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Lewes, Delaware
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September 13, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 13, 1996

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 13 - September 19,1996 0) DeBraak charrette set for Lewes Library Sunday The diagram above shows a site plan, to seale, of the DeBraak property and surrounding land at the end of Savannah Rd. in Lewes. The property will be the focus of a public meeting known as a charrette on Sunday, Sept. 15 beginning at 10 am. in the upstairs public meeting room of Lewes Public Library. Purpose of the meeting is to conduct a brainstorming session on different development scenarios for the three plus acre parcel Tom Payne, one of the own- ers of the DeBraak property - and the vacant building that has never been completed - arranged for the charrette as a means of getting the people of Lewes to help come up with a development design that would gain the community's political support. Payne's hope is that people will use the drawing shown here to prepare some design alternatives for use of the property. David Dutton of the Design Exchange, an architectural firm on Second Street in Lewes, will conduct the =charrotte  which is a design device that has become popular in re- cent years across the country to help communities develop consensus on projects. Payne feels that the entire parcel at the end of Savannah Rd. should be part of a design plan rather than trying to come up simply with a plan for the DeBraak property alone which is a little more than an acre. All the land bounded by Savannah Rd., Lewes Beach parking lot, Cape Hen- lopen Drive and Virginia Ave. (the back entrance to Lewes Beach parking lot) is zoned com- mercial and Payne would like to see ideas presented which recognize the commercial value of the Delaware Bay.front property. The so-called Rico property, which Lewes Council members at their Monday, Sept. 9 meeting refused to extend a lease on to former holders of a commer- cial lease there, is about one acre of ground situated at the Virginia Av and Cape Henlopen Drive corner of the larger block of land. Once all ideas have been presented, Dutton will at- tempt to combine them into an overall plan for what the public feels would be acceptable de- velopment of the parcel Payne said previously that this will be his company's last attempt to come up with a viable development plan for the property. =If this doesn work,  he said, awe will be forced to lower our asking price on the DeBraak property until somebody agrees to buy it and use it for who knows what. My great hope however is that we can come up with a plan that will result in a project that all of us will be proud of.  Lewes denies request for Rice property lease extension fast gained control of the property in 1965 when Lewes granted him a lease at a fee of $1 per front foot, per year, for fifteen years with an option for an additional fifteen years. Several Lewes officials, includ- ing Mayor George Smith and for- mer City Manager Ron Donovan, recalled that in 1980 Rice asked to exercise his 15 year option and that he be granted an option for an additional 15 years at the same terms. "Andy came before city council and asked for a renewal of the lease under the same terms for an- other 15 plus 15," said Donovan during Monday's meeting. "The mayor and council at the time vot- nd to offer the renewal at $10 per foot. Andy said 'Why. should I do that? I'll pay the $1 per foot and renew it as it is,'" said Donovan. "Others were offered the $10 per foot option and chose to go with it," said Mayor Smith who served as a member of city coun- cil at the time. "He chose not to." Marshall argued that Linda Morrow had continued to pay on the lease through the years, had asked for an extension in 1993 - which was the fast time she could ask for an extension under the ex- isting lease law - and had never done anything to harm the proper- ty. "She should be offered the op- portunity to renew the lease under the new 99 year term that the com- mercial lease committee recom- mended and the town adopted several months ago," said Mar- shall. "This property should be treated no differently than any other. Others have been offered to convert their leases." He said if the lease were grant- Continued on page 13 By Dennis Forney Lewes Council members voted unanimously at their Monday, Sept. 9 meeting to deny a request for extending the commercial lease on the so-called Rice proper- ty on Lewes Beach. The vote ends, at least for the time being, controversy swirling around the approximate one acre of dune land at the corner of Vir- ginia Ave. and Cape Henlopen Drive since 1980. The property is home to an overgrown and long- vacant one story building that at one time housed a snack bar. The vote to deny the lease ex- tension came at the end of a long presentation by attorney Doug Marshall on behalf of Bruce and Linda Morrow. Linda Morrow in- herited an interest in the property when her father, Andy Rice, died in April of 1986. Rice, the origi- nal leaseholder of the property, Candidates Crystal, Schroeder address 37th District issues By Dennis Forney Harry "Hap" Crystal and John Schroeder faced a small crowd in their first joint appearance as can- didates for the 37th district repre- sentative seat. But neither cut his comments short. The occasion was a candidates' forum sponsored by Lewes Homeowners Association at Lewes Public Library on Friday, Sept. 6. Crystal, a retired Delaware State Police officer who works now in the state's insurance fraud division, said the major problems he feels that need to be addressed in the 37th district include growth and development, public educa- tion, crime, and the West Re- hoboth Sewer District. Schroeder, a banker with Bald- more Trust Company, said if elected he would continue to fo- cus on the needs of the state's nat- ural resources. "I still don't see many people in the state who are as concerned as I feel they should be about conservation and preser- vation of our natural resources." Sehroeder said his priorities in 1988, when he was first elected, were conserving and preserving natural resources, conservative management of state funds, and being accessible and accountable on all issues. He noted that he sponsored legislation outlawing dumping of wastes in state waters and has been instrumental in leg- islation leading to creation of the Inland Bays Enhancement Act and the Wastewater Advisory Council that intwo years has amassed $25 million in state funds to be directed toward helping to fund wastewater projects. He said he continues to work on getting a $I0 million state grant to help ease the burden of sewer bills for those in the West Rehoboth Wastewater District. ''he Governor told me recently that be is looking very vigorously at the possibility of a grant," said Schroeder. Schroeder said he has also been involved in legislation regulating use of jet skis, preservation of fisheries, and open space and farmland preservation. "The state's economy is very strong," Schroeder told the crowd of about three dozen. "We have one of the nation's lowest unem- ployment rates, balanced budgets, a rainy day fund in excess of $90 million, and one of the highest bond ratings in the nation. There have also been 20 tax decreases in the past eight years representing $60 million worth of personal in- come. The 37th district, with 15,000 registered voters, is the second largest representative dis- trict in the state. I hear from peo- ple daily and there are three news- papers here to whom I have to be accountable." Pubfic education concerns Bill Campanero asked Crystal what he would do to improve pub- lic education in Delaware. "We're getting gypped," said Campanero. "The kids aren't learning in schools." Crystal replied that he would work to return more control of schools to local school boards. He said he would cut administrative positions at the state Department of Public Instruction and return those funds to local school boards. "We need to return a sense of ac- countability to our school sys- tem," said Crystal. "Our rising crime rate is unique in the coun- try. We need alternative schools for disruptive students. Our re- sponsibility is to the majority of students. I'm impressed with the approach to discipline I see in the Cape Henlopen schools but I'm not sure that's happening through- out Delaware. We have to deal with behavioral problems. Other- wise we're letting our students down. Only by addressing these problems can we hope to raise the standard of education in Delaware." Schroeder said that legislation passed in recent years holds teach- ers more accountable for prob- lems created by students. He also said the charter and choice school legislation are making schools more accountable. He said the Continued on page 15 .... 2 ;i::: i!ii! i Harry qiap" Crystal Oeft) and John Sehroeder field ques- tions at a Lewes Homeowners candidates forum held Sept. 6. I11111II/T11I 9 ....... 3111111! 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