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Lewes, Delaware
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May 2, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZEq[TE, Fr/day, May 2- May 8, 1997 - 18 Rehoboth to hear Sydney's expansion request May 15 By Trish Vernon In an effort to accommodate Sydney Arzt's need to resolve the lease, the Reboboth Beach Board of Commissioners decided at the April 28 workshop to hold a spe- cial meeting on Thursday, May 15 to hear a request for a certificate of compliance for an expansion of Sydney's Blues and Jazz Restau- rant into the adjacent property. At the same meeting, it was de- cided there was little sentiment far, but now everyone seems to be getting along pretty well, and I haven't heard that the ordinance has driven anyone out of business, so let sleeping dogs lie." Before dropping the matter, however, Vincent warned them that "something will come up again - there's a lot of new spaces available for businesses." The board turned its attention to Sydney's request for a hearing as soon as possible, as she will lose her option to rent the building next doo if the matter cannot be resolved quickly. Cooper said the earliest they could bear it accord- ing to the ordinance, would be May 15, so they decided to set the special meeting for 7 p.m. that evening. Building Inspector Susan Frederick said that Arzt and part- ner Gary Cottingham wish to lease the building recently vacated by Boston's clothing store and commence to expand the restau- rant in two phases. Arzt's imme- diate plans call for installing bath- rooms in the added space and then in September begin changing the floor plan. Frederick said the bar would be relocated to the east side of the present building where the dining room is now located, while the bar area would be converted to dining and the bathrooms there would be removed. The stage would be located in the dining area. Frederick also  id there are no plans to expand me bar area and that if the renovations and ex- pansion are allowed, Sydney's would be in compliance with pre- sent regulations. amongst the board members to further restrict bar/restaurant op- erations through its ordinance governing their size and bar/restaurant area ratio. Commissioner Kenny Vincent proposed they revisit the ordi- nance, as although the bar area can be no more than 25 percent of the size of the restaurant or more than 1,000 square feet, there is al- so a clause stipulating that the bar can be at least 350 square feet, even if it encompasses more than 25 percent of the establishment. His interest in pursuing this matter came about recently during a controversial certificate of com- pliance request that came before the board proposing to expand the bar area in a very small Baltimore Avenue establishment• Vincent said that by allowing a bar to be up to 350 square feet, "some prop- erties could take up as much as half of the entire floor space, so that it's a question of whether it's actually a bar or a restaurant - and Rehoboth wants restaurants, not bars." He also told them that fel- low Commissioner Jan Konesey, wlo was unable to attend the workshop, feels the same. Although not having been on the board when the restaurant or- dinance was adopted in 1991, Commissioner Betty Ann Kane said 350 square feet seems very small. In fact, she feels fllat even the 1,000-foot bar limit isn't inor- dinately large. Noting it's the percentage of food sales versus the sale of liquor, Kane said "The ABCC (Alcohol Beverage Control Com- mission) has checks and balances too and i'd be hard pressed to see a viable business with a bar that's less than 350 square feet." Mayor Sam Cooper concurred, stressing that city officials and restaurant owners negotiated in good faith back in 1991 to-come up with a viable ordinance. The law, he explained, was adopted to prevent "establishments where 600 to 800 people drink until I or 2 a.m. You can't get many people around a 350 square foot bar and we have a noise ordinance for • control - rd need a more com- pelling reason than one controver- sial application, and that one's been resolved." Commissioner Bitsy Cochran also agreed that the restaurant or- dinance is working fine as it stands, as does Commissioner Jack Hyde, who worked to draft the ordinance. "At first the restau- " rant people said we went a little ................ = %!::::? 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