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Lewes, Delaware
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August 1, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 1, 1997
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August I - August 7, 1997 Lewes board approves Medical Arts Building height variance By Dennis Forney Members of the Lewes Board of Adjustment unanimously ap- proved a 15 foot height variance for the proposed Lewes Medical Arts Building following a hearing on Tuesday, July 29. The 55 foot tall building, which will replace the existing Edgehill Drugs store on Savannah Road next to Beebe Medical Center, will include a new and larger Edgehill Drugs as well as several medical offices. Beebe Medical Center officials say there is al- ready a demand for the offices which will be located adjacent to the medical facility. Preston Dyer of Ed Med Proper- ties L.L.C., the subsidiary of Edgehill Drugs which is develop- ing the Medical Arts Building, said the variance approval means final planning can begin for con- struction of the 36,000 square foot building. "I'd say the new build- ing will be up within a year," said Dyer following the hearing. "It will go up behind the existing drug store which will then be razed to make way for a streetside parking lot." A two story parking garage will also be built behind the new three story building to serve the medical offices. During the hearing for the height variance, which drew no comments from the public, Dyer noted that the most visible horizontal line along the top of the building will be at a height of 43 and a half feet. "The gables added at the DYER suggestion of and the parapet that are above the 40 foot limit are similar features to chimneys and spires." He noted further that the new building will be the first building of the medical complex seen by people coming in town on Savan- nah Road and that it would pre- sent a pleasing appearance which would also block view of the parking garage serving the med- ical center. Cupp cites convenience In voting for the variance, Board of Adjustment chairman Harvey Cupp noted that Edgehill Drugs is the sole facility of its type in Lewes for the elderly pop- the Commercial Architecture Re- ulation. "And we are increasing," view Commission (GARC)to make the building fit in better aes- thetically with the community are what take the height to 55 feet. The extra height does nothing to add to the usable interior space of the building." Dyer also noted that the zoning ordinance allows certain architec- tural features such as chimneys and spires to go above the C-2 zone's 40 foot height limit. "And it could be argued that the gables he said. "Without this drug store we'd have to go out on Route 1. Hopefully by allowing this ex- panded facility it will help with procurement of health-related items like stools for bathing and rails. It will be closer than the Love Creek store where people have to go now for those types of items. The building will also be a better looking view than the park- ing garage." 'q'his project started out within )iiiii0000iii!ii!iiii00iiiiii00iiiiiiiiii!!i!iii00!iliiiil/ '' ..... ' This artist's rendering shows the front of the new EdgehiI! Pharmacy and Lewes Medical Arts Building as it faces Savan- nah Road. the 40 foot height limit but was el- evated at the request of CARC to improve the appearance," said Board of Adjustment member Joe Stewart. 'laat helped create the problem we're addressing today and I see no reason for denying this variance." Board member Bill Stevenson noted that part of Ed Med Properties's need for the height variance relates to its at- tempts to align its building, on a bit of a hill, with the first floor of adjacent Beebe Medical Center. "That makes sense to me as do ef- forts to incorporate this project in with the Beebe complex. I think the efforts to meet the height re- quirements originally should be recognized and agree that the pro- ject will improve the streetseape. So I support granting the variance as well." The land where the building will go up was zoned Community Facilities District un- til earlier this year when Lewes Council approved a change of zone to C-2 commercial which members felt more accurately fit the property. Rehoboth planners to collaborate with state, UD on Long Range Plan By Trish Vernon Anxious to "get off the dime" and begin a concerted effort to implement the Long Range Plan adopted last year, the Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission is calling on professional planners to help them reach their goal. The planners have called a meeting for 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 18, which they expect members of the city's Board of Commis- sioners to attend, so all may benefit from the expertise of planners from the Universi- ty of Delaware and the Office of State Plan- ning Coordination. Planning Chairperson Mary Campbell wrote to Jerome Lewis, director of the uni- versity's Institute for Public Administration in June, seeking assistance in developing a site plan approval process for the City of Rehoboth Beach. Lewis replied to Campbell that he dis- cussed this request at length with his of- rice's principal planner, Linda Raab, Re- hoboth Planner Mable Granke and Director of the Office of State Planning Coordina- tion Dave Hugg. "We feel the best ap- proach is to explore a variety of resources that could be brought to bear in order to re- solve the needs for site plan approval, as well as consider the overall vision for the future of the City of Rehoboth Beach," he wrote. The points they would like to explore in- clude: A group facilitation process in which they help bring to the table various interest groups and official decision-making parties in the