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September 17, 1999     Cape Gazette
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September 17, 1999

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CAPE GAZETTE, Fridays September 17 - September 23, 1999.13 Milton Council hears concerns over historic district proposals By Rosanne Pack property owners who are opposed vation Commission that does not With approval of an annual budget of almost $800,000, the Town of Milton made plans to move into the 21 st Century with a projected surplus of more than $7,000. Town Council members and department heads spent much of August looking at necessities and paring down wish lists to get to a projected position of $799,960 in income and $792,701 in expenses. The 1999-2000 budget includes an increase in trash collection fees, from $30 to $35 a quarter, but other fees will remain the same until decisions are made re- garding planned water system and waste water treatment plant ex- pansion and upgrading. The budget was approved by council members with no com- ment from members of the public who attended the meeting. How- ever, when the next item on the agenda, historic preservation, was addressed, several people took turns speaking in opposition to what they perceived to be historic district rules and regulations that would encroach on their property fights. George Short introduced a peti- tion that included 63 signatures of I Rehoboth Continued from page 10 ed to present a proposal, or, as Sargent insists, they just allowed Spong to "go with the concept." "I can't see why we can't allow the public the opportunity to look at these plans first," Sargent said, reiterating that the item wasn't on the agenda issued prior to the meeting. Shreeve answered that members of the Homeowners, Planners and Main Street served on the com- mittee which came up with the plan before them, fulfilling the to the proposed regulations pre- pared by a historic preservation committee appointed by council members. The committee was es- tablished at the recommendation of the 10-year' comprehensive plan approved earlier this year. Drafters of the plan pointed out the economic potential as well as cultural importance of Milton re- taining and capitalizing on its her- itage and history. After discussion, it was decided that council members would re, view the list of proposals prepared by the committee before making decisions regarding the future of the committee and approval of any regulations. Committee chair Don Post was asked to talk with Brian Page of the Sussex County Office of Historic Preservation in an attempt to come to some com- promise and recommendations before the next council meeting. Before Bob Blayney, council member, entered a motion to that effect, there was considerable dis- cussion of the need or lack tbereof for regulations governing the town's historic district. In a confusion of terms, Short and other petition signers called for abolition of a Historic Preser- need for input from the public. "I'm not talking about scrap- ping it - just putting the brakes on a little bit on something that's so visible," Sargent responded. "The devil's in the details and there may be people who are opposed to the whole thing once they've had a chance to see it." Commissioner Betty Ann Kane said she's "comfortable that there is enough public involvement," as did Commissioner Bitsy Cochran. Mayor Sam Cooper said he be- lieves the issue to be the covering and whether they want that at all, with Commissioner Jack Hyde noting he'd go along with the ma- exist at this time. They stated spe- cific concerns with a commission having the authority to dictate the types of building material or col- ors used in renovations or addi- tions to buildings in the historic district. There was concern that some existing business signs might no longer be allowed. Short and those who came to support the petition were remind- ed that there is no commission, rather an appointed committee that was instructed to develop proposed guidelines and/or regu- lations for structures within the historic district. Council member Barbara Brewer assured those present that the committee was formed with the idea that they would work with city residents' input throughout the process. She said, "As a former member of the committee, I can say that we want compromise on this is- sue. We used outside sources, guidelines and regulations from other communities, to draw up what we have so far. The public forums that we scheduled were poorly attended, but their purpose was for discussion and feedback." Short and others who attended Continued on page 14 jority on the issue. Derrickson said if they feel strong enough that more time is needed for input they could wait until next month to vote, although he brought up the question of who will decide upon the design of such things as trash cans and benches when the downtown revi- talization gets underway. "The buck stops here," Hyde replied. "We're in the conceptual stage and still have a long way to go." Shreeve, Cochran and Kane were overridden by the men on the board, who voted to table ap- proval until next month. We're not only the.midnight oil, We're changE00 nt; The 00bqd00m, ... In this lovely home in the retirement commu- nity of Magnolia Meadows, features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, beautiful designed kitchen, 3 seasons porch, 1 car garage, and town water & sewer. Professionally landscaped, immaculate condi- tion, like a model. Just listed at $89,900. -Real Deals- EASE OF LIVING WATERVIEWS ... 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