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October 15, 2004     Cape Gazette
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Dewey volunteer vents concerns on Cork plan The following letter was sent to James E. Baeurle of Highway One Partners, with a copy submit- ted to the Cape Gazette for publi- cation. Thank you for your recent letter to the Dewey Beach Volunteers. I am addressing the points you questioned on the card mailed to Dewey Beach property owners from the Dewey Beach Volunteers regarding your application to the town of Dewey Beach for the Bottle and Cork and Rainbow Cove projects. Number of Patrons: It is our understanding your request is to expand the Bottle and Cork by 50 percent. Since the current fire marshal code permits 734 patrons, we added 50 percent to that num- ber, calculating the new capacity would be approximately 1,100. Since your final plans were not submitted to the town until Oct. 8, we based our calculation on infor- mation you provided at the town meetings. Your calculation repre- sents a 36 percent increase. Some homeowners feel an expansion of this magnitude is the equivalent of another large bar in our town. Admittance of 18 to 20 Year Old Patrons: Your letter states this request is not part of your ap- plication. At the September town meeting, I asked if additional space at the Bottle & Cork would be used for 18-20 year olds and you replied "No." After the meet- ing, your attorney, Mr. Spence, approached me to say that yo.ur statement was not entirely correct and that 18-20 year olds could be a part of Highway One's plans. What concerns the volunteers is the process by which a Delaware law was passed permitting 18-20 year olds to enter a bar/tavern. Highway One lobbied the legisla- ture to pass this law without the courtesy to inform the town of its itttentions. This law impacts oth- er Dewey businesses and citizens, and there was no public forum. Town commissioners and home- owners were completely by- passed. It is not a matte r of being for or against the law; it's a matter of respect and principle. "The News Journal" reported that legis- lators were concerned enough to add a 3-year sunset provision. Rainbow Cove: Your letter states you are not increasing the derrsity at Rainbow Cove. Whether you are "increasing" density or "transferring" density - there is a density issue. By dedi- cating more land to the Bottle and Cork, less land is available for residences, which results in high- er density. In the final analysis, density and open space are issues for the town. Your letter states the Rainbow Cove and Bottle & Cork applica- tions were approved by the Plan- ning and Zoning Committee by a 4-1 vote. The minutes from that meeting state three planning members voted for the applica- tions with (a) "disapproval of the density," (b) "concerns about the hoboth Bay. At the town meeting, you commented this will be done at a later date, but we homeown- ers would like this information prior to a public hearing. We homeowners hope this letter clarifies the points in your letter. I can be reached at or PO Box 262, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. Mary Nelson Dewey Beach Volunteers Disgruntled Dewey citizen resigns post Trying to be a good and respon- ppoposal," and (c) "concern for sible citizen, attend meetings, and the residential density." The min- " keep abreast of the issues in your utes state the vote against the ap- own town can be very difficult plication was because "present density requirements are not met." In summary, members vot- ing for the application stated seri- ous concerns regarding density and the member voting against the application did so for the same reason. At the subsequent town meet- ing, P & Z members reported they were not provided detailed draw- ings and found the proposal com- plicated and difficult to review. Based on these facts, we recom- mend that your application be re- turned to P & Z in order to attain a majority vote without reservation. As a Dewey Beach homeowner, I doubt a proposal for my home or any other home would be re- viewed by P & Z or the Board of Adjustment without detailed plans. Of equal concern is your refusal to submit your project to the Delaware State Planning Office for review under the PLUS process (Preliminary Land Use Service). This was a reasonable request made by the Town com- missioners. I regret this request resulted in a debate between your attorney and our town attorney. The minutes of the September Town meeting present sound ra- tionale by our town attorney for proceeding with a PLUS review. The minutes state your attorney contested the PLUS review be- cause he believes the Town does not have the authority to impose this requirement because it is not in our statute and not part of the process for approving a condi- tionai use, We both know Dewey Beach has no ordinance requiring any business to have a major pro- posal reviewed by the PLUS process because the PLUS process in its current form just be- came available this year. Any re- sponsible business with a major proposal resembling yours would comply with such a sensible re- quest. It makes good common sense to use State specialists to re- view issues like storm water man- agement and effects on the Re- Dennis Forney and trying, but is usually worth the effort, but not always. At the October Dewey Beach town meeting, I raised my hand to make a comment and was recog- nized by Mayor Wright. They had been discussing the 2002 Condi- tionai Use meeting for the Sunny- side Restaurant while trying to decide if they