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October 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 17, 1997
 

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 17 - October 23, 1997 Rehoboth 1oo100; to hire professional planner, improve public safety would probably be immersed in planning duties for the first couple of years, picking up other duties as time goes by and report- ing to the city manager. Scala asked for permission to draft a job description for the board's review as a starting point. Favoring the effort, Konesey noted that "any city of any size has a planner. I see the character of Rehoboth changing lot by lot. A planner would be paid toensure that growth SCALA and change comple- ment the character. Rehoboth depends up- on its looks for quality tourism, so I believe it's crucial to have an experienced planner on staff to preserve, protect and plan for the furore within the appropriate framework." Commissioner Richard Sargent con- curred, "We have no one in Rehoboth paid to do anything but put out fires Often we have changes in zoning only in response to what's already done. We have a lot of trends to think about, such as projections in traffic and density increases and where we're going in the next five to 10 years." Campbell added that while the planners know there are a lot of elements in the Long Range Plan which are important to imple- ment, they're not sure how to go about it, and a professional planner could help show them the way. By Trish Vernon Rehoboth Beach officials covered a lot of territory at an Oct. 14 meeting aimed at long-range planning - everything from putting a professional planner on the pay- roll ito banning bikes from the Boardwalk, to appointing city watchdogs to oversee the actions of other government bodies. Having been advised back in August by University of Delaware planners to grasp the "low growing fruit" in the planning process, members of the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners and the Planning Commission got together again this week to decide just what issues they agree should be tackled. First and foremost, in some minds, is the need to hire a professional planner on a full-time basis - not to be confused with Bruce Galloway, who the city has contract- ed with to devise the ways and means of sprucing up the commercial area of the city. Reminded that the city has been operat- ing without an assistant to the city manager since the resignation of Martin Dusbiber last year, it was noted that there is money in the budget for such a position. It was esti- mated that to hire someone with enough ex- pertise in the field of planning, the salary would range somewhere between $36,000 and $40,000. Jan Konesey, who left the board of com- missioners and was appointed to the plan- ners last month, per- , ceived the post as tak- : ing some.of the admin- istrative lbad off of City Manag.er GrOg" .. : taekfing10ig-raj planniissues.. .. Planning Chairm/i -Mary Campbell ded. KONES'Y that such a: peisbn could assist jO revising ordinaitcts, investi- gate how ottter comrhunities deal wi cer- tain problems and act as a guide to her group in its efforts to shape the future of Relioboth Beach through implementation of the Long Range Plan. "We need to spell out what that pson would be doing if we are to entertain hiring a planner," Mayor Sam Cooper said. Plan- ner Bob Scala replied that this person deal with the problem. Termed by some to be unstable in turns, others complained that they take up an inor- dinate amount of room in more narrow ar- eas of the Boardwalk and that perhaps they should be limited to the streets. But they al- so tend to add to congestion there, slowing movement up the middle of the streets or in the wrong lanes in many instances. Sargent, while stressing he "loves the idea of riding bikes on the Boardwalk," per- haps it's time to consider banning all vehi- cles from the Boardwalk during the sum- mer. "I know people would be disappoint- ed, but it's just not safe anymore." Vincent suggested that they only allow bicycles until 8 or 9 a.m., rather than 10, but Sargent replied that the Boardwalk is al- ready bustling at 7 a.m. In fact, it may be safer when it's packed, as the bicyclists can't get up a good head of speed and there- fore aren't as dangerous. Asked whether they should be deciding on such an issue that evening, Scala replied that this is giving the planners an opportuni- ty to learn what issues they should be focus- ing on in relation to the Long Range Plan and which issues they would be wasting their time trying to tackle, as the board would just shelve them. "We want input so we can tell if you see it in the same light as we do.. We don't want to be way off target," he said. Scala also noted that while the visitor season continues to lengthen, the seasonal rules have not. "We may need to consider to the point of banning buses from the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue all togeth- er. "We are going to develop recommenda- tions to that effect," Campbell noted. Commissioner Betty Ann Kane cautioned everyone to keep in mind that riding bikes on the Boardwalk and surrey bikes are rea- sons people chose Rehoboth as a destina- tion. "When it's less crowded, that's part of the attraction, so we should be careful about stopping what attracts them," she said. p!iners.be!ieve that the proiifCrar fi0n of bicycles, in4in: skaters and surrey bikes, along with vehicles and pedestrians, are creating a serious safety problem in the I'esort. City Solicitor Watt Speakman reported that the state code doesn't address surreys or the need for the operator to follow the same rules as bicyclists and vehicles. He advised the city to fashion its own code to Rehoboth em- extending them, because we're almost a city maps: docu- reso00 put on th e back bum-- being vi:fdly with Safety and deal' since, De sbiber's-... -: "- ':- wi.tl tues lhat retaithe ,loagerrsm-. Scala and e planners weregivn ltego- son " he c&atinued. :..?: -? :- Lr. ahead to beglh faslo.ng a j6b n "Plan. r