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Lewes, Delaware
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September 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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September 26, 1997

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 26- October 2, 1997 VIEWPOINTS Editorial DeBraak issue goes beyond technicality The bad news in Lewes is that the Board of Adjustment's decisions on the Dolphin Bay Resort Motel will be appealed. This means in a nutshell that the empty eyesore of a building called the DeBraak, which spoils one of the most prominent pieces of commercial proper- ty in Lewes, will remain for several more months, if not indefinitely. The appeal process of course is a legitimate right of those who feel justice wasn't served by the decision of the local Board of Adjust- ment. That board's decisions allowed height, setback and story vari- ances to permit construction of the 57 unit motel proposed by Mark Hardt, Jim Keyger and George Metz - HKM Partners. What's discouraging is that those appealing - the condominium owners of the Ocean House that neighbors the proposed project - aren't willing to live with decisions that arose out of extensive com- munity debate, dialogue and local process. Instead, they chose to! take the issue out of town to Sussex County Superior Court to have  the project judged not on its overall merit to the community and the community's circumstances, but rather on the basis of legal techni- cality. The irony, of course, is that aesthetically unappealing buildings like the Ocean House and the present DeBraak shell are what led to an increased community debate process on commercial architecture. Vince Robertson, attorney for the Ocean House appeal, said at a recent meeting that aesthetics were given a great deal of considera- tion during the process leading up to the Board of Adjustment deci- sion. But aesthetics, he said, aren't a proper basis for zoning vari- ances. Aesthetics may be considered frill in some arenas but not in resort communities where property value is high and the economy depends extensively on the appearance of the community. Aesthetics shape our lives because of their constant presence. We feel the court should ind will understand their important role in the decisions made by the Lewes Board of Adjustment, Many hours were spent in a number of meetings by the partners proposing a viable solution to the unique circumstances surrounding the DeBraak property. Many interested residents of the community involved themselves in the design process to come to an acceptable community solution recognizing the unique economic needs that had to be satisfied as well as the deep aesthetic concerns of a community that takes its appearance seriously. Zoning matters are intensely local issues. The process in this matter included responsible, multifaceted local involvement and resulted in good, local decisions to benefit the community at large. That's what zoning and related matters are about. The decision process should have ended in Lewes so community improvement could be starting now. Instead, a good project is being sidetracked indefinitely, per- haps forever, for the wrong reasons. Letter00 Power Plant,_an official Minnie Smith of Rehoboth Beach was sur wised to find her night blooming cereus blossomed Sept. 22, about a month lat- er than her rare climbing cactus usually flowers. New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter October I October 9 October 16 October 23 ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE LOIE#'I" A$I$'t'APOAT PAYI! HERE | /EAN. 'vE DEJ=N n/-rHE. HERE Be fair about tax on cigarettes I am a smoker, and while I have paid the additional taxes that go with it, I am now considered seventh- or eighth- class citizen! If you people want to try to price sinning out of the market, so be it!; but please be fair about it. My second-hand smoke is not as harm- ful to a three-year-old child as having a drunk driver that runs over that child leaving a dead child and broken family in his wake. The child left homeless and freezing in winter because a parent gam- bled away the rent money is harmed more by that than he is by some smoke. I don't care if you want to double the state's tax take from the sale of ciga- rettes, as long as you double the take on the rest of the sins you tax! The state tax on beer, wines, liquor and any other intoxicating substance should also be doubled in the same legislation. What about the drunken teen-age driver who wrecks his car and kills the whole carload of kids? Think about the prom night or holiday drunks! Maybe increas- ing the cost of booze through additional taxation will save some lives like you argue the increased cigarette tax would dot Using the same reasoning means that you should also legislate to double the state's take on all forms of gambling such as slot machines, lottery tickets, and racing bets; thus saving the children by making gambling more expensive and keeping parents away the grocery, cloth- ing, utility or rent/mortgage money! Be honest and get real! The vast major- ity of you are known to imbibe. The busi- ness would scream bloody murder about being put out of business and having to close all those bars and liquor stores. The general public would revolt. After all, you can even expense your bar tabs to the taxpayer, t Likewise it is within probabili- ty that most of you gamble in one form or the other and the state's take from gam- bling is so" big that you can't touch that sacred cow! It's just a matter of whose ox is getting gored! If you have enough guts to treat all the sin taxes equally, I would consider vot- ing for you in the future; but if you insist on only increasing the cigarette tax, I wouldn't vote for any of you even if you were only running for dogcatcher! Robert D. Johnson Milton Wildlife at risk from newcomers Sussex County abounds with wildlife. Destruction of wildlife, sometimes by newcomers from urban areas, has increased dramatically. Steele's Gun Shop has been serving Delaware hunters and sportsmen here for over 30 years by selling them guns, .anarnunition, licenses and accessories. The last few years, how- ever, there is an unmistakable and alarm- ing trend that we'd like to bring to the attention of the entire community. As more visitors demand homes here to live in, builders and developers meet that demand by building and developing more of the woods and fields that were previously used only by farmers, hunters and wildlife. This residential use is a far more demanding use of the land. And our new residents tend to be unrealistic in their expectations regarding wildlife. Our local community is supported by our urban visitors and transplants. We welcome them and any business they bring. A few, perhaps because they are not particularly astute regarding rural environment, seem to want a quick and easy solution to a problem that is likely of their own making. Many people oppose hunting, and oth- ers hope to restrict ownership of firearms even for self-defense. Remarkably, Steele's Gun Shop has had several vocal opponents of gun ownership attempt to buy a gun to rid themselves of animal 'pests.' Steele's has had some customers attempt to obtain a gun specifically to Continued on page 8 Write Now Letters are always welcome and should be signed and include a:tele- phone number for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or Volume 5 No. 18 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vernon News Editor Michael Short News Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angie Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Roberts Nancy Stenger Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Mid- way Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 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) 645- 7700. FAX - 645-1664. E-maih capegaz @ dmwcom Subscriptions are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Tobacco is a filthy weed, That from the devil does proceed; It drains your purse, it burns your clothes, And makes a chimney of your nose." Benjamin Waterhouse From Oliver Wendell Holmes