should send the is- sue to Plafining and Zoning. I was at that 2002 meeting and recalled that Carol Everhart from the Re- hoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce was there and spoke for the conditional Use, saying that we needed more meet- ing rooms and that the expansion would give us one more meeting room. The decision to put a time limit on the use was to give the town time to see if indeed that would be how it was used and not just turn it into another bar. As I stood and began my comment, Mr. Witsil, Dewey Beach town attorney, rudely interrupted me, turned his back on the audience and in- formed Mayor Wright that my comments were "inappropriate." He then complimented her, telling her that she was very "tolerant" by letting people have their say. (I thought these meetings were to keep the citizens informed and a forum for the exchange of infor- mation.) The mayor and commissioners informed Mr. Witsil that they would hear my comment. The mayor had recognized me and I was speaking to the issue. Later, during the period set aside for public comment, Mr. Witsil again turned his back to the audience and address the commissioners, saying something like, "if he had said anything inappropriate, he would like to apologize to me and to anyone else he may have oT- fended." He never turned around to us and apologized. He completely ignoredthe audience and the .commissioners said nothing. Af- ter the meeting, the only commis- sioner who did apologize to me was Commissioner Mayhew. At the September meeting, Mr. Witsil was making a comment during the public comment period and informed the people in atten- dance that ho would take com- ments only from Mr. Spence and that no one else could comment. (Who's running the meeting?) He then proceeded to run down the Continued on page 8 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 -7 Once upon a time the Choptank River divided the wealthy upper shore from the poorer lower shore Of all the rivers of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Choptank is the longest. From its broad mouth, where it empties into the Chesa- peake Bay below Cambridge, Md., to its tree-littered shallow headwaters just west of Sandtown in Delaware's Kent County, the Cboptank has long stood as a di- viding line between the Upper Eastern Shore and Lower Eastern Shore. The lands above the Chop- tank are less marshy and more fer- tile than the sandier and muddier lands to the south. Maryland's rich Talbot County lies to the north of the Choptank while Dorchester County, with its exten- sive system of lowlands and marshes, spreads out to the south of the river. For at least two cen- turies, the Choptank served as a dividing line between the wealthi- er area of Maryland's Eastern Shore and the poorer cousins to the south. With the influx of aging and prosperous baby boomers from all the states surrounding Delmarva, the Choptank's distinction as a line of demarcation between the rich and the poor is changing rap- idly. New waterfront mansions are springing up along the creeks of Dorchester County and in the center of downtown Cambridge, on the banks of Cambridge Creek, a six-story condominium project is nearing completion. The lands directly west of Sussex County are prospering as are the lands of Sussex. Of course the prosperity doesn't come without its price. At the public marina in Cambridge where we docked briefly last week, the young dockmaster be- moaned the loss of the character of his hometown. He pointed to the tall condominium project that now dominates what was once a more quaint Eastern Shore creek. It's the type of massive structure that the residents of Lewes battled a few years ago when a commer- cial/residential project was pro- posed for the old Lewes Boatyard property on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Through a joint public-pri- vate fundraising effort, the com- BAREF00TIN, munity purchased the project land in Lewes to ensure that its down- town area will instead host a large public park. Such projects in Cambridge, however, aren't all bad by any means. The new condominium project nearing completion is the most recent of several such proj- ects along the creek. One block away, the once prosperous main street of Cambridge, shows strong signs of rejuvenation. Twenty years ago the sight of peeling paint was far more common than the smell of new paint, but that has now reversed. Many large buildings in downtow.n Cam- bridge now house offices and restaurants and upscale shops with the clothing of hunters and yachts- men and the work of many local artisans. Cambridge Creek is home to at least two fine restau- rants looking over the water and the J.M. Clayton packing house - the oldest of its type still operating in the U.S. - continues to flavor the summer and fall air with the scent of steaming crabs. With a little more wisdom when it comes to land-use planning, the center of the Delmarva Peninsula - its widest breadth sandwiched between Easton and Cambridge to the west and the beaches of the east - can't help but enjoy many more decades of prosperity. In this sweet spot of Delmarva, Will Rogers' adviceto those seeking to make wise investments is particu- larly apt: "Buy real estate; they ain't making any more of it." Dennis Fomey photo A great blue heron, one Of the natural world's icons for the Delmarva Peninsula, stands watch on the branch of a loblolly pine overlooking Silver Lake in Rehoboth.. I l T TrTI - qmH[I-VT-T I ] ] " T--gFTTIIHN|IlmnnuL Illllii IIIWHm] mll]=llllMI !11111 ]T- " -v ..... i|linUlll:nZl#lll