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August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 15 - August 21, 1997 Sussex turns thumbs down on pile driving restrictions By Michael Short Sussex County Council voted down an effort on Aug. 12 to re- strict pile driving in the coastal zone, in a long debate which pit- ted business owners against the tourist community. Army Corps Continued from page 1 nourishment to ensure the integri- ty of the design. Beach fill in the amount of 174,000 cubic yards, initially, to be dredged from the vicinity of Roosevelt Inlet and subsequent periodic nourishment of 132,000 cubic yards every six years for 50 years. "The reporting officers evaluat- ed several alternative plans and have found that a hurricane and storm damage reduction project is environmentally feasible, eco- nomically justified, and engineer- ingly sound," states the public no- tice distributed following comple- tion of the study in May of this year. "It was also determined dur- ing the course of the study that the Federal navigation projects in the vicinity of Lewes Beach were the primary cause of the shore prob- lems at Lewes Beach." Exception to policy Army Corps spokesman Ed Voight said the Clinton adminis- tration has a budgetary policy of not supporting shore protection projects in general. [That's why beach replenishment projects along the ocean coast are not presently moving forward.] He said however that the administra- tion has made an exception when previous federal projects are seen as part of the problem. "The cost sharing formula on this one would normally be 65 percent federal and 35 percent other but on this one is recommended to be 78 per- cent federal and 22 percent other because of the old federal pro- ject," said Voight. The feasibility study is part of a larger study of possible hurricane damage reduction projects along the Delaware Bay coastline of Delaware and New Jersey initiat- ed by Gov. Tom Carper when he was serving as Delaware's con- gressman. Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Envi- ronmental Control (DNREC) spokesman David Small said the state supports the project. "My understanding is that it is current- ly being reviewed by Corps offi- cials in Washington D.C.," said Small. "I also understand there's further study on how much of a role is being played in erosion along the beach by the breakwa- ters as well as the inlet jetty pro- jects at Roosevelt which are all federal projects. Apparently if studies show that they are 100 percent of the cause, the federal government could decide to fund the entire cost of the work." County Councilman George Cole had championed the ordi- nance, saying that pile driving is often a noisy part of building and that it can disturb the valuable tourist industry. The restriction would have prevented driving pil- ings from spring until fall in the coastal zone of Sussex County. There would have been no lim- its on pile driving after September 15 or before May 15. Several resi- dents spoke in favor of the ban, but several contractors opposed This 1993 aerial photograph shows Roosevelt Inlet, con- struction of the stone jetty on the west side of the inlet, and a portion of the western end of Lewes Beach, in front of Lewes Yacht Club, being targeted for a major federal project. One aspect of the project would be construction of a stone jetty, the same length as the one on west side, on the east side of the inlet. and Waterways Management Sec- tion, said the breakwaters are the reason why Lewes Beach, at its western end near Roosevelt Inlet, is an eroding shoreline as opposed to an accreting shoreline. "Before the breakwaters were built, the point at Cape Henlopen was much more blunt. Sand moving up the coast would round the point and wash up the Delaware Bay shore- line driven by incoming waves from the ocean," said Henry. What's the next step? "Following completion of the Chief of Engineer's report [in D.C.]," states the public notice, "the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, in consul- tation with the Office of Manage- ment and Budget, then establishes the Administration position on whether the proposal should be recommended to the Congress for authorization." The earliest, said Corps spokesman Voight, would be Fis- cal Year 2000. "If money's added to the budget for this project, which cold happen," said Voight, "we would then get started. Of course it would take some time for pre-construction work and de- sign." The Army Corps analysis of the project estimates annual cost benefits of $579,000 [includ- ing less dredging needed to keep Roosevelt Inlet at reasonable depths] compared to average an- nual costs of $453,000. the measure and said it could mean lost jobs and a damaged economy. The controversy was sparked by a long project in the small area near Silver Lake just north of Dewey Beach Town limits. Sever- al local residents spoke in favor of a ban and Cole noted that the area towns have already put such a ban in place. Cole said that such a county ban could simply take care of those pockets of unincorporated land along the beach that don't already have restrictions. "We were at the beach and the pile driving drove us crazy," said Martha Tillman. Robert Barry called the noise "extremely bothersome Lawrence Radanovic, the president of the North Indian Beach Homeowners Association, said that the associa- tion had never thought it needed a limit on pile driving. But he supported the county measure, saying some people are inconsiderate and arguing that pile driving can mean the loss of thou- sands of dollars to people trying to rent their homes to summer resi- dents. Even construction for a day or two can ruin a summer vacation and send renters fleeing else- where, he argued. It was a com- mon argument Tuesday as Cole said he sympathized with contrac- tors but said the summer rental business is also vitally important. "We need this amendment. It is not only reasonable but neces- sary," said Radanovic. Vivian Barry told the council that unless "you've experienced it, you don't realize how nerve wracking it is." Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Fred- Continued on page 18 LEMON TREE If you're looking for an established year-round restaurant business is Lewes, DE, then "Lemon Tree by the Sea" is the answer - Breakfast, Lunch, eat-in, take out. Great location, excellent reputation, fine food, $70,000 Call for more information/ LEWES REALTY "'We "re not fi'anchised, tt'e 're personalized "' SALES RENTALS APPRAISALS ] -SO0- 705- 7590 645-1955 418 EAST SAVANNAH ROAD" LEWES BEACH, DE 19958  | Take a relaxing 70-minute cruise across Delaware Bay aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry--you've never sailed anything like it! Sail to adventure at Cape May County Park and Zoo! Come see 2.50 species of animals, birds and reptiles in beautiful settings. Stroll the paths winding through the Zoo. let the kids play on the Park's gym equipment, and have lunch at our food court. The Zoo trip departs at I0:00 a.m. every Tuesday or Thursday from June 17 through P, ugust 28. Price for adults and children is $15.00, and includes round-trip Ferry ride and shuttle service to and from the Zoo. Or, join us for an elegant evening buffet on the luxurious Twin Capes ferry! For $26.95, you'll sail on the Bay while enjoying a buffet dinner. (Beverages and gratuity extra.) For reservations, call 1-800-64-FERRY (Buffet cruise departs Lewes daily at 4:40 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Cape May at 6:20 p.m.) Bob Henry, program adminis- trator for Delaware's Shoreline