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Lewes, Delaware
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August 14, 1998     Cape Gazette
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August 14, 1998
 

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10 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, August 14 - August 20, 1998 Dewey officials concerned about conditional-use violation By Jen Ellingsworth Dewey Beach officials are con- cerned that a restaurant in the town is in violation of a condition- al-use permit it was granted by commissioners this spring. Covehouse Seafood Restaurant, located in the Wilson Shopping Center, on Route 1 at New Or- leans Street, was approved by town commissioners in March for beer and wine license. Dewey Beach Building Official Bill Miller said he has, since then, learned that Covehouse is operat- ing with a full spirits license granted by the Delaware Alco- holic Beverage Control Commis-. sion (DABCC). Miller said Dewey Beach Town Manager Bill Rutherford has sent a letter to the owners of the Cove- house Seafood Restaurant, stating :hat the business is in violation of the town-issued, conditional-use permit. Covehouse owners Steve and Diane Pullara could not be reached for comment. However, Eric Howard, attorney for Cove- house, said he considers the dilemma a "misundertanding" and hopes to have the situation re- solved quickly. In the meantime, he said Covehouse has removed the liquor from its shelves. Donald Bowman, DABCC di- rector, said that according to SB92, establishments must first be approved for a liquor license by the municipality in which they are located before they apply for a license with his agency. Under the licensing structure of the com- mission, he said applicants can ap- ply for either a beer and wine li- cense or a full spirits license, but are required to first get the ap- proval of the town. Town commissioners are ex- pected to discuss the matter at the town meeting at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 14, in the U.S. Lifesaving Station on Dagsworthy Avenue. In other business, Dewey Beach Surf & Sport owner Harry Wilson has requested that commissioners explore the rotation of areas for skimboarding and surfing. Wil- son is also director of the Delaware Region of the Eastern Surfing Association. He said he'd like to see two beaches left open for surfing and skimboard- ing on a rotating basis, similar to a law he said is on the books in Ocean City, Md. Dewey Beach commissioners unanimously voted to approve a request from lifeguard captain Todd Fritchman July 17, to limit the use of surfboards, skimboards Jen EIIingsworth photo Covehouse Seafood Restaurant is located in the Wilson Shopping Center in Dewey Beach. or "other water devices made from a nonflexible material" within 100 feet of a bather or swimmer. Fritchman said he came forward with the request because the beach is more populated this summer. Spengler, Frederick face off in Dewey Civic League down on problems with pedestrians on Route 1. Spengler said that he supports open space in town when asked about what can be done with the Dewey Lions Club property. "Talk to us [Lions] and tell us what you would like to see us do with the proper- SPENGLER ty," he said. "This is such a unique opportunity for Dewey Beach." Spengler said he supports open space for the Lions property as well as for the extension of McKinley Street. Both said that trash is still a problem in Dewey Beach. But both stopped short of fa- voring central collection of trash. Frederick said the town has become cleaner and said little things, like more community involve- ment, can improve cleanliness of the town. In a prepared statement, Frederick said "as we head into the new millennium it is imperative that we continue our evolution By Michael Short Dewey Beach politics can be enormously mtertaining. But this year's election has lacked con- troversy, primarily because there is no con- tested race. The Dewey Beach Civic League candi- :late forum on Saturday, Aug. 8, provided few fireworks. It pitted the only two candi- Jates thus far, incumbent Bob Frederick and Bob Spengler, against each other in a iovial faceoff. Both candidates agreed on many of the issues. Frederick has announced that he is also seeking a seat on Sussex County Coun- :il and if he is elected to that post, he will resign his position as Dewey Beach's may- r. That prompted Spengler to praise Fred- rick's efforts and to lead a round of ap- plause for the mayor. "! really commend the work that he [Frederick] has done," 5pengler said. If he is not elected to Sussex County ,7.ouncil, then Frederick would like to con- :inue to serve the town. Dewey Beach vot- ers choose commis- sioners and the com- missioners then choose the mayor from among themselves. There are two seats available this year and only two candidates, although the filing deadline is Aug. 20. The seats of Frederick FREDERICK and Faith Duncan, who will not seek an additional term, are up for election this year. If Frederick cannot serve as mayor, that seat must be filled by a resident commis- sioner. Of the remaining three incumbent commissioners, only James Lavelle is a res- ident commissioner. Spengler chairs the town's board of ad- justment. As a resident for the last eight years, he would also be a potential candi- date for mayor if he is elected. Both men supported beach replenishment and both supported