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Lewes, Delaware
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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 2 - October 8, 1998. 15 Glade residents worry over future-of adjacent wetlands Developers assure land will remain as open space By Jim Cresson From a high rise of ground shaded by tall pines on Black Duck Reach in th e Glade develop- ment, property owners association president Art Shelley gazes over 50 acres of pristine wetlands and worries that a marina may soon spoil the scene. Shelley and the 245 othe r prop, erty owners in this quiet residen- tial community on the edge of Holland Glade once thought they. owned the 50 acres of wetlands. It was, they knew, part of the origi- nal Glade development approved by Sussex County Council in 1987. And it was, they also knew, stipulated that the wetlands would remain an open-space area of the Glade, except for a few small boat docks and foot trails that could be permitted after a case-by-case re- view. But Shelley and his association members aren't sure what they re- ally know about the the Glade wetlands any longer. A year ago this week, Glade developer Robert Van Fossan turned over ownership of the community to the Glade Property Owners Asso- ciation, in accordance with a prior agreement. "The trouble is, when we took ownership of the development Oct. 1, 1997, and read the deeds for all of the parcels, we discov- ered that the original deeds had been rewritten to exclude these 50 acres of prime wetlands bordering where Holland Glade stream en- ters the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal," explained Shelley. "Apparently the developer had the deeds re- drawn unknown to us, and he kept those wetlands." Plantations. The Perfect Place. Immediate Occupancy! Marina rumors swirl What worries the property own- ers association is the rumors that have been spreading that Cape Henlopen State Park wants to ex- pand to include those 50 acres and maybe put a marina there. The wetlands portion of the original Glade development was hotly contested by local environ- mental acitivists and neighboring landowners at both the planning and zoning hearings and county council hearings in 1986-87. When the development was ap- proved, with stipulations against encroaching upon the fragile wet- lands, a. suit was filed in Superior Court by Lewes resident Richard Stafursky protesting the approval. Stafursky said recently that he lost his case when evidence was introduced that the Glade wet- lands could not be dedicated open space, as a mid,1970s plan for a marina project had been approved for the area and had not been chal- lenged. Even though that marina was never built, its existence was recorded, thus negating any open- land status the Holland Glade wet- lands might have once held, opined Superior Court Judge William S. Lee. "We are truly worried. A marina could ruin the quality of life we've known here, and we would strong- ly oppose such a move," said Shelley. Residents file suit After deliberating during mem- bership meetings early this year, the Glade POA voted overwhelm- ingly to file suit in the Court of Chancery against Glade LLC and its principal owner. The group hired Rehoboth Beach attorney William E. Moore to represent them. "It's not just that the wetlands are worth as much as $17,000 an acre, and it's not just that we feel we've been shorted," said Shelley. "It's the rumors about a future ma- rina that worries us. That's the main reason why we've chosen to file suit." Asked whether there is any mer- it in POA members' fears of future development on the contested 50 acres of wetlands, Glade LLC at- torney John Sergovic replied, "The POA can be assured that my client shares their desire for that space to remain open always." Mark Chura of the Department of Natural Resources and Envi- ronmental Control's parks and recreation division, said this week that Glade residents need not fear any state plans to put a marina in the contested wetlands. "It's no secret that we've been looking to acquire land to expand Cape Henlopen State Park," said Chura. "And it's no secret that we're lookin at land in both Holland and Wolfe Glades. But I can say withabsolute certainty that we have no intentions of putting a ma- rina, or anything else, in either of those sites." Jlm Cresson photo Art Shelley stands beneath the tall pines at the Glade and points to the 50 acres of wet- land area. Available Now! Courtyard and Villa Homes -- Roomy with 3 and 4 bed- rooms, 2 1/2 and 3 baths, garage and many located on a lake. Available Now! The Beachhaven -- Lakefront two story with open great room, 1st floor master, 2 1/2 baths, porch and deck at the Plantations. The Cottonwood -- Lot 13 Lakeside Court, contemporary: $159,900. 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