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Lewes, Delaware
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May 30, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 30, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 30 - June 5, 1997 o 17 Auction brings $178,500 for Lewes deepwater docks By Dennis Forney Five deepwater docks and a par- cel of Open Space-zoned land along Lewes's fabled canal bank Dockhouses Continued from page 1 houses or support houses in the land zoned open space along Pi- lottown Rd. Members of the committee, in- cluding Pratt, Cliff Diver, City Solicitor Tempe Steen, Bisbee and Building Inspector Bill Massey have been meeting for two years. Their job is to rewrite the town's zoning laws to conform to the Long Range Plan adopted by the town over two years ago. At a previous meeting when the open space zoning was discussed, members agreed that gazebos, dock houses and support houses should no longer be permitted us- es in lands zoned open space. The issue arose a number of months ago when permits were is- sued for new dockhouses that were built on land along the canal, though attached to docks. Pratt said that up until the late 1980s, the state allowed construction of dock houses and gazebos on docks over water and over the past several decades there have been numerous dockhouses built along the canal in Lewes over the water. However following a controver- sy that arose in Oak Orchard in the late 1980s, the state passed new regulations prohibiting the con- struction of dockhouses or gaze- bos or other related structures above subaqueous lands con- trolled by the state. That meant new dockhouses had to be built on land adjacent to docks. Lewes law permits such struc- tures in open space as long as they are part of a dock. However with new structures being built over the actual land, questions began to arise over whether they were com- patible with the spirit of Lewes's Open Space zoning. Discussion at previous committee meetings also centered on the question of just how far up the canal bank a struc- ture could be built if it were at- tached by a boardwalk to the dock. Fences also discussed The committee also discussed fences along the canal's Open Space lands and how to address concerns that fences could eventu- ally block all view of the canal to travelers on Pilottown Road. Committee members discussed placing a limit on the percentage of coverage of a fence and plan to include that in their final zoning recommendations. If the moratorium proposal is passed by Lewes Council, Pratt said it could head off a rush of ap- plications for permits by those concerned about the proposed zoning change. Pratt mentioned the recent auction of five deepwa- ter docks on Pilottown Road at the drew a high bid of $178,500 from Randall Rollins of Lewes and At- lanta, Georgia in an auction held Saturday, May 24. made him think about the need for a moratorium. He held up a poster for the auction which noted that the property held the potential for a dockhouse. "I'm not sure this is the message we want to be getting out there," said Pratt. He said that's why he was suggesting a letter to Mayor George questing the moratorium. If passed, the moratorium could hold until October which commit- tee members felt might be the ear- liest opportunity for passage of new zoning for Lewes. "I think about 98 percent of our work on converting the Long Range Plan to new zoning is com- plete," said Pratt. "After a couple more meetings I think we'll be ready for a public workshop on the proposed new zoning which would be an interactive session when the people of town could comment on the work we've done. Then based on that meeting, prob- ably in August, we could make any changes we feel are necessary before sending the document on to Lewes Council for setting a for- mal public hearing in September followed by a possible final vote in October." Two concerns deferred Two zoning concerns raised by citizens at the Wednesday, May 28 meeting and at a previous meeting were deferred following some discussion. Lewes Beach resident Tom Fiore presented a letter with a number of signatures asking the zoning drafting com- mittee to consider rezoning the 200 and 300 blocks of Savannah Rd. on Lewes Beach from R-2 residential to a commercial/resi- dential mixed use zone. "We think that would be more consis- tent with what's in that area now," said Fiore. And there was also some dis- cussion about a letter sent from Mike Tyler, innkeeper of the Wild Swan Inn, regarding laws regulat- ing bed and breakfasts in Lewes. Tyler questioned whether changes in bed and breakfast regulations should be addressed in the zoning changes being considered by the committee. Cliff Diver, who served as co- chairman of the Long Range Plan implementation committee, said the ad hoc committee's job was to simply codify the work presented by the Long Range Plan commit- tee. "It's not our job to change what that committee presented to us," said Diver. "There will be plenty of time after the zoning is passed to come back and fine tune and make changes through the normal process." Pratt concurred. "We take up matters like that every month at Lewes Council meetings," said Pratt. "Our goal now is to get this new zoning passed so we can start "There's no better town than Lewes for an auction," said auc- tioneer Butch Emmert who con- ducted the bidding. "Lewes loves an auction and people always come out. They're interested and they bid." Emmert said the auction drew about 150 people with at least sev- en bidders. "It was a who's who of Lower Delawareans. We also had several offers that came in the day before the sale." Emmert said the bidding started out at about $100,000 and went up quickly from there. "I was very pleased with the re- suit. I think the sale held up Lewes's values. We really didn't come out too far below the prop- erty's listed price of a little under $200,000." The property with its five deep- water docks was owned by Rick Mazol of Frederica who owns RAM Construction Company." RAM specializes in marine work including docks and also builds bridges, often for the state. Continued on page 18 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ * $19,97 * @ • • A great year. A great price. • • This promo idea was stolen from Nantuckets who borrowed it from a famous • : New York City Restaurant. t Your Choice 1 Shrimp Cocktail . Clams Casino : t Pate of the Day . 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