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October 15, 2004     Cape Gazette
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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Seeking affordable housing answers Several local groups, including Citizens Coalition, Habitat for Humanity and the Delaware Hgusing Authority, have recently turned their attention to the problem of affordable housing in a county where property values are rising rapidly. The problem is simple: it's tough to build affordable housing when the cost of land is so high. The solution of course is far more complex. Somehow, however, the answer lies in harnessing the economic engine that has made Sussex County a booming region for the past 20 years. Through the creative use of an industrial revenue bond program, restructured to become a residential revenue bond program, Sussex County could offer an incentive to developers to buy land at more affordable rates in return for building affordable housing units. The tough part, when you're talking about building houses that people buy at discounted rates, is keeping them affordable once they reach the aftermarket. Of courseeveryone wants the benefit of seeing his or her property values rise, which adds to the complexity of the problem. Many programs exist to help developers build affordable rental housing, but that doesn't satisfy the demand of people who want to own their own properties. The solution then comes back to finding a means to tap the county's economic engine for a source of funds to help subsidize the purchase of affordable housing through a system of grants and/or low-cost loans available to those who meet appropriate requirements. If it's going to take some sort of an affordable housing impact fee on property transfers exceeding some threshold figure, then that should be considered. Demographic research shows that the demand for homes and property in Sussex will remain strong for at least the next 10 years as baby boomers continue to age. That pressure will continue to drive property values and negatively impact affordable housing opportunities. All of-those working here nonetheless need places to live. The good news is that we have an economy that can fund solu- tions and groups stirring the pot to find solutions. Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Trish Vernon, editor: Kerry Kester, associate editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; and Dennis Forney, publisher The Weather Picture Fritz Schrank photo Turkey vultures stand guard atop the goal posts at Eagle's Nest field on Route 1 south of Milton on a cool autumn after- noon. Sussex Council have a record. Do we approve of their handling their representation of our communi- ties? Do we support their votes in Voters have power our behalf?. Do we feel that our to foster change living environment has improved as a result of their serving our In recent years property owners coastal areas? If we have have watched development sky- answered in the negative to the rocket in the coastal area. preceding questions, then it is Certainly we have to admit that time for a change -- a time for this development has some eco- new representation of our inter- nomic benefit. However, we have estsand well being. not prepared for all this growth The election is Nov. 2. Register and, as a result, the infrastructure to vote. Every incumbent required by the increased popula- Councilman has a challenger. tion as well as the established res- As a voter, you have the power idents canno address basic needs to bring about a change in the in waste water management and Sussex County Council. Do you transportation, want "more of the same" or do The present members of the you want "a fresh outlook?" Use Sussex County Council have had your vote thoughtfully and care- little to no regard for the impact of fully. their approving development pro- Maria Q. Shnoes posals on the coastal area of our Lewes county. Some have even derived personal gains in their business Lewes needs to investments from these approvals. The property owners of the work on traffic coastal areas of Sussex County have used every possible means The following letter was sent to of addressing concerns before the Lewes Mayor Jim Ford with a present members of the Council. copy submitted to the Cape Citizens' Coalition has fielded a Gazette for publication. group effort to awaken the More traffic congestion for Council to the impacts of "run- Lewes? away" development on the health While other communities such and welfare of the residents of the as Rehoboth work to improve coastal area. Individuals have traffic flow to reduce congestion appeared before the Council and and improve travel time, here in written numerous letters to the Lewes we seem to be creating press to express their disappoint- artificially low speed limits which ment in the representation of the have the cumulative negative present councilmen for their con- effect of adding to our traffic cerns. After exhausting these woes. avenues of reaching our County The design speeds of Cape Council, what is left? Henlopen .Drive, Savannah Road The vote. and New Road have all recently Volume 12 No. 40 Publisher Dennis Fomey, Ext. 303 dnf @ capegazette.com Editor Trish Vernon, Ext. 315 newsroom @ capegazette.com Office Manager Kathy Emery, EXt. 305 kemery @ capegazette.com Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 317 kester@ capegazette.com Sports Editor Dave Frederick, Ext. 320 davefredman @ comcast.net News Editor Laura Ritter Iritter @ capegazette.com Sports Writers m Bamforth tim @ seashorestdders.com Frederick Schranck Fschranck@ HoleByHole.com News Steve Hoenigmann, Ext. 321 steveh @ capegazette.com Jim Cresson, Ext. 318 jcresson @ capegazette.com Jen Ellingsworth, Ext. 319 jen @capegazette.com Janet Andrelczyk, Ext. 335 Kad Chalabala, Ext. 338 karl @capegazette.com Jim Westhoff, Ext. 339 jwesthoff @ capegazette.com Rosanne Pack Maggie Beetz, Ext. 337 mbeetz @ capegazette.com Photographers Dan Cook Stevan Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate, Ext. 308 Classified Sandy Ban', Ext. 300 Kim McPike, Ext. 310 Jean Sarro, Ext. 302 Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ capegazette.com