police efforts to crack The prior ordinance prohibited the use of "airborne objects" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Fritchman said the law needed to be revisited because the definition of "airborne object" was unclear. candidate's forum through good solid management and fine tuning. This can be done by programs al- ready in place. We have a new Town Hall to better serve you. Initiatives are being tak- en by our lifeguard patrol for safety and recreational purposes on the freshly renour- ished beach and the police department is steady and solid." Spengler, in his prepared statement, said his "vision of Dewey Beach two years hence is where residents and visitors alike are safe and free to enjoy our many attribut- es; where businesses and the community can coexist and prosper; where facilities and activities exist to further our growing image of a family-oriented resort; where our primary asset, our beach, is preserved and clean for the enjoyment of all; and, where financial and legislative affairs are sound and fair." The Dewey Beach Civic League has en- dorsed candidates, but those endorsements will not be made public until the league can mail those endorsements to its members late this month. plan into ordinance form. The ul- timate goal of the plan is to en- courage development that en- hances the core values of Lewes and discourage development that detracts from those core values. The core values from which the zoning process grew, as presented in the zoning proposal, are as fol- lows below: 1. Lewes has a special and his- toric relationship with the sea; 2. Lewes is a community of di- versity; 3. Lewes values its humane town scale and sense of face-to- face intimacy that is characteristic of its quality of life; 4. Lewes is a town of busy days and quiet nights; and 5. Lewes recognizes and main- tains its internal communities. Bisbee said that while the pro- posal doesn't include any "major, major changes," it does propose changing the names of some zon- ing districts to better reflect exist- ing and anticipated future uses. "For example, the existing com- mercial zone from American Le- gion Road to Lewes Beach and along Cape Henlopen Drive would become the Commercial Residential 1 zone that allows both commercial and residential uses. As it is now, it's illegal to construct residences in that zone, which may be a way people want to go. In that zone, too, the build- ing height proposed is 34 feet, which is the same as the building height for most of the rest of the residential areas of Lewes Beach. That's down from the existing 40- foot limit for the existing com- mercial zone in that area. The rest of the existing commercial area on Lewes Beach - along Savannah Road from American Legion Road and Massachusetts to the canal and along Anglers Road and part of Market - would be part of a new zone on both sides of the canal called Commercial Core. The building height limit in the Continued on page 16 -)0-day moratorium imposed to protect :own during review By Dennis Forney Lewes Council, at its Monday, ug. 10 meeting, set a Thursday, ;ept. 10 public hearing for a com- ,rehensive new zoning proposal hat has been in the works for the )ast six years. Immediately on the heels of set- ing that hearing, members voted impose a 90-day moratorium on ew building and subdivisions. ae moratorium does not apply to .sidential projects or any projects mt have officially been in the ,orks before the vote was taken. ". does apply to Residential lanned Community District, 'ommercial District, Commercial District, Community Facility qstrict, University District and le town's Industrial District. "The purpose of a moratorium," said Councilman Jim Ippolito at the meeting, "is to preserve the status quo for a certain time in a community While changes are made to its land-use rules. The goal is to prevent development that's inconsistent with the provi- sions of the new zoning that is be- ing considered. This will protect the process of comprehensive zoning while it's being reviewed by the public and council mem- bers," said Ippolito. Ippolito noted that the moratori- um he was proposing would either end in 90 days or when the town's new zoning is adopted. Responding to a concern ex- pressed by builder John Zacharias that the zoning process, underway now for six years, could continue for another six years, Ippolito said that was the reason why he was limiting the moratoruim to 90 days. "We want this to be the least cumbersome as possible. We want the review and implementa- tion process to go forward as quickly as possible,, said Ippolito. At the suggestion of City Man- ager Elaine Bisbee, the public hearing on the zoning proposal will be held in the upstairs meet- ing room of Lewes Public Library beginning at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10. A copy of the more than 120-page proposal is available for review in Lewes Public Library and three copies are available to be checked out from City Hall on East Third Street. A color-coded zoning map, which outlines proposed new dis- tricts is also available for review in City Hall. The new zoning proposals grew out of five "core values" devel- oped by a committee that focused on creating a long-range compre- hensive plan for Lewes. The plan was adopted by Lewes Council a number of years ago and an ad hoc zoning drafting committee was appointed to put the long-range Lewes sets Sept. 10 hearing on new zoning proposal