I]llll]llHrlllllllmlum/mmmi ;llll[lil|lr ;llllBlll II]llllll]ll'-- Dewey volunteer vents concerns on Cork plan The following letter was sent to James E. Baeurle of Highway One Partners, with a copy submit- ted to the Cape Gazette for publi- cation. Thank you for your recent letter to the Dewey Beach Volunteers. I am addressing the points you questioned on the card mailed to Dewey Beach property owners from the Dewey Beach Volunteers regarding your application to the town of Dewey Beach for the Bottle and Cork and Rainbow Cove projects. Number of Patrons: It is our understanding your request is to expand the Bottle and Cork by 50 percent. Since the current fire marshal code permits 734 patrons, we added 50 percent to that num- ber, calculating the new capacity would be approximately 1,100. Since your final plans were not submitted to the town until Oct. 8, we based our calculation on infor- mation you provided at the town meetings. Your calculation repre- sents a 36 percent increase. Some homeowners feel an expansion of this magnitude is the equivalent of another large bar in our town. Admittance of 18 to 20 Year Old Patrons: Your letter states this request is not part of your ap- plication. At the September town meeting, I asked if additional space at the Bottle & Cork would be used for 18-20 year olds and you replied "No." After the meet- ing, your attorney, Mr. Spence, approached me to say that yo.ur statement was not entirely correct and that 18-20 year olds could be a part of Highway One's plans. What concerns the volunteers is the process by which a Delaware law was passed permitting 18-20 year olds to enter a bar/tavern. Highway One lobbied the legisla- ture to pass this law without the courtesy to inform the town of its itttentions. This law impacts oth- er Dewey businesses and citizens, and there was no public forum. Town commissioners and home- owners were completely by- passed. It is not a matte r of being for or against the law; it's a matter of respect and principle. "The News Journal" reported that legis- lators were concerned enough to add a 3-year sunset provision. Rainbow Cove: Your letter states you are not increasing the derrsity at Rainbow Cove. Whether you are "increasing" density or "transferring" density - there is a density issue. By dedi- cating more land to the Bottle and Cork, less land is available for residences, which results in high- er density. In the final analysis, density and open space are issues for the town. Your letter states the Rainbow Cove and Bottle & Cork applica- tions were approved by the Plan- ning and Zoning Committee by a 4-1 vote. The minutes from that meeting state three planning members voted for the applica- tions with (a) "disapproval of the density," (b) "concerns about the hoboth Bay. At the town meeting, you commented this will be done at a later date, but we homeown- ers would like this information prior to a public hearing. We homeowners hope this letter clarifies the points in your letter. I can be reached at or PO Box 262, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. Mary Nelson Dewey Beach Volunteers Disgruntled Dewey citizen resigns post Trying to be a good and respon- ppoposal," and (c) "concern for sible citizen, attend meetings, and the residential density." The min- " keep abreast of the issues in your utes state the vote against the ap- own town can be very difficult plication was because "present density requirements are not met." In summary, members vot- ing for the application stated seri- ous concerns regarding density and the member voting against the application did so for the same reason. At the subsequent town meet- ing, P & Z members reported they were not provided detailed draw- ings and found the proposal com- plicated and difficult to review. Based on these facts, we recom- mend that your application be re- turned to P & Z in order to attain a majority vote without reservation. As a Dewey Beach homeowner, I doubt a proposal for my home or any other home would be re- viewed by P & Z or the Board of Adjustment without detailed plans. Of equal concern is your refusal to submit your project to the Delaware State Planning Office for review under the PLUS process (Preliminary Land Use Service). This was a reasonable request made by the Town com- missioners. I regret this request resulted in a debate between your attorney and our town attorney. The minutes of the September Town meeting present sound ra- tionale by our town attorney for proceeding with a PLUS review. The minutes state your attorney contested the PLUS review be- cause he believes the Town does not have the authority to impose this requirement because it is not in our statute and not part of the process for approving a condi- tionai use, We both know Dewey Beach has no ordinance requiring any business to have a major pro- posal reviewed by the PLUS process because the PLUS process in its current form just be- came available this year. Any re- sponsible business with a major proposal resembling yours would comply with such a sensible re- quest. It makes good common sense to use State specialists to re- view issues like storm water man- agement and effects on the Re- Dennis Forney and trying, but is usually worth the effort, but not always. At the October Dewey Beach town meeting, I raised my hand to make a comment and was recog- nized by Mayor Wright. They had been discussing the 2002 Condi- tionai Use meeting for the Sunny- side Restaurant while trying to decide if they should send the is- sue to Plafining and Zoning. I was at that 2002 