patti:Shreevbrgugl t up :ii eom- .fOr the post, to be perused by thebbaRl, plm'nt discussed_atthe tm,-vmusboard.meet - . _ ing abotit tlie inabilty-of lmdestdans "to Public safety a concern - cross Rehoboth, Avetne on,one turn.of the traffic light. - .. "They aren't m/rant io getacross in one turn," Cooper replied. The lights were timed, with the agreement of the..city and state, to prevent vehicles from backing up at the lights and increasing congestion problems. Commissioner Don Derrickson advised that the city start to recognize that it should strive to become more pedestrian-friendly, Kiwanis Club hopes to dispell Scout House expansion fears The city has received a petition signed by representatives from 20 properties, along with letters from neighbors Constance Walsh and Dennis Barbour, all in opposition to the request. The petition, noting that the Scout House parcel is zoned resi- dential, expresses the view that "the proposed addition is not com- patible or agreeable with the es- tablished residential community?' But, .as the petition does :not ad- street and one to the east - all in all, only three structures, includ- ing the city-owned Scout House parcel, are on the entire block. The letter goes on to cite the "great architectural variety throughout the area," with the Scout House blending into the neighborhood. They stress that the front of the house won't be changed; rather, they wish to build an addition out 18 feet in the back and a secon- floor storage area on Inventory of usable lots The group turned its discussion to vacant and subdividablc lots, which some feel should be inventoried in an effort to get a handle on potential for increased density. Building Inspector Susan Frederick told them that the previous building inspector had a list of vacant lots, which could be up- dated. Cooper wondered what purpose such an inventory would serve, as any property owner could tear down a structure and build something different; thus, it wouldn't give any clear idea of poten- tial growth. Sargent said the smaller cottages being SARGENT replaced with struc- tures built to the maximum footprint, as well as lots being subdivided are the best bellwether of growth. Citing tt importance, of community, p reservatiot  :i n rm, othe:L Range Prim,  Mab-, s it .iS:_ ira: ' to ha00e .to grasp the potentiht anl tO maintain tlie" $S. . The distssion ended wil.h Scala sK, ggeg-t: .... ing this idea be plac at the bottom of the list of endeavors .... Beach too commercialized ,Campbell reminded everyone that main- taining the beach is of utmost importance, according to the Long Range Plan. In relation to that, Cooper said the plan- ners should look closely at the stone groin the state installed in front of the Henlopen Continued on page 11 Contrary to Barbour's concern that approval would result in "ex- panded use of the property during different times and for different purposes than now," the uses will remain exactly the same, for the same number of evenings (mostly off-season), and with no change in purpose. Thus, the expansion will cause no increase in local traffic, none in parking requirements or noise level. Gibson also noted that city-owned land). Also, should the expansion be granted, the structure would still meet the set- back and footprint requirements. Barbour's letter lists specific concerns, which Gibson ad- dressed in the letter. First, Bar- bour feels that the neighbors should have been given more time to consider the impact of the ex- pansion on the neighborhood. Thus the request from the Kiwanis By Trish Vernon The Kiwanis Club of Rehoboth Beach requested that the Re- hoboth Beach Board of Commis- sioners delay a decision on whether to allow them to enlarge the Scout House at 84 Kent Street in an effort to allay fears of nearby , property owners. The matter had been scheduled for a vote at the Oct. 10, regular monthly board meeting, but earli- er in the" week, Mayor Sam Coop- Club for the delay in the board's the new roof line of the second er recdved a letter from Kiwanis dress Specific reasons for the in- the rear,of the building. They consideration, although it has floor would be "scarcely visible Club President William Gibson, compatibility, the Kiwanians in- hope to _pr, ovide each of the boys' been a topic of discussion at least from the street, even to someone' asking for postponement until tile fomaed the mayor that it is diffi- and gifts groups with:, their ewn two prior board meetings. -  standing on the Sidewalk across November:meeting. ..... cult to addressthiS objectionJ The m.mad stoe . '"te cularlydo not wish to Kerm"  : The Kiwaniats h0peose op- Scout House, which is used by _ Gibson states that Walsh'sletter rush. a decision that migh t make The principal Change is,o pro- .... ; posing the expansioh will take e.: b0 the Boy Scouts a now a of Oltion is also diffieaR to for, bad feelings toward our lub, videa ate meeting room or ... opportm)ity t'o 10ok at the request fledgling Bromnie trt0p,.baeks up address, as it expresS c0nceam or tim;Scouting program as: an ac-' the Brownies, who' now Share the fivity in that neighborhood," Gih- . room used by the Boy Scohts, son wrote. Kiwanians. have. which !s already filled With their stressed that activity in the area equipment. The matter is expected would not increase, as no addi- to be revisited at the next regular for wha t may happen to.the:neigh, rhood in the future as "Miodifi, cations in zoning cod*es" take place. The request, Gibson in the.light of va/'ious "ssuranees, to conereiatty z0nid propels, that the Kiwanis "wishes to go on and on Kent, thehouse is one yea- being agood neighhor in that area cant lot away from a property that of Rehoboth and. @@wb  cer, was recently rezoned commercial. tain that the expani will not On that block of Kent there is one jeopardizld i,. t:4 ,, , ,. e ..... - resMettflM struelirtaoross the stressed, is not for a change in the tional groups would be using the commissioners meeting on Fri- present n: spaev,.as itis facility. . : day, Nov, 1,i , .... .:;  ,  -