city to develop a consensus approach for site plan approval. They have profes- sional facilitators on their staff who could help with this process. Develop a task group which would bring expertise from Hugg's and Lewis's offices, as well as the Delaware Chapter of American Planning Associations and other towns in the state which have experience with site plan approval. Work on an approach whereby his staff and other experts could provide technical advice to the planners which could be fur- ther developed and written by the planners themselves. During the planners' July 30 meeting, Campbell discussed Lewis's reply with fel- low members, noting that there seems to be interest in starting with the area around Bal- timore, Maryland and Olive avenues. have "derailed," due to the lack of a profes- sional facilitator to keep them on track. "Lewis said Rehoboth Beach is not a 'po- dunk' city - it represents how many people across the nation view Delaware - and they don't want us to stumble," Granke noted. Shreeve agreed, adding that while Re- When pondering whether the Board of hoboth is a small town with a slim year Commissioners would be willing to take this approach, Planner Patti Shreeve re- minded them that the board adopted the Long Range Plan, and that they are "aware of our frustration" in putting teeth into it. Planner Bob Scala summed it up by say- ing there's a "big picture and a little pic- ture." The big picture is that the planners admit the fact they lack the professional planning skills themselves and there is no one on the city staff with such skills the planners can rely upon, so it was up to the planners to identify resources available at little or no cost. The little picture is that previous meet- ings between the planners and the commis- sioners concerning the Long Range Plan round population, the value of the land is very high, "and it's ridiculous we don't have a paid planner on the staff." "Well, we've got to get started - this could go a long way in protecting ourselves and such an advisory committee could be very important to Rehoboth Beach," Camp- bell said. Mayor Sam Cooper termed the pledge of assistance from the state and university "very exciting." Having attended work- shops involving experts from both arenas, Cooper said 'Tm impressed at being able to bring together knowledgeable people from across the state. They have good contacts in the trenches who know what it's all about." New Rehoboth entrance, Route 1 alternative, park and ride get nod from group By Michael Short A committee studying ways to improve Route 1 mobility and safety is making progress, accord- ing to members. The group met on Tuesday af- ternoon, the second meeting of the committee, to discuss solutions ranging from revamping the en- trance to Rehoboth Beach to lo- cating new park and ride lots along Route 1. Mike Tyler, a member of the committee, said no one left the meeting "smiling and happy" and no one left "growling and grum- bling. We are trying to approach a consensus," said Tyler. That con- sensus has focused on relatively small projects such as bike routes, park and ride lots and alternatives to existing roadways. There are no superhighways being discussed in the series of meetings, which will include one more committee meeting and two meetings for the general public. Eli Cooper, assistant director for transit services development in the planning division of Delaware's Department of Tram- portation (DelDOT) said "I think we are still on target," By target, Cooper means he still thinks rec- ommendations from the commit- tee can be made in September. The next public meeting is expect- ed in mid-August. Here are some of the points committee members showed support for on Tuesday, according to Cooper and Tyler (no decisions have been made yet). There is some support for a Route 1 alternative, involving some improvement or road con- struction in the following areas. Here is the rough location of where the alternative could be lo- cated. From Rehoboth Beach northward, it would be east of Route 1 and behind the outlet malls (for easy access without having to use Route 1). It would cross Route 1 around the area of Old Landing Road in order to avoid wetland areas and would then proceed northward along Route 275 and west of Route 1, more commonly known as Planta- tions Road A possible entrance or exit to Rehoboth Beach along the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal near Delmarva Power received some support. There remains interest in re- vamping the entrance to Rehoboth Beach so that a separate entrance and exit could be created, thus eliminating the single lane in and single lane out of the main Re- hoboth Beach entrance. Tyler said the current entrance could be made an exit and the entrance could be in the area of the canal and Delmarva Power and Light. There is support for both an additional park and ride lot near the old Stockley Cannery chimney as you enter Rehoboth Beach and for a park and ride lot at the pro- posed Lowe's site near the Five Points Intersection. Bill Lingo has supported the park and ride. Wally Evans of the Lewes Fire Department called for an entrance to New Road north of Nassau Bridge to route traffic to Lewes. Mike Tyler and others contin- ue to call for a "rail to trail" line along the old railroad line be- tween Rehoboth and Lewes. A possible small access road from Postal Lane through the pro- posed Townsend Square Shop- ping Center and the Rehoboth Outlet Center housing L.L. Bean. Re-aligning some intersec- tions, including Postal Lane and Road 270 and Route 24. The later re-alignment means a cemetery at the corner of Route 1 and Road 270 would have to be crossed in some fashion. A bike path behind the area of the Camelot Shopping Center.