meeting and recalled that Carol Everhart from the Re- hoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce was there and spoke for the conditional Use, saying that we needed more meet- ing rooms and that the expansion would give us one more meeting room. The decision to put a time limit on the use was to give the town time to see if indeed that would be how it was used and not just turn it into another bar. As I stood and began my comment, Mr. Witsil, Dewey Beach town attorney, rudely interrupted me, turned his back on the audience and in- formed Mayor Wright that my comments were "inappropriate." He then complimented her, telling her that she was very "tolerant" by letting people have their say. (I thought these meetings were to keep the citizens informed and a forum for the exchange of infor- mation.) The mayor and commissioners informed Mr. Witsil that they would hear my comment. The mayor had recognized me and I was speaking to the issue. Later, during the period set aside for public comment, Mr. Witsil again turned his back to the audience and address the commissioners, saying something like, "if he had said anything inappropriate, he would like to apologize to me and to anyone else he may have oT- fended." He never turned around to us and apologized. He completely ignoredthe audience and the .commissioners said nothing. Af- ter the meeting, the only commis- sioner who did apologize to me was Commissioner Mayhew. At the September meeting, Mr. Witsil was making a comment during the public comment period and informed the people in atten- dance that ho would take com- ments only from Mr. Spence and that no one else could comment. (Who's running the meeting?) He then proceeded to run down the Continued on page 8 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 -7 Once upon a time the Choptank River divided the wealthy upper shore from the poorer lower shore Of all the rivers of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Choptank is the longest. From its broad mouth, where it empties into the Chesa- peake Bay below Cambridge, Md., to its tree-littered shallow headwaters just west of Sandtown in Delaware's Kent County, the Cboptank has long stood as a di- viding line between the Upper Eastern Shore and Lower Eastern Shore. The lands above the Chop- tank are less marshy and more fer- tile than the sandier and muddier lands to the south. Maryland's rich Talbot County lies to the north of the Choptank while Dorchester County, with its exten- sive system of lowlands and marshes, spreads out to the south of the river. For at least two cen- turies, the Choptank served as a dividing line between the wealthi- er area of Maryland's Eastern Shore and the poorer cousins to the south. With the influx of aging and prosperous baby boomers from all the states surrounding Delmarva, the Choptank's distinction as a line of demarcation between the rich and the poor is changing rap- idly. New waterfront mansions are springing up along the creeks of Dorchester County and in the center of downtown Cambridge, on the banks of Cambridge Creek, a six-story condominium project is nearing completion. The lands directly west of Sussex County are prospering as are the lands of Sussex. Of course the prosperity doesn't come without its price. At the public marina in Cambridge where we docked briefly last week, the young dockmaster be- moaned the loss of the character of his hometown. He pointed to the tall condominium project that now dominates what was once a more quaint Eastern Shore creek. It's the type of massive structure that the residents of Lewes battled a few years ago when a commer- cial/residential project was pro- posed for the old Lewes Boatyard property on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Through a joint public-pri- vate fundraising effort, the com- BAREF00TIN, munity purchased the project land in Lewes to ensure that its down- town area will instead host a large public park. Such projects in Cambridge, however, aren't all bad by any means. The new condominium project nearing completion is the most recent of several such proj- ects along the creek. One block away, the once prosperous main street of Cambridge, shows strong signs of rejuvenation. Twenty years ago the sight of peeling paint was far more common than the smell of new paint, but that has now reversed. Many large buildings in downtow.n Cam- bridge now house offices and restaurants and upscale shops with the clothing of hunters and yachts- men and the work of many local artisans. Cambridge Creek is home to at least two fine restau- rants looking over the water and the J.M. Clayton packing house - the oldest of its type still operating in the U.S. - continues to flavor the summer and fall air with the scent of steaming crabs. With a little more wisdom when it comes to land-use planning, the center of the Delmarva Peninsula - its widest breadth sandwiched between Easton and Cambridge to the west and the beaches of the east - can't help but enjoy many more decades of prosperity. In this sweet spot of Delmarva, Will Rogers' adviceto those seeking to make wise investments is particu- larly apt: "Buy real estate; they ain't making any more of it." Dennis Fomey photo A great blue heron, one Of the natural world's icons for the Delmarva Peninsula, stands watch on the branch of a loblolly pine overlooking Silver Lake in Rehoboth.. I l T TrTI - qmH[I-VT-T I ] ] " T--gFTTIIHN|IlmnnuL Illllii IIIWHm] mll]=llllMI !11111 ]T- " -v ..... i|linUlll:nZl#lll I]llll]llHrlllllllmlum/mmmi ;llll[lil|lr ;llllBlll II]llllll]ll'--