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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
June 9, 1995     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 1995

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Hi00oric Continued from page 1 detailing. 'Whey contribute to the character of the neighborhood," he said, noting there is a large concentration of houses with the gable end usually set facing the street. These traditional buildings often take up much of the lot and are set close to the sidewalks. The commercial district is prc- dominately early 20th century, boarding houses and a number of commercial renovations of resi- dential buildings. To the south in Rehoboth Heights, the most popu- lar architectural form stems from the colonial revival of the 1920s and 1930s, Kurtze said. With this groundwork laid down, Wetherill took the floor and explained that the policies institut- ed for the historic districts would be incorporated into the zoning ordinance and supersede any pre- vious zoning laws. The three districts would be the Northern Portion of the Residen- tial Historic District; the Southern Portion of the Residential Historic District and the Commercial His- toric District. The northern dis- trict would include all residential- ly zoned properties and public lands, while the southern district would also include all residential- ly zoned properties and public lands except Country Club Es- tates, Schoolvue and properties facing the western side of State Road and eastern side of Grove Street. The commercial district would encompass Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk, along with Balti- more and Wilmington avenues, but also include residentially zoned properties facing the east- ern side of Grove Street south of Rehoboth Avenue and those fac- ing the western side of State Road. It would exclude commercially zoned properties along Route 1 to the south of Silver Lake. If adopted, the city would estab- lish an Historic Preservation Commission composed of five members (residents or property owners). At least one would be a registered architect (waived if one cannot be found) and at least one a business owner in the historic dis- trict. Most of the members should be residents or property owners in the historic district, with at least one member from each historic district "and all having knowledge of and a demonstrated special in- terest in historic preservation, ar- chitecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, planning or local history." The commission would have the power to review applications for Certificates of Appropriate- ness, either approving, denying or approving with conditions any ap- plication submitted. They would monitor the condition of proper- ties within the historic districts and have the power to take action should such properties not be properly maintained. The com- mission would also recommend changes to district boundaries or creation of new districts and re- ceive funds and grants which would enable it to carry out its tasks. A Certificate of Appropriate- ness would be required before there is "any construction, recon- struction, moving, demolition, re- pair or alteration of a structure or landscape feature in the historic district in a manner which affects the exterior appearance of the structure or landscape feature if the change is visible from a public way, waterway, boardwalk or beach." All applications for certificates would be accompanied by maps, plans and other documents, and a fee would be charged. Failure to act within 60 days of when the certification application is made would constitute approval and all certificates would expire if work on a new structure has not begun within nine months and completed within 18 months. Any other changes would have to begin within six months and be completed within one year. The ordinance would provide specific criteria which would need to be followed in order to qualify for a certificate. They would in- clude yet-to-be set down design guidelines, "so that some pro- posed changes could be pre-ap- proved by the guidelines and the owner wouldn't need to come be- fore the commission," Wetherill explained, adding that the guide- lines would be presumably more lenient in the commercial distrkt. Criteria would take into consid- eration "the historic, architectural, cultural, educational and aesthetic value or significance of the struc- ture or landscape feature and its relationship to the surrounding area." Also considered would be the general compatibility and rela- tionship of the proposed exterior design, arrangement, size, setting, architectural features, landscape features, colors, texture and mate- rials with the surrounding/a.s. The applicant would also need to comply with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabili- tation and Guidelines for Rehabil- itating Historic Buildings, which are extremely detailed. Demolition of a structure be- lieved to contribute to the charac- ter of an historic district would not be allowed, although extenuating circumstances include the struc- ture being a deterrent to a major improvement program which would be of substantial benefit to (he city; retaining the structure would cause undue financial hard- ship to the owner; and retention would not be in the best interest of the community. The document stressed that or- dinary maintenance and repair shall not be prevented, unless it involves changes in design, mate- rial, color or outward appearance or removal or alteration of archi- tectural features. If a certificate is denied, the property owner may take the case to the Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment. Should it be denied once more, the courts are the only recourse. No building permits would be issued for any construction, recon- struction, moving, repair, alter: ation or demolition of any struc- ture within an historic district which affects the exterior appear- ance, visible from the public eye until a Certificate of Appropriate- ness is issued. "Compatibility" is the key, Dowling told them, addressing general height, roof shape, street alignment, setbacks and building shape as the most important fac- tors in the residential areas. "With the commercial district, it's more a question of integrity of the building and storefront, with basic signage guidelines - getting basic to basics and toning them down. You look at the building and the proposed changes within the context of the block and how the changes would benefit the en- tire district and adjacent neigh- bors," Dowling said. With copies of the draft avail- able at city hall, all written com- ments will be received through June 21 by City Manager Greg Ferrese. They are especially seek- ing feedback on definitions for landscape features as well as buildings. The next meeting has been slated for 7 p.m., Wednes- day, June 28. :CAP/g GAZ]g'PI, )'riday,:Jime'ff- June l& 11195,15 OARDWALK [00HILDERS INC. -  " - . .ii._  _ " '' ii $i;-iE":'"hi'i:iii!ii!!: SALE! $299 Reg. $339 $399 Reg. $449 s499 Reg. $529 PK HOME FURNISHINGS andstyks vary by location. Delivery Available PK City Stein H/. Seafood, DE (302) 629-,1099 Route 1 Midway Shoping Center Rehoboth, DE (302) S44-233S