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June 9, 2015     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 2015
 

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10 TUESDAY, JUNE 9 - THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015 NEWS Cape Gazette Controversy continues; decision expected June 19 By Ryan Mavity ryanm@capegazette.com Rehoboth Beach officials are ready to sink or swim over three ordinances aimed at regulating pools and reducing the size of houses. At their Friday, June 19 meet- ing, the commissioners will vote to set a public hearing on a new zoning ordinance. They will also vote on a pool ordinance with a controversial amendment that would prohibit rental property owners from operating pools when their property is rented. The proposed pool ordinance, which also applies to hot tubs and spas, would require pool owners to be licensed. Rental pool own- ers would be required to post safety signs around the pool. The city would phase in annual pool inspections, to begin July 1, 2016. Consultant Kyle Gulbronson said because inspecting all the pools in the city is a massive undertak- ing, building and licensing would be unable to do it this year. However, what people who packed the city commissioners' room wanted to talk about June 8 was the amendment to the or- dinance that would force rental owners to have a rental license or a pool license - but not both. The amendment says if a property is rented, any pool must be covered and locked. Rental homes that already have pools would have three years to comply. Mayor Sam Cooper, author of the amendment, said it was a compromise: it allows rental owners to rent their houses, but without the amenity of a pool. Cooper said pools have changed the dynamic in the residential neighborhoods. He said the prob- lem is the nature of the pools, which he called "an attractive nuisance." Cooper said as long as the pool is there, people using it are going to make noise. And when renters are paying big dollars to rent houses with pools, the pool is going to be used a lot, he said. When Cooper said, "It was pools that brought us here," many people in the audience shouted "Noise!" voicing their contention that noise, not pools, is the problem. Commissioner Kathy Mc- Guiness wanted to put the amendment off until the end of the summer. Commissioner Patrick Gossett said he wanted to see more data collected by city police from the noise ordinance before he could support Cooper's amendment. However, commissioners Bill Sargent and Stan Mills urged the commissioners to take action by June 19, when a moratorium on pool-building is scheduled to end. The audience was sharply di- vided, with residents on one side, and rental owners and realtors on the other. Prior to the meeting, the Sussex County Association of Realtors sent a letter in opposi- tion to the pool ordinance. Realtor Russ Klein asked whether the city has considered a curfew as part of rental agree- ments, with the threat of eviction if the curfew is not honored. Realtor Sharon Palmer of Cold- well Banker said, "It is a noise issue, period." Palmer said she did not want to see neighbors disturbed at 3 a.m. by noise, but at the same time, she said it was unrealistic to expect children at a pool to be quiet at 3 p.m. Former mayoral candidate Tom McGlone said if the prob- lem is children in the pool, maybe the town should consider banning children. Gossett said city officials have received mixed messages: Re- altors have told him to have neighbors call them, and noise problems would be taken care of. But he said neighbors of rental homes say they have called real- tors and the police, but nothing has been done. Gossett said he wanted to see a vacation rental ordinance that would regulate the market and lay out what ev- eryone's responsibilities are as far as rules and regulations. Rehoboth resident Dottie Tanner said, "Do we even have residential neighborhoods any- more?" She said the problem is too many pools have popped up and residential homes have been turned into businesses. Tanner said noise from the pools ruins the quality of life for the neigh- bors. Rehoboth resident Mildred Reed said she was concerned more pools would be built before the commissioners get a handle on what they want to do. Reed said she would be in favor of extending the moratorium until the fall, so city officials would see the effects of the noise or- dinance before moving forward on regulating pools, but she was concerned about the prolifera- tion of mini-hotels in residential neighborhoods. John Swift, 100 Sussex St.; who rents his home, said the ordi- nance would affect the young and the old. He said many parents are afraid to let their children go into the ocean for fear of riptides. swift said the pool ordinance was an attempt by the city to turn Rehoboth into a retirement community. Frank Cooper, 96 East Lake Drive, said there was a big divi- sion between people who have pools and people who don't. He said the problem has been with the proliferation of pools and that the commissioners should consider extending the morato- rium. Rehoboth resident Donna Mabry said her peace and quiet were shattered when a pool was