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May 2, 2003     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 2003

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 2 - May 8, 2003 VIEWPOINT00 Editorial Rehoboth annexation linked to CDP The idea of expanding the borders of the City of Rehoboth Beach hasn't been officially explored for approximately 20 years, when a contingent of property owners on the south side of Silver Lake unsuccessfully attempted to be annexed into the city. The idea proved to be unpopular with the majorityof those already living within the city boundaries. They were concerned that adding the land lying between Rehoboth and Dewey would tax the infra- structure and police force, adding only the traditionally low proper- ty taxes to city coffers. The city now has a new proposal before it that may prove to be more enticing. Rebay, LLC is requesting that its 180-acre parcel, located adjacent to the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and Canal Corkran to the east and Henlopen Keys and the Glade Road to the west, become part of the city. Known as the Futcher Farm, this as yet to be named development would consist of a mix of 112 acres of single family homes, 16 acres of townhomes, 20 acres of condominiums and 12 acres of commer- cial, with a proposed relief route. The route would run from Rehoboth Avenue Extended at Church Street, through the commer- cial area being developed and out to Glade Road. Rehoboth Beach officials and property owners have voiced plenty of angst lately over their inability to control the inevitable develop- ment on the outskirts of the city. A primary concern is the increase in traffic on Rehoboth Avenue Extended as these developments con- tinue to spring up right and left. Rebay, whose representatives will present its proposal to the Board of Commissioners at the 7 p.m., Monday, May 5 meeting, would build the relief route that could go a considerable way in decreasing congestion in this area. Rehoboth Beach would also have the privilege of dictating how this major subdivision would be developed, giving the city the opportunity to make decisions concerning landscaping,-density, commercial uses and so on. It could become a model for future development in the region. Then there's the money. Rebay estimates that the city could add an additional $13 million in property transfer fees, almost $2 million in property taxes and an additional $2.5 million in building permits and other fees. While adding such a large parcel of land to the one- square-mile city will result in additional yearly expenditures, such revenues could go quite a way in financing the continuation of the streetseape improvement project as one example. The city's draft Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), which will be the topic of a public workshop Thursday, May 15, calls for the adoption of a "future annexation map," identifying the area around Rehoboth Avenue Extended as one of three areas that should seriously be considered. The State Planning Office has informed the citythat it may not annex any land in most circumstances unless the map is adopted. If pursuing annexation of this land is deemed to be beneficial to the city, then it is paramount the board quickly proceed with adop- tion of the CDP. Letters The Weather Picture Trish Vemon photo The azaleas and dogwood are in full bloom thla week as we enter the merry month of May in the Cape ]Region- i , Comments on proposed Route 1 sidewalk upgrade This is in reference to an announce- ment I received Saturday in the mail regarding a May 12 public heating on State Route 1 Sidewalk Improvements/Contract#20-013-03. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the hearing (traveling for Mothers Day) but wanted to provide some comments. As a year-round homeowner locat- ed somewhere between Rehoboth and Dewey Beach, in an area known as the "Forgotten Mile," I want to reiter- ate concerns I outlined in a published letter to the Coast Press three years ago. I assume public safety is an important feature and priority for this project to be funded by the state. The absence of sidewalk on Route 1 in such a densely populated resort area is a concern. The bayside residents of Route 1 take their life in their hands attempting to cross Route 1 to walk the few blocks to the ocean. If I recall from the discussions in past years, there was only one additional traffic light under consideration for the Forgotten Mile. Currently, there is a stop light at Spring Lake (the only light until