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Lewes, Delaware
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June 9, 2000     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 2000
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 9 - June 15, 2000 - 15 SeaCoast plans sunk by Sussex; no harness racing for track Owners remain mum about future plans By Michael Short Bunnie Williams won&apos;t go down without a fight. Sussex County Council, to the surprise of absolutely no one, vot- ed Tuesday, June 6, to deny a re- quest by Bunnie and AI Williams to bring harness racing to Sussex County. The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission had unanimously recommended May 2 against allowing Georgetown's SeaCoast Speedway to offer har- ness racing. "We have not let this die," Williams said, noting she and her husband AI are consulting with at- torney Rob Witsil and considering two options. She declined to say what those two options are. "There are two avenues we can pursue and we haven't decided which one to do," she said. "With- out a doubt, harness racing will [eventually] come to Sussex County...Why don't they want something really nice for Sussex County?" Opposition to the idea has been strong. Opponents have argued that it won't succeed and that this is just a ruse to eventually bring slot machines to the area. They ar- gue that gambling on horse racing is an unnecessary temptation that isn't wanted or needed in Sussex County and they say there are al- ready too many people with gam- bling problems in Delaware. Rob Witsil, the attorney repre- senting the Williamses, has said repeatedly that his clients are not asking for slot machines. They are asking for paramutuel betting but not slot machines. To allow slot machines would take both county approval and the approval of the state Legislature, Witsil has said repeatedly. Paramutuel betting would allow people to bet on races held at oth- er tracks and broadcast at Sea- Coast Speedway. Supporters have also been nu- merous, although" less vocal than opponents. Supporters have ar- gued that horse racing can be good, clean family fun that will help support the economy. When the issue of gambling is brought up, they have said that buying lot- tery tickets or playing the stock market is as much or more of a gamble. The county council members Sussex planners consider several Cape Region projects The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission acted on several projects at its Thursday, May 25 session, recommending approval of a 55-home develop- ment by Unity Development Co. to be located near the intersection of Plantations Road and Postal Lane. Joan and Bill Deaver, in a letter to County Council President Lynn Rogers, have asked that that proj- ect be denied, saying "Postal Lane operates like a congested heart ar- tery" and requesting that Postal Lane be widened in that area for safety reasons. Don Roessler spoke at the com- mission meeting, requesting that intersection improvements be" made. Roessler represents the Cit- izens Coalition. The commission also deferred action on a 116-lot mobile home park planned for just north of Red Mill Pond on the west side of Route 1 by Ocean Atlantic Asso- ciates on 40.59 acres of land one half mile south of Sussex 88. That issue will be considered again June 8. There were several people who spoke against the project, all of them speaking on the issue of traffic. "It will be an extremely danger- ous intersection at Best Road," said Jane Nicholson of the Citi- zens Coalition. The planned development will access Route 1. "You will never be able to get out there in the sum- mer," said Alfred Best. The commission also gave pre- liminary approval to plans for a new motel off Route 24. The 100-. unit project will be west of Route 1 directly behind the Route 24 ac- cess to the Rehoboth Mall. Est. 1958 Electrical Contractor L.P.I. Cert. 959 645-11457 645-9060 1-800-610-8457 CERTIFIED LIGHTNING PROTECTION P.O. Box 252, Lewes, DE 19958 cited traffic, the size of the exist- ing track, the quality of life of neighboring residents, density and other issues in making their unan- imous decision. They steered clear of the morally murky gam- bling question, instead focusing primarily on land use criteria. "It will have a major impact on residents of that district," said Councilman Finley Jones. Other councilmen agreed with him. Dale Dukes said that the track could impact area residents, who "have made it clear that they like the quality of life they have had." George Cole worried that the track is too small for the plans and said property values may decline while Lynn Rogers said the com- munity members aren't willing to change "their quality of life." Vance Phillips added it is not in the "best interests" of the commu- nity. Williams called those reasons "bogus." She said a nearly 600- unit project was approved for Route 1 on the same day, so traffic cannot be an issue. She said the existing auto track is large enough and it can make money. Williams estimated that their plans could produce $2 mil- lion in revenue. That is significant because op- ponents have argued that race tracks can't survive without slot machines. She has argued other- wise, saying that the track can and should thrive. "What we were fighting was big money and polit- ical power," she said. Planner Layton Johnson made the motion to recommend denial of the request at the May 25 meet- ing. Johnson said he believes "harness racing alone would not support the track" and said he worries that the state of Delaware could vote to approve slot ma- chines eventually. "We have no control over the state of Delaware," he said. While Johnson praised AI and Bunny Williams as "very sincere" he said he worried about what an as yet unnamed corporate sponsor might do at the track. "Just look eaxtw eaakzawu eulgt-in, t'arc100 "old, kIe.cdr E  a;k  Fatir Pre/" 302-684-0610 L,ke New Rancher00 '+ " ,<, In quiet community, 1536 -- ' . sq. ft. of living space on . . ..... 100,,(150 lot -- no sewer l. ;,:+ .. + :  fees, no HOA fees! " :-- , :+ :  l Call now for details! ....... .......... ii'. $144,900. PAUL TOWNSEND WOLFE POINTE CATCHES New Neighborhood THE south of Lewes, overlooking HOME L & R canal 188 single family J:: I:t3R lots with amenities water .... /"n'-dsewer available YOUr /- furious. ", tS_lling ._: and  S HICHWAY "645-2207 / 800-331..4241 at Ocean Downs which is sta);ing in business until the current gov- ernor goes out of office [and they can .try again to get slot ma- chines]," Johnson said. Williams said she objects to protecting people from them- selves. "How dare he [Johnson] act like we are wayward children who can't control ourselves." The other planning and zoning commissioners agreed with John- son, voting unanimously to rec- ommend denial. John Hastings said "there's a lot of concern about what may happen at a fu- ture date." Robert Wheatley said the "real issue is what will happen next." Bruce Uliss and Steve Malcom THE QUIRKS Every house has some "quirks", and some defects that go a lot further than mere quirks. Placing a less- than-perfect house on the market is fine if you and your Realtor give the buyers information on any "hidden defects". Most litigation in real estate transactions involves buyers suing sellers for failure to disclose something. Whether it is a leaky roof, dry rot, plumbing or heating problems or a wet basement, most courts do not apply a "let the buyer beware" rule to real estate transactions. Even if the buyer had a structural inspection and the property was sold "as is", you may not get off the hook. Sellers have an obligation to disclose both obvious and hidden defects. Courts have not been sympathetic to sellers who have lived in a house and are in a position to know what works and what doesn't. This is one area where honesty is the policy. For professional advice on all aspects of buying or selling real estate, consult Bruce or Steve at Long and Foster. Call Bruce at (302) 542-7474 or Steve at (302) 542-7473 or call them at 888- 888-5160 or email them at bruce@bruceuliss.com, or steve@bruceuliss.com.