built at a neighboring house that sleeps 18 people. She said people who own pools aren't here all summer and are not aware of all the problems associated with them. Mabry said she had to leave her house because noise from the pool next door was so loud and consistent. "It's just intolerable," she said. "Our small lots cannot accommo: date swimming pools, especially along with the large houses. For all our sakes, we need to curb it. I think definitive action needs to be taken now." Joyce Lussier, 99 Henlopen Ave., said the city is at a cri- sis point. The overall problem, she said, is the proliferation of mini-hotels. Lussier said the commissioners should take the heat and have the courage of their convictions. Consensus built on zoning On June 19, the commission- ers will also vote on a resolution setting a July public hearing date on a revised zoning ordinance, aimed at decreasing the size of houses. Gulbronson said he viewed the ordinance as a menu, giving homebuilders choices for design- ing houses. Continued on page 11 Bike crash Continued from page I dreamt of working in America. Her family and friends were shocked by the accident and are still in denial that such a beauti- ful soul is gone," Kurochka said. Maryanne Kaufmann, a vol- unteer with the International Student Outreach Program, said she had a brief email exchange with Mi a in May when Misa contacted Kaufmann about a bike-safety program offered by the group. "Nadia was scheduled to take a class May 18 but had to cancel," Kaufmann said. The program provides free bicycles and helmets to foreign students who complete a safety course. At the end of the course, she said, students get a bike tour of Rehoboth Beach and its sur- roundings. Now, Kaufmann said, her group is setting up a fund to help pay for funeral expenses for Misa. Anyone interested in donating can do so at Commu- nity Bank Delaware, P.O. Box 742, Lewes, DE 19958. Make donations payable to LILAC SBO Nadiia Misa. Misa had been working at Kohr Brothers in Rehoboth Beach for about a month when the crash cut short her life. SUBMITTED PHOTO NADllA MISA, 19, died June 6 fol- lowing a Route 1 bicycle crash, Misa was riding her bike at 850 p.m. June 5 when she attempted to cross Route 1, riding east at the intersection of Miller Road, just north of Rehoboth Beach, said Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale of the Delaware State Police. As Misa began to cross the southbound lanes, Hale said, she was struck by a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire, operated by Daniel L. Furr Jr., 30, of Dover. Furr was traveling in the center lane of Route 1 with a green traffic sig- nal, Hale said. The force of the impact threw the bicyclist into the left-hand lane of the road where she came to rest. Hale said Furr was able to stop his car in the bus lane of southbound Route 1. Misa was taken to Beebe Healthcare by Emergency Medi- cal Services where she was admitted in critical condition. She was later transferred to Christiana Hospital. Hale said Misa was pronounced dead about 7:45 a.m. June 6. Furr, who was properly re- strained at the time of the crash, was not injured. Hale provid- ed no further information on whether Furr would be charged or cited. Bicycle safety a priority For Tony Pezone and fellow members of the Sussex Cyclists, bicycle safety is paramount. Pe- RON MACARTHUR PHOTO zone said members and officials Point of impact is spray painted in the intersection of Miller Road and Route 1. from Delaware State Police and the Department of Transporta- tion set up weekly stations along passing slower traffic on the left. arranged a funeral at Fetcher- Route 1 to hand out free helmets "Cars use the bike and bus lane Nasevich Funeral Home, 9529 and lights, when they shouldn't," he said. Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia. The "Most people take lights," he However, he said, he has also / time and date have not yet been said. '%lot ofstudents turn down watched bicyclists ride the set. Radoi said Misa was from the_helmets for various reasons, wrong way on Route 1 - riding Kiev, but she did not know where like it might mess up their hair" against traffic instead of with it. her parents live. The group also passes out Pezone said his group Started Kauffman said pastoral care pamphlets written in five lan- its safety push about 10 years ago will be provided during free guages that outline the rules of after a Polish woman was killed dinners 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tues- the road. Pezone said bike safety near Route 24. day, June 9, at Epworth United depends on both cyclists and "I'd like to think we do some Methodist Church, Wednesday, drivers, good, but some people just ride June 10, at St. Edmond's Catholic "It's a busy road, and there's no by," he said. Church, and Thursday, June ]1, at bike lane," he said. Anca Radoi, officer with CSB Lutheran Church of our Savior. Bikes and buses share alane on International, the group that Counseling will be provided on the far right, but too many times, sponsored Misa's exchange, an as-needed basis by emailing he said, cars race down the lane said Misa's extended family has J1Rehoboth@gmail.com.