Sharon Hudson, EXt. 306 shudson @ capegazette.com Amanda Neafie-Lucks, Ext. 311 amandal @ capegazette.com Chds Rausch, Ext. 312 crausch @ capegazette.com Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks @ capegazette.com Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodnguez Ron Winterstein Ken Dunning Shed Oswald Knstin Come, Edwin Krumm Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer web @ capegazette.com Receptionists Kandy Vicary Beth Vorhauer Clrculctlon Joni Weber, Ext. 360 joni @ capegazette.com Entail for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.com Entail for advertising: production @ capegazette.com Entail to subscribe: subscnbe@ capegazette.com Emall for classifieds: sberr @ capegazette.com kmcpike @ capegazette.com jeans @ sapegaxette.com been affected by this trend and it has delayed EMS and fire depart- ment vehicles threatening the public safety. Now City Council wants to bypass the Transportation Committee review process and lower the speed limit on Angler's Road to 15 miles per hour. This .could set a precedent for the arbi- trarily lowering or raising of speed limits on a street-by-street basis "upon request." Please table this request so the committee can review this and other recent negative "improve- ments" that impact our local traf- fic and affect our quality of life. Joe Hoechner Lewes Plan seminars with visitors in mind I am one of those new "second home" residents, referenced in the Oct. 5 article (Dewey League), summarizing the changing popu- lation demographics occurring in Sussex County these past 10 years, I wanted to share my apprecia- tion for the Cape Gazette's daily updated website informing those of us logging in regularly to learn about news and events that take place while we are in our "first home" location earning the income to come back to lower Delaware for respite, recreation, relaxation, and reflection. Perhaps even retirement. I am always eager to learn of symposiums and seminars that offer insights into short-term and long-term growth and planning for the region. May I offer a suggestion to plan some on a weekend....those of us as second homeowners might be able to attend and be enlightened as well as participate. Civic activism grows on you when you become informed and an active participant. Robbie Milberg Lewes Boyds, Md. Continued on page 7 Write Now Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less. Write,to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes. Delaware 19958. fax to 645-1664 or email newsroom@eapegazette.com, The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- Iished by Cape Gazette Limited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes DE 19958. Second- class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriplione are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes toThe Cape Gazette, p.o. BOx 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Too often we...enjoy the com- fort of opinion without the dis- comfort of thought." John F. Kennedy f -FFI-/ ..... I - * - -]---lll'--]r" ii]lllliilmnilnniiiliiiiliiiiiliiill!llllliliiiiiiili illll i,i! "ilFr ---" ' ..... F"- TIIGIUTTIqlTTITT1F3Ir-ll - .... 6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Seeking affordable housing answers Several local groups, including Citizens Coalition, Habitat for Humanity and the Delaware Hgusing Authority, have recently turned their attention to the problem of affordable housing in a county where property values are rising rapidly. The problem is simple: it's tough to build affordable housing when the cost of land is so high. The solution of course is far more complex. Somehow, however, the answer lies in harnessing the economic engine that has made Sussex County a booming region for the past 20 years. Through the creative use of an industrial revenue bond program, restructured to become a residential revenue bond program, Sussex County could offer an incentive to developers to buy land at more affordable rates in return for building affordable housing units. The tough part, when you're talking about building houses that people buy at discounted rates, is keeping them affordable once they reach the aftermarket. Of courseeveryone wants the benefit of seeing his or her property values rise, which adds to the complexity of the problem. Many programs exist to help developers build affordable rental housing, but that doesn't satisfy the demand of people who want to own their own properties. The solution then comes back to finding a means to tap the county's economic engine for a source of funds to help subsidize the purchase of affordable housing through a system of grants and/or low-cost loans available to those who meet appropriate requirements. If it's going to take some sort of an affordable housing impact fee on property transfers exceeding some threshold figure, then that should be considered. Demographic research shows that the demand for homes and property in Sussex will remain strong for at least the next 10 years as baby boomers continue to age. That pressure will continue to drive property values and negatively impact affordable housing opportunities. All of-those working here nonetheless need places to live. The good news is that we have an economy that can fund solu- tions and groups stirring the pot to find solutions. Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Trish Vernon, editor: Kerry Kester, associate editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; and Dennis Forney, publisher The Weather Picture Fritz Schrank photo Turkey vultures stand guard atop the goal posts at Eagle's Nest field on Route 1 south of Milton on a cool autumn after- noon. Sussex Council have a record. Do we approve of their handling their representation of our communi- ties? Do we support their votes in Voters have power our behalf?. Do we feel that our to foster change living environment has improved as a result of their serving our In recent years property owners coastal areas? If we have have watched development sky- answered in the negative to the rocket in the coastal area. preceding questions, then it is Certainly we have to admit that time for a change -- a time for this development has some eco- new representation of our inter- nomic benefit. However, we have estsand well being. not prepared for all this growth The election is Nov. 2. Register and, as a result, the infrastructure to vote. Every incumbent required by the increased popula- Councilman has a challenger. tion as well as the established res- As a voter, you have the power idents canno address basic needs to bring about a change in the in waste water management and Sussex County Council. Do you transportation, want "more of the same" or do The present members of the you want "a fresh outlook?" Use Sussex County Council have had your vote thoughtfully and care- little to no regard for the impact of fully. their approving development pro- Maria Q. Shnoes posals on the coastal area of our Lewes county. Some have even derived personal gains in their business Lewes needs to investments from these approvals. The property owners of the work on traffic coastal areas of Sussex County have used every possible means The following letter was sent to of addressing concerns before the Lewes Mayor Jim Ford with a present members of the Council. copy submitted to the Cape Citizens' Coalition has fielded a Gazette for publication. group effort to awaken the More traffic congestion for Council to the impacts of "run- Lewes? away" development on the health While other communities such and welfare of the residents of the as Rehoboth work to improve coastal area. Individuals have traffic flow to reduce congestion appeared before the Council and and improve travel time, here in written numerous letters to the Lewes we seem to be creating press to express their disappoint- artificially low speed limits which ment in the representation of the have the cumulative negative present councilmen for their con- effect of adding to our traffic cerns. After exhausting these woes. avenues of reaching our County The design speeds of Cape Council, what is left? Henlopen .Drive, Savannah Road The vote. and New Road have all recently Volume 12 No. 40 Publisher Dennis Fomey, Ext. 303 dnf @ capegazette.com Editor Trish Vernon, Ext. 315 newsroom @ capegazette.com Office Manager Kathy Emery, EXt. 305 kemery @ capegazette.com Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 317 kester@ capegazette.com Sports Editor Dave Frederick, Ext. 320 davefredman @ comcast.net News Editor Laura Ritter Iritter @ capegazette.com Sports Writers m Bamforth tim @ seashorestdders.com Frederick Schranck Fschranck@ HoleByHole.com News Steve Hoenigmann, Ext. 321 steveh @ capegazette.com Jim Cresson, Ext. 318 jcresson @ capegazette.com Jen Ellingsworth, Ext. 319 jen @capegazette.com Janet Andrelczyk, Ext. 335 Kad Chalabala, Ext. 338 karl @capegazette.com Jim Westhoff, Ext. 339 jwesthoff @ capegazette.com Rosanne Pack Maggie Beetz, Ext. 337 mbeetz @ capegazette.com Photographers Dan Cook Stevan Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate, Ext. 308 Classified Sandy Ban', Ext. 300 Kim McPike, Ext. 310 Jean Sarro, Ext. 302 Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ capegazette.com Sharon Hudson, EXt. 306 shudson @ capegazette.com Amanda Neafie-Lucks, Ext. 311 amandal @ capegazette.com Chds Rausch, Ext. 312 crausch @ capegazette.com Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks @ capegazette.com Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodnguez Ron Winterstein Ken Dunning Shed Oswald Knstin Come, Edwin Krumm Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer web @ capegazette.com Receptionists Kandy Vicary Beth Vorhauer Clrculctlon Joni Weber, Ext. 360 joni @ capegazette.com Entail for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.com Entail for advertising: production @ capegazette.com Entail to subscribe: subscnbe@ capegazette.com Emall for classifieds: sberr @ capegazette.com kmcpike @ capegazette.com jeans @ sapegaxette.com been affected by this trend and it has delayed EMS and fire depart- ment vehicles threatening the public safety. Now City Council wants to bypass the Transportation Committee review process and lower the speed limit on Angler's Road to 15 miles per hour. This .could set a precedent for the arbi- trarily lowering or raising of speed limits on a street-by-street basis "upon request." Please table this request so the committee can review this and other recent negative "improve- ments" that impact our local traf- fic and affect our quality of life. Joe Hoechner Lewes Plan seminars with visitors in mind I am one of those new "second home" residents, referenced in the Oct. 5 article (Dewey League), summarizing the changing popu- lation demographics occurring in Sussex County these past 10 years, I wanted to share my apprecia- tion for the Cape Gazette's daily updated website informing those of us logging in regularly to learn about news and events that take place while we are in our "first home" location earning the income to come back to lower Delaware for respite, recreation, relaxation, and reflection. Perhaps even retirement. I am always eager to learn of symposiums and seminars that offer insights into short-term and long-term growth and planning for the region. May I offer a suggestion to plan some on a weekend....those of us as second homeowners might be able to attend and be enlightened as well as participate. Civic activism grows on you when you become informed and an active participant. Robbie Milberg Lewes Boyds, Md. Continued on page 7 Write Now Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less. Write,to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes. Delaware 19958. fax to 645-1664 or email newsroom@eapegazette.com, The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- Iished by Cape Gazette Limited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes DE 19958. Second- class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriplione are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes toThe Cape Gazette, p.o. BOx 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Too often we...enjoy the com- fort of opinion without the dis- comfort of thought." John F. Kennedy f -FFI-/ ..... I - * - -]---lll'--]r" ii]lllliilmnilnniiiliiiiliiiiiliiill!llllliliiiiiiili illll i,i! "ilFr ---" ' ..... F"- TIIGIUTTIqlTTITT1F3Ir-ll - ....