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Lewes, Delaware
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June 20, 1997     Cape Gazette
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June 20, 1997
 

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12 - CAPE GAZEIE, Friday, June 20, June 26, 1997 Lowe's Route 1 plan resurfaces By Michael Short A decision by Delaware's De- partment of Transportation (Del- DOT) on whether to grant an en- trance permit for a Lowe's pro- posed for the Five Points area could be imminent. Joel Leidy, subdivision engi- neer for DelDOT, said that a deci- sion by DelDOT on the entrance permit could be completed by as early as today. The entrance per- mit is crucial because Sussex County has refused to approve further Route 1 development without entrance approval from DelDOT. That means that more than a year after being proposed, the Lowe's question is coming to a head. The project has been tenta- tively scheduled to be heard by the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission at its June 26 meeting. "They will have our po- sition one way or the other [by then]," said Leidy. Lowe's has proposed to build a store on property bordered by Route 1 and Sussex 275. The site is a farm field next to Wright Chrsyler Plymouth. Plans call for a limited entrance off Route 1 (an existing entrance is already cut in- to the vacant field) with three ac- cess points to be located off Route 275. According to those plans on file with the Sussex Planning and Zoning Office, the major access to the project would be off Route 275. DelDOT denied the project on January 29, ruling that the Five Points intersection was just too congested to handle the large de- velopment. Since then, Lowe's has gone back to the drawing board and re- vamped its plans. The new pro- posal by Lowe's calls for two right hand turn larles to be built on Route 9 where it meets Route 1 (there is now one turn lane) south- bound. It also calls for a smaller store which is expected to gener- ate less traffic. But Mike Tyler of the Citizens Coalition remains opposed to the project. "It is just not an appropri- ate location," he said. Specifically, Lowe's has scaled plans back by about 12 percent. A previous proposal was for a store of a potential 146,164 square feet in size. That initial proposal called for a store of 131,644 square feet, plus a garden center and possible expansion of 14,520 square feet. The new proposed smaller store would have a non-expandable square footage of 128,747. By comparison, Kmart is approxi- mately 117,000 square feet in size. "The reduction would amount to approximately 17,000 square feet. "This is a profound concession on the part of L6we's and results in a significant decrease in traffic to be generated," according to a Feb. 12 letter to DelDOT from the engineering firm Raymond Keyes Associates. Jen EIIIngsworth photo Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick gives a "thumbs-up" to one of the new signs posted along Route 1. The signs define when and where commercial delivery trucks may make stops. Dewey Commissioners have full plate Friday By Jen Ellingsworth Commissioners for the town of Dewey Beach will meet Friday, June 20, at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Life- saving Station on Dagsworthy Avenue. Agenda items for the monthly meeting include three conditional use hearings, a review of the sta- tus of "no stopping, standing or parking" signage within the town limits, a review and vote on ordi- nances dealing with the fine for a disorderly house and parking me- ter zones. Commissioners will also review the status of the Silver Lake pub- lic path dispute, an issue which petitioners have now appealed to the Supreme Court. James Reemsnyder, owner of Colonel Mustard's Phabulous Phatburgers has requested a con- ditional use hearing to operate an amusement facility in a retail lo- cation next to his current estab- lishment. Patricia Derrick, owner of the Sea Shell Shop at the comer of Bellevue Street and Route 1, has requested a conditional use hear- ing for an "eatery operation" at that location. Derrick said she in- tends to sell fudge at the establish- ment. The third conditional use hear- ing is one requested by Harry and Thelma Wilson, and the Cove House Seafood Restaurant, for the purpose of changing the existing eatery operation to a restaurant with inside and, outside seating. The hearing also includes the re- quest for an Alcoholic Beverage and Control Commission (ABCC) license. Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Fred- erick said he's excited about the progress that the town and the Delaware Department of Trans- portation (DelDOT) has made in placing signs along Route 1. The signs, placed at various sites on the highway, are being posted for the purpose of defining stopping times and locations for commer- cial delivery trucks. "Hats off to DelDOT," said Frederick, who said the commis- sioners will spend time fine-tun- ing the issue at Friday night's meeting. "It's the perfect example of how quickly the town and the state were able to work together and get results. Our overall num- ber one concern is the safety of tourists and residents." Dewey Beach Town Manager Bill Rutherford said the commis- sioners will also look at the fine structure for a disorderly house. He said the town may decide to raise the fines. "We're going to lo0k at the fine structure to see if it should be greater," he said. "We're going to look at how many people are at these parties and go from there." DelDOT to consider "Forgotten Mile's" pedestrians, bicyclists By Michael Short The Delaware Department of Transporta- tion (DelDOT) has been accused of forget- ting the area known as "the forgotten mile." On Monday night, DelDOT will continue its efforts to focus more attention on that area with a hearing on bicycleand pedestri- an traffic in that area. DelDOT has already agreed to add more lighting and reduce speed limits and is considering a potential traffic light for the area, part of its efforts to focus more attention on the area. Now, DelDOT will consider bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the area in a meeting which takes place from 7-9 p.m. in Re- hoboth Elementary School, 500 Stockley Street. The area in question stretches from the Canal Bridge southward to the entrance to Dewey Beach. It's a stretch of road with heavy traffic and very heavy use by pedestrians, many of whom are crossing the road to reach the beach. "Traffic is just bad on a seasonal basis," said Liz Holloway, Delaware's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. "We see an oppor- tunity to make some improvements." No decisions about improvements have been made because the state wants to hear the suggestions of the public, Holloway said. But possible ideas inolude sidewalks, intersection improvements or pedestrian crossings. "We are seeking to improve safety for bi- cycles and pedestrians," she said. Holloway said the heavily traveled stretch of roadway is "a very critical area" and added that she feels some short-term solutions can be de- veloped. The public notice for Monday's session says "the public workshop will provide citi- zens with an introduction to the project, overall constraints to bicycling and walking within the corridor and preliminary design solutions for targeted areas. Workshop par- ticipants will be encouraged to ask ques- tions, express opinions, identify areas in need of improvement and comment on pro- posed solutions." Monday's workshop comes as another committee studies Route 1. That new com- mittee is studying connections and ways to improve mobility and movement of traffic, including bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The new group, which met last week for the first time at the Lewes Library, expects to make recommendations this fall for Route I below Five Points, including the "forgotten mile". That group is chaired by DelDOT's Eli Cooper, the assistant director for transit ser- vices development in the planning division. Holloway said the two groups are related, but will be working separately. Cape teachers, school board ratify contract; slight raise in picture By Kerry Kester The Cape Henlopen Board of Education voted Thursday, June 12 to ratify the 1995-98 teacher contract. At issue was the third year of the contract, which was re-opened as outlined in the original contract terms. The contract calls for a three percent raise on the local share of salaries. Local districts pay approxi- mately 30 percent of teacher salaries, and the state pays the re- maining percent. The local raise, said Andy Bran- denberger, director of business operations, amounts to less than a one percent raise on the total salary package. The Cape Henlopen Education Association (CHEA) ratified the contract on June 5. "In addition to the local salary increase, the contract also pro- vides for a 10-percent increase on extra- or co-curricular pay for those teachers who perform spe- cial duties such as coaching or ad- vising. "That hadn't been increased in six to eight years," said Sarah Ross, CHEA president. Ross said the board and teachers also decided to form a committee that will review that portion of the contract pertaining to special duty assignments. The committee will evaluate staffing to determine when new positions may be needed, as well as monitor when contract revi- sions are needed. "New things come along all the time," said Ross, who said she is happy the district will be closely monitoring the schools' needs. "We are pleased with the ratifi- cation because it's the first time in about eight years that we had a contract ratified before the end of the school year," said Ross. "We did use the Collaborative Ap- proach to Problem Solving (CAPS) process, which has defi- nitely been successful in negotia- tions." The new contract goes into ef- fect July 1. The board and teachers are ex- pected to open negotiations for the next three-year contracl in Febru- ary or March of 1998.