Dewey) with another planned. All existing crosswalks go basically ignored by motorists. This particular mile is unique in that this jurisdiction on both the oceanside to Chesapeake/ Bayard and most of the bayside belong to nei- ther Rehoboth nor Dewey but Sussex County. Oddly, the area north of the Light House Mall (DollarGeneral) to the south side of State Street, I under- stand is under the jurisdiction of Rehoboth and its police force. Correspondingly, zoning follows suit. If it sounds like a puzzle welcome to the Forgotten Mile. This is important because the Delaware State Police are the sole law enforcement entity responsible for overall public safety of this area and property owners of the remaining puzzle piece. I assume they will remain responsible for the activity on its "new" sidewalk and streets for things like; excessive speeding (off season) and in-season drunk driving, illegal parking, noise disturbances, public alcohol consumption and van- dalism as partiers drive and walk north on Route 1 out of Dewey once the bars close. While the State Police Barracks,Troop #7 are exceptionally responsive and helpful when called, their location some 5 miles north, will make it difficult to provide a regular presence on the new sidewalk and Route 1 in the Forgotten Mile, which is key to effective public safety in such a highly dense area. I'm sure they have their hands full with the explosive development and public safety needs north of the Forgotten Mile under existing budget shortfalls. My point is while the sidewalk ini- tiative from Dewey Beach to the Canal is noble, the reality for the Forgotten Mile homeowners is the same as it was three years ago. Its true beneficiaries will be the seasonal drunks who will stagger safely home after 1 a.m. Dewey Beach has proven that stepped up police presence and enforcement"work while Rehoboth police continue to provide effective public safety . Unfortunately, their jurisdictions still end a few blocks north and south of this lost communi- ty. The time has come (again?) for annexation discussions for the Forgotten Mile - give the bayside of Route 1 to Dewey and the oceanside to Rehoboth or some variation. Let the developments like Spring Lake and Pine Bay opt out but everyone else is in. This area has natural bound- aries east and west by water. With all due respect, moving into the third year of discussions for an expensive sidewalk project with all the other public safety needs in this one forgotten mile seems ludicrous and counter-intuitive. Rather than simply taking private land for public sidewalks, why not use the sidewalk initiative by the state as a spring- board for state leadership on annexa- tion of this mile of county/state land which the Delaware State Police has to expend resources to protect. If the Continued on page 7 Wriie Now Letters must be signed and include a tele- phone number for verification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less. Write to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. fax to 645=1664 or email news- Volume 10 No. XX Publleher Dennis Fomey dnf Editor Tdsh Vernon newsroom O Office Manager Kathy Emery kemery O Associate Editor Kerry Keeter kester @ capegazette,com News Steve Hoenlgmann eteveh @ Jim Cresson jcresr Rosanno Pack Jen EJlJngsworth jan Bndin Reynolds-Hughes bddln @ Janet Andrelczyk Andrew Keegan akeegan @ Amy Reardon araardon O Karl Chalabala Photraphen Dan Cook Keith Mosher Edk Sumplion Sports Editor Dave Frederick davefradman Sports Wdtem "rim Bamforth tbamforth @ Frederick Schranck Fschranck @ Advertising Cindy Bowfin cindy @ Sharon Hudson shudson @ Amanda Lucks amandal @ capegazette.corn Beckl Hastings beckih @ Chns Rausch crausch @ Pat Jones Classlfled Sandy Barr Kim McPike Webmuter Cethedne M. Tanzer web@ Receptlonlst Kandy ClrculWtlon Harry Stoner Jonl Weber Production Coordinator Norma PaWs nparks @ Production Staff Chris Wildt Molly Wingate Teresa Rnddguez Laura Kuchadk Ron Wlntersteln Contrlbutors: Susan Frederick Nancy Ketz Emll for news, letlers: newsroom @ Enroll for mJvertlslng: productlon @ Emall to subscrlbe: subscdbe O The Cape Ga, (USPS 010294) Is  byc Ganm unMry r-ay =  way sang C=ter, H,ay One,  Bea DE 19971. Second- Cape Gazette, P0 Boa( 213, Lewes, 0elat 1995.Teleph0ne: 30247700. . saa m a at :7 per year in Suss County; $45 else - where. POX'MASTER: 8end address changes to The  Gazette, P.O. Be0 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "In May, when sea winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods." Ralph Waldo Emerson