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September 6, 2013     Cape Gazette
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8 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 VIEWPOINTS cape e00ette Letters )) Continued from page 7 meeting and listened with disgust to them vote 4-1 to approve the proposed RV City near Love Creek by Lingo Asset Manage- ment. It was unsettling to hear the canned speeches made by planning members Johnson and Ross, who seemed to fall over themselves praising Lingo Asset Management for the great job they have done planning this project. Mister Ross said that DelDOT, the traffic "czar," had given its blessing to the traffic impact study issues paid for by Lingo As- set Management. In turn, Mister Ross stated that environmental concerns and their impact, as cit- ed by Collin O'Mara, head of DN- REC, were negated by an expert from Lingo Management Group and, therefore, a non-issue. I also find it very disturbing that the commission considered DNREC so inept at understanding the environmental consequences that this project will generate, as com- pared to the applicant's "expert," who disagrees. Worse were Mister Ross's very condescending and insult- ing remarks with regard to the facts and opinions presented by residents and their experts in their detailed reports. Being residents does not diminish our professional backgrounds as busi- ness owners, doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, geologists and corporate officers, etc. The sum- maries by Mister Ross and Mister Johnson simply presented points that distorted the facts to provide a winning position for Lingo. By contrast, Mister Rodney Smith showed the courage to object to his colleagues on the application, despite being the "lone dissenter. The message to the residents of Sussex County is that planning & zoning's action was based solely on politics be- hind closed doors - and that the views of Lewes residents are not as important as the Lingo money and favors that may be garnered with it. The four approving commis- sion members apparently saw no problem with a wide range of critical issues including: Traffic congestion of an ad- ditional 600:plus cars, RVs, trail- ers and boats on narrow Cedar Grove and surrounding roads Additional traffic due to DART establishing a bus stop Tying into Rehoboth's waste treatment facility, which is al- ready over capacity Danger to pedestrian and bicycle traffic on area roads * Seasonal operation between March and November, which is over three months, during the school year, when some chil- dren will inevitably attend local schools. The impact on Ward Road, which would be designated as the Emergency Evacuation Route, despite being regularly flooded during rains and snow melt. The Traffic Impact Study which was paid for by Lingo Asset Management, and ap- proved by DelDOT, was limited in scope to one travel corridor to the proposed RV park. The route used to access the park would be Route 1 to Postal Lane to Cedar Grove Road, although vehicles can come from a number of other directions along ill-suited county roads. (Subsequently, Mister Ross commented at the meeting that additionally it is now Planta- tion Road, Route 24, Mulberry Knoll Road and Robinsonville Road, etc.) Lingo agreed with DelDOT to widen a limited portion of Cedar Grove Road to a width of 50 feet, while some surrounding access roadways (mentioned above) are now approximately 20 feet wide shoulder to shoulder or 10 feet wide from the center line to shoulder, which is generally the case for a county road. (In gen- eral, Class A RVs range up to 45 feet in length, not counting a ve- hicle in tow; weigh up to 30,000 pounds (15 tons) and feature side mirrors and rolled awnings that approach 10 feet in width The Sussex County finance director's report for revenue generation supports a residential area rather than an RV park, and analysis shows nearly $9 mil- lion more can be generated with homes over 20 years Full time residents will spend more over a full year than tour- ists will spend over part of a year. In summary, it is difficult for me to understand how a reason- able evaluation of all the informa- tion that has been brought forth over the last several months would lead anyone to a conclu- sion to approve an RV park at this location. John L. Hornyak [ewes Curious omission by P&Z for Love Creek RV vote Sussex County Planning & Zoning commissioners Michael B. Johnson and Martin L. Ross provided supporting arguments for the motion to approve the Lingo Asset Management Love Creek RV resort zoning change and conditional-use applications. And they prefaced these com- ments stating that they weighed the testimony of experts higher than regular citizens. However, they ignored the financial com- parison testimony provided by Sussex County Finance Director Barefootin' Continued from page 7 ultimately interpreted the provision to say that the proposedVineyards buildings fit the description of public or semi-public buildings. I'd rather have a better defipition than an interpretation, but it's never been corrected to bring that height back down, and I don't see any pressure or rush to make that happen." Lank said the Vineyards buildings are the only ones in Sussex built to 60 feet under the special provision. So far. Now at least two more are in the works. Hudson Management is building a new hotel on the site of the former Colonial Oaks motel on the northbound side of Route i just south of Midway Presbyterian Church. And Bill Lingo said his firm is planning a new hotel on part of the open parcel they own along the southbound lane of Route 1 south of County Bank. Both are being designed for the 60- foot limit allowed for public or semi-public buildings. "I think it's good," said Lingo, whose project is in the design phase. "You can put up more units without taking up all your land- space." Christian Hudson of Hudson Management said he agrees. "It makes sense. If we don't want to have sprawl, we have to go up. Forty-two feet is very constrictive for commercial buildings. It keeps you to a flat roof. If you want something architecturally pleasing, you need flexibility. And, the more you can'go up, the more you can leave open space." Hudson said the nationally branded hotel being put up by Hudson Management should be complete by next June. "We had hoped for April, but rain has delayed the project." He said he should be able to announce the name of the hotel brand that will occupy the building within two months. "They're very tight about this." He said it's a brand that targets middle-class