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September 13, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 13, 1996

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 13 - September 19,1996 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Multi.modal transportation makes sense Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Canby stopped by the Cape Gazette office recently to reinforce the direction she has set and is following to meet Delaware's treansportation needs for now and the future. In addition to stressing the need for preserving and improving the extensive transportation infrastructure already in place, Canby emphasized her desire to explore and implement a multi-modal approach to transportation. That means we quit relying on our auto- mobiles alone to get from place to place. That means the state will continue to look at our rail lines for a variety of transportation needs such as shipping chickens to the port of Wilmington rather than depending solely on tractor trailers on highways. It means bicycles will be used more and more for getting to and from places rather than just for recreation. That means more bike paths - well-planned bike paths that can make our bicycling efficient and pleasing -- between town centers and in and around towns. It means more of those fundamental but wonderfully useful inventions known as side- walks. Plenty of people rely on their legs alone to motivate in their daily lives and with more and better sidewalks their mode of trans- portation will be improved. Last, but not least, Secretary Canby's approach means more public transportation. The state's commitment to this multi-modal approach manifested itself well this week when new public bus routes were announced serving the many town centers of Sussex. Those town centers have been identified as the preferable growth areas for Sussex in the draft Sussex Land Use Plan now being reviewed around the county. Proper land use has been identified as one of the state's top concerns. Hearing of the new routes which will start operating in several weeks at the same time as we begin hearing about the new land use plan is encouraging. Connecting the town centers with public transportation makes sense. There is a concerted effort here to make it all work together for the good of us all. It shows too that our government has moved beyond the indictment of several years ago by an official in the Soil Conser- vation District: that Sussex was attempting to solve emerging urban problems with rural solutions. We must continue to approach management of our county in an urban fashion - such as the multi-modal approach to transportation - as the best means of preserving and enhancing what is here. Letters The summer of 1996's magnificent growing conditions have blessed us - God bless you! - with abundant ragweed. First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter New Moon Sept. 20 Sept. 26 Oct. 4 Oct. 12 NoT ^ cooK? \\; / On neighborhood preservation in Rehoboth By way of introduction, I am a local artist and a member of the Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission. As a com- missioner, I am a novice, constantly learning from my fellow commissioners, many of whom have extensive experi- ence in management and local govern- ment. I bring to the commission some small experience with local government and a major concern for the ambiance, charm and aesthetics of our town. I accepted Mayor Sam Cooper's appointment to the Planning Commis- sion to pursue adoption of the Long Range Plan. My involvement with the Long Range Plan began as a member of the residential committee. The descrip- tion of our distinctive neighborhoods in the final draft remains largely as I wrote it years ago. Now that the Long Range Plan has been adopted, I continue to be concerned that without some oversight, these neigh- borhood descriptions might become, in a few years, merely a reminder of what these neighborhoods used to be. South Rehoboth, my own neighbor- hood, is comprised mostly of 50 by 100- foot lots. My concern in this area is the maximizing of lot coverage. Current ordinances do nothing to prevent what amounts to total lot coverage. The allowed building footprint is large and with sidewalks, driveways, stones, etc. it is possible to leave no green space on a given lot. It is easy to see that if many landowners choose this route, then the neighborhood will lose its character entirely. In North Rehoboth, my concerns are somewhat different. AS a member of the Planning Commission, I am regularly asked to partition lots in order to squeeze in another home. In most cases, in accord with existing ordinances, these requests are granted. However, one characteristic of this neighborhood is its larger lots. When a lot is partitioned and an existing traditional cottage is squeezed onto one half of its former lot and a new home is constructed on the newly created lot, the streetscape is greatly altered. In many eases the new home maximizes the available building footprint and looms over its neighbors. The recent fad of building Bethany-style homes in existing neighborhoods is threatening preserva- tion of their distinctive character. Currently, our ordinances do not restrict any of the situations described. To preserve the charm of our town, I believe a "Neighborhood Preservation Architectural Review Board" is required (as called for in the Long Range Plan). Such a board would issue a permit before major renovation or new con- struction could proceed within the city limits. There is much diversity of archi- tecture in our town. The guidelines for this board should be liberal, but it should require that any new building would compliment rather than destroy its par- ticular streetscape. I believe that Rehoboth Beach is a wonderful example of a traditional town and should remain so. New residents should be welcome to Rehoboth Beach because they value its charm and, as good neighbors, are willing to preserve it. This opinion is being blatantly expressed in order to solicit a response. If I speak for many of my neighbors, I will continue to pursue these concerns throughout my tenure on the planning commission. Please address correspon- dence to me in care of the City of Rehoboth Beach, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Continued on page 8 Volume 4 No. 17 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vemon News Editor Michael Short News Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jan Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Denise Marshall Photographer Angle Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Roberts Nancy Stenger Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- lished by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Shoppes of Camelot, 4375 Highway 1, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971. Sec- ond class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: (302) 226-2273. FAX - 226-2277. E-maih Subscriptions are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "All the passions seek whatever nourishes them: fear loves the idea of danger." Joseph Joubert