- day, April 10. Hugg noted that the once inac- tive Cabinet Committee on State Planning has been revived by Governor Tom Carper and has been meeting regularly to estab- lish some guidelines for future growth and development in Delaware. One meeting was held in Sussex County last month, and another meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 28, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Inn in Dover. "We're testing the waters right now," said Hugg of some of the recommendations that have been developed so far. He has been surveying residents throughout the state on a variety of issues and recommendations, including: Directing growth to existing centers of development; Protecting remaining farm- land and natural areas. Hugg not- ed that by the year 2020 Delaware can expect to see its population in- crease by 125,000 people. "That's going to consume about 125,000 acres of land to accom- modate those people, or about 25 percent of the state's existing farmland," he said, Guiding employment back to existing industrial and commer- cial sites that either have been abandoned or which are currently under-utilized. Streamline the regulatory process. Hugg noted that the De- partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is cur- rently revamping its permitting process to make it more user friendly. Strive for better job balance and diversity. Study long-term costs of vail- ous development decisions. Hugg pointed out that U.S. 13 in Dover was originally built as a bypass of Delaware's capitol, but over the years 80 percent of its ca- pacity has been given away. "Look at how much money was spent on the new bypass," he said. "We need to preserve the capacity of the investments we already have, such as road capacity." The education issue. Hugg said that well over $600 million will be needed for new schools and expansion in the next 30 years. "How do we pay for that," he asked, noting that there has been discussion concerning a impact fee on new development that would fund schools. water and wastewater im- provements, such as the expan- sion of existing central sewer and water systems. And lastly, encourage people to live in cities and urban areas. "Right now, people are not being given the choices [they need to live in the city]. They need an in- centive," said Hugg. "What we're finding out in our survey is that people are moving away from the cities and urban areas to places like Sussex County." In other business, the Citizens Advisory Committee: Agreed to send a letter, at the request of Til Purnell, to the Joint Finance Committee asking them to restore $400,000 to the Divi- sion of Fish and Wildlife budget. Established a License Plate Subcommittee, headed by Doug McDonald, which will begin sell- ing license plates that read - "Save Delaware Inland Bays." The plates will come with a blue background and yellow writ- ing and artwork, or a white back- ground with blue lettering and art- work. The plates will sell for $10 each. More details will be announced at a later date. hours a day. However, high noise levels will be less tolerated after lO p.m., when some residents and visitors may be trying to sleep, town officials said. The owner or person allowing the operating of the device or ma- chine creating the noise will be held responsible for violating the ordinance. The penalty for violat- ing the ordinance is a fine be- tween $100 and $300 for the first offense and between $200 and $500 for each subsequent offense, plus court costs. Dewey Beach resident Anna Legates questioned how police would enforce the ordinance. The new legislation allows citi- zens to call police, who would make a determination ff the busi- ness was in violation of the noise ordinance. Citizens do not have to give their names when they call a complaint in to the police, accord- ing to Dewey Beach Police Chief Raymond P. Morrison Jr. The police officers would use their discretion to determine if the business was in violation of the noise ordinance. The investigating officer, not the citizens registering the complaint, would testify in court, Chief Morrison said. Chip Hearn, co-owner of The Starboard Restaurant, told the commissioners that he wanted full-time police officers, not sea- sonal officers, to respond to noise complaints. "I have a problem with a 19-year-old kid making that determination," Hearn said. Dewey Beach Town Attorney Robert V. Witsil Jr. noted that the town could use decibel meters to provide supplemental evidence in cases involving violations of the noise ordinance. Rehoboth Beach is in the process of drafting an ordinance which would limit entertainment. The proposed legislation was prompted by complaints of all- night teen parties or "raves" being held within city limits. One "rave," held in January at Channel Z on Rehoboth Avenue, lasted un- til 3:30 p.m. the following day. Last year, the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners enacted a ban on entertainment, including video games, live music and tele- vision, after 1:30 a.m. However, the commissioners repealed the ban after the owndrs of the Strand night club challenged the constitu- tionality of the ban. City officials substituted the measure with a wa- tered-down, version, which pro- hibited noise that could be audible outside the boundaries of an es- tablishment. 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