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July 21, 2006     Cape Gazette
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July 21, 2006

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Maull subdivision appt 00val recommended Lewes panel moves decision to city By Henry J. Evans Jr. Cape Gazette staff A request to subdivide a piece of land that has been steeped in controversy has received the Lewes Planning Commission's recommendation of final approval. But the panel's decision to rec- ommend the Mavor and Council grant final approval of C. Leonard Maull and sister Linda Tracy's request to split their Front Street lot in two. was made with a great deal of hand- wringing, legal debate and hope that ultimately the subdivision won't be allowed. The commission's Wednesday, July 19, approval isn't an accurate reflection of concerns several members voiced when the panel was polled. Six commissioners voted in favor of the recommendation, one voted against it and one abstained. Neighboring property owners have objected to the subdivision because of concerns about stormwater drainage, develop- ment density and regulations they say were in place but not fol- lowed. Last month the commission rec- ommended final approval to sub- divide property owned by Richard and Darlene Healing. Healing is seeking to subdivide property at 231 Second St., into five lots. The Healing property is adjacent to Maull's and until last month the commission referred to both sub- divisions as Healing-Maull. William Schab. Maull's attor- ney, said he had appeared before the commission six times in a process that had been ongoing for three years. He said the commission for some time has had all the informa- tion required to recommend final approval. Schab said the lengthy delay in receiving a report from the Sussex County Conservation District was the chief reason the process bogged down. "They did every single thing that was required of them," Schab said of his clients. Schab's com- ments related to a point over which-there has been conflict; whether application for prelimi- nary approval had expired making the subdivision request "dead in the water." City solicitor Tempe Steen. in the Healing request and now in the Maull request, said the appli- cation had not expired and was awaiting action by the commission. STEEN Attorney John Sergovic Jr., representing Sam and Mariah Draper Calagione and other homeowners neighboring the properties, said a pending city requirement that home lots be at least 5,000 square feet was in force when the Healing-Maull application was considered. "These applicants are asking you to reward them for tardiness." Sergovic told the commission. The Healing-Maull subdivi- sions are based on lot sizes of 4,000 square feet. Second Street resident Rachel Grier-Reynolds said drainage problems and subdivision density allowing construction of up to seven new homes in the core of the city's historic district need to be reconsidered. "No matter what I say tonight is going to have any effect on Healing," Grier-Reynolds said of the commission's recommenda- tion last month. Jill Landon who lives next to Maull's property said the subdivi- sions would degrade the historic quality of the neighborhood. "It would be a blight. I think this is going to be a grave mis- take," Landon said. Although some commission members voted without trepida- tion for approval, others pinned hopes on the mayor and council to deny the subdivision. "Last month's decision sort of put us in a box. I'm hopeful some sanity will be introduced into the process," said Commissioner Sam Gossage. Commissioner Nina Cannata cast the sole vote against approval. Cannata said it's her opinion that both Healing's and Maull's applications had expired and the subdivisions should be required to meet the 5.000 square foot lot size. Newly appointed commissioner Jim Linnen abstained. CAPE GAZETTE. Friday, July 21 - Monday, July 24, 2006 - 15 W C. We are "GROWING" in order to meet the needs of our ever expanding Sussex County Community Seeking Commercial Lines Customer Service/Account Manager - Must possess P&C Insurance License Commercial Insurance & Applied Systems experience preferred - Send r6sum6 to pwalker@wil| 20220 Coastal Highway Rehoboth Beach, DE