families. The project will create 149 temporary construction jobs and 35 full-time jobs, said Hudson. "We're told this will spin out $19 million for the local economy. Real Hospitality out of West Ocean City will be managing the facility, and some local boys from Salisbury - Gillis Gilkerson - are building the structure." He said Freddy Bade, a Lewes architect, designed the hotel, and Bank of Delmarva is providing financing. "We're trying to do everything with small, local businesses as much as possible so it keeps coming back to the local economy,,' said Hudson. "We think you get better service and quality from local contractors, A lot of guys are fighting each other to get to the table to bid. The local guys can compete. Contractors from other areas have higher taxes and more regulations to deal with. We don't have as much here." Hudson noted that his is one of the first new hotel projects on Route 1 since the start of the recession. With the economy reviving and Sussex County's broad interpretation of the 60-foot provision - which amounts to a general increase in height limit for commercial - it won't be surprising to see more such activity and a new, higher look starting to characterize Route 1. Gina Jennings - who they appar- ently felt wasn't "expert" enough. This was a convenient omis- sion - testimony they wished to avoid in their assessment. The finance director's analysis was included in the public record - as was my presentation of this analysis at the county council hearing. The analysis simply compared the revenue to the county for this proposed RV resort versus a similarly sized subdivision of homes - a $5.3 mil- lion benefit with housing for the county. The key factor: homes deliver the realty transfer tax revenue while an RV resort pro- vides zero. Plus, ongoing, homes contribute property tax revenue and repeat sales (more transfer tax revenue). As far as discounting testi- mony of the opposition as being noncredentialed, this financial testimony was provided by the county's own finance director. In my testimony to council, I introduced myself as a 40-year senior finance professional of major corporations (Squibb, Nabisco, Kraft). Trust me; I am more than "expert" enough to understand that a $5 million gain to county revenue should have been factored into this zoning/ conditional-use vote. The conclusion that should be drawn from this revenue dispar- ity is the current zoning is the correct zoning, and the RV City project should not be allowed to proceed for many reasons: An RV resort is not the best choice for the Love Creek cor- ridor, where optimum taxable development is planned The RV proposal does not pay its fair share for county in- vestments for infrastructure The high-density RV City population will stress the public safety functions - at the expense of current homeowners of Sussex County. The public record is still open for several items requested by Councilman George B. Cole - one for additional information regarding tax revenues of similar RV parks. Apparently Mr. Cole understands the critical nature of this financial testimony. Hope- fully, county council will not discount opposition testimony (or omit relevant information) as no n-credentialed. Our presenta- tions and presenters were profes- sional and fact based. P&Z's dismissal (excluding Mr. Smith) of the opposition testimony was an insult to all tax-paying resi- dents of Sussex County and the democratic process. Greg Kordal Lewes Local school districts have responsibility too Having had both direct and indirect involvement with resi- dential educational services pro- vided through the Department of Education, I guess I'm confused by the apparent confusion. It is a fact that local districts contract with facilities to provide residen- tial educational services for their students. The Department of Education and sometimes other agencies share in the cost. There seems to be an expec- tation that these services are fee-for-service (like a hospital) and that itemized bills are avail- able. That's not true. Virtually all of these providers contract at a flat-fee rate for tuition (the educational component of the program) and room and board (everything else). The contracts generally specify what services are included in each portion of the bill, in accor- dance with how the program is set up and operates. The contract might include medical monitor- ing, family therapy, individual and group therapy, and what- have-you, depending on the pro- gram. These services, however, are bundled into the overall rate, and not billed separately, with few exceptions. Finding out "what you're get- ting for your money" is usually simply a matter of reading the contract (what you agree to pay for and what the provider agrees to supply) and cross-referencing this to the student's record, to en- sure the services are documented as they occur. As the contractor, the local district has every right (and arguably the responsibility) to monitor this. D. A. Lindemer, Ph.D. Lewes Future of healthcare not so 'exciting' Regarding Dennis Fomey's "Healthcare questions pushing Beebe and the nation" Jeffrey Fried of Beebe Medical Center says "It really is an exciting time to be in heaithcare." Are you kidding, Mr. Fried? Let's look at some interesting situations right here in Sussex County that we are facing. First of all, there could be a waiting time of approximately 12 months to have surgery for some procedures. I'm not complain- ing; Sussex County is lucky to have some of these physicians. Other physicians have gone "concierge" service - releasing a lot of patients into the system if one chooses not to be part of this service. It's called "overload of patients." Add to this the problem of the number of MDs in Lewes who are board certi- fied in internal medicine. You can count them on one hand. Our dermatology situation has gotten much better with another board certified dermatologist coming to town. When I got an appointment, I felt very lucky, and to make it better, the physi- cian was capable and wonderful. The schedule for this physician probably filled up in a week. This is very scary and downright wor: risome. To add to the problems, 3-D mammography is available - and Beebe does not have it. One must travel up north to get this modal- ity. Nor does Beebe have the software for MRI of the breasts. Again, north or over the bridge. In defense of this, all procedures get coded and DRGs (diagnoses related groups) play a major part in reimbursement. It's compli- cated and will get worse. This is not excitingunless your Continued on page 10