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August 8, 2003     Cape Gazette
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Je. II I I I IIII II Delaware's Cape Region Friday, August 8 - Thursday, August 14, 2003 www.capegazette.com Volume 11 No. 12 "THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE" 'II Jl Lewes BPW abandons burying cables Chestnut Street easement issue must be settled first By Andrew Keegan The Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) on-again, off-again decision about underground utilities on Chestnut Street is off - for now. Earlier this year the city held two pubic meetings with residents of Chestnut Street to explain the entire process of rehabilitat- ing the two block corridor. The plan calls for new water lines along the street and new water connections to individual homes, upgraded stormwater lines, new sidewalks and street repaying. Following the two meetings, residents were overjoyed that the crumbling street is slated for improvement. Then in July, BPW voted to bury all util- ities along the street, including Comcast and Verizon cables, without informing Chestnut Street residents. The decision was made after the construction contract had already gone out for bid. The follow- ing week, a BPW electric committee, along with the board's engineer, decided burying the cables is not feasible in the allotted time span, because the board is unable to gain the easements needed from residents. Transmission boxes are required at street level for undergrounding utilities. Senior BPW board member Howard Seymour ini- tially voted against the project for that very reason. "Verizon and Comcast will not begin their design stage until the easement situa- tion is settled;' said the board's engineer Charlie O'Donnell. Construction is sched- uled to begin Sept. 2. A special board meeting was conducted, Aug. 6, to reverse the earlier decision to bury utilities, except a new twist is intm: Continued on page 18 Troubled Seas Part I: The Threats Carper, Tulou discuss Pew concerns in OC This is the first of a three-part series on the status and management of ocean fish- eries. By Jim Cresson Imagine a time when the world's oceans are devoid of large fish. Imagine a time when many species of fin fish are on a fed- eral endangew.d fist, a time when sport fishing is prohibited in the oceans. That time is not far off, warns the Pew Oceans Commission; in fact, it may be just a few years away unless drastic interna- tional changes are made soon. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper took the Pew Oceans Commission message to Ocean City, Md., Aug. 6, where he talked with city officials and many fishermen partici- paring in the 30th annual White Marlin Open tournament there. With Carper was former Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Christophe Tulou, Continued on page 19 Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, standing, congratulates Ocean City (Md.) Mayor Jim Mathias, right, on an article in "Marlin Magazine  about the annual White Marlin Tournament held in Ocean City this week. Carper and other dignitaries from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Pew Oceans Commission, the Recreational Fishing Alliance and the Department of Fisheries met to Don Cook photo review the importance of sport fishing to Delmarva and explore the federal role in encouraging worldwide con- servation as a means of preserving critical economic activity. Pew Oceans Commission Executive Director Christof Tulou, far left, and National Marine Fisheries Service Deputy Assistant Administrator Rebecca Lent look on. Rehoboth planners challenge city on permit added into the entire square footage of the parcel when tabulating the allowable densi- ty. The planners agreed the street should have been omitted from these calculations, which would result in a maximum of only 11 units permitted on the parcel. The planners are of the opinion that sets a dangerous precedent for future develop- ment, citing the fact it could result in almost double the density should a large parcel such as the Rehoboth Plaza land be developed for residential use. City Manager Greg Ferrese, who is act- ing as building and licensing supervisor until a replacement can be found for an exasperated Richard Ruof, who resigned in June, issued the permit July 14. Continued on page 20 By Trish Vernon In a precedent-setting decision, the Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission voted 5-2 at a special meeting, Aug. 2, to appeal issuing a building permit to the Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment. The issue of granting a building permit to Cottingham Associates for the old Joseph Cottages site on Rehoboth Avenue arose last month during a discussion of private streets and driveways in the case of Houston Ventures' application for a major subdivision along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal off State Road. It was brought to the planners' attention that plans for the Joseph's Cottages site called for 12 units and a private street to access them. However, the street was -= I