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6 o CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Nov. 19 - Nov. 22, 2004 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Thinking urban.our only salvation A number of local and regional developers 'with large projects underway in Sussex County - and looking at more - traveled to New York City recently for an Urban Land Institute conference. The important emphasis in the name of that conference is urban. Sussex County is movifi, rapidly from rural to urban. That means more and more emphasis has to be placed on developing infrastruc- ture to adequately hahdle the ineVitable development under way and coming. That infrastructure includes schools, wastewater facilities, water systems, highways, electrical distribution networks, _open space and a host of other system considerations. Since Sussex County government hasn't traditionally taken a strong proactive approach to careful planning efforts, the way our land develops is often left up to those who come in and buy farmland and carve it up to sell for homesites and to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with that - it's part of our free enterprise system. However, given the ideal location of SussexCounty in this tax-friendly world of Delaware, it would be nice to see development" leaders, such as those with interest enough to attend conferences put on by the Urban Land Institute, take a kadership role in developing communities that clearly value the importance of open space and quality of life and make sensible connections - using a variety of transportation modes - with other neighborhoods. In urban thinking, and in generally enlightened community think- ing, those involved think beyond the confines of their own projects to see how their works can create benefits for the larger good. In an urbanizing region such as ours, that mentality will determine the long-term success or failure of the legacy we leave future genera- tions. 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 C.J. Gibbs photo The last leaves begin to fall on a grey chilly November afternoon in a wooded area outside of Lewes. Rainy weather arrives for the weekend. We intend to NOOOI What about build a very the added traffic, I m'ge. (/1 3 tlu e- cthOeyti!/"' " c "+" b.. --"-o0"iiva - ", L  "voowotca ,HOME Kq,Vllr We need straight answers right now Well, the election hoopla is over, so while the promises and commitments are still fresh in the minds of our political leaders, I am addressing the shameful situa- tion that worsens daily in our great state. As we approach the new year, the letters of rental increases for owners of manufac- tured homes on leased land begin to arrive. The devastating conse- quence of the decision of both the Superior and Supreme courts of Delaware in the MHC. Inc. case which removed rent caps, has resulted in many additional landowners charging outrageous increases of 20. 30 and 40 per- cent. Many homeowners are fac- ing evictions and summary pos- session of their homes because they can no longer afford property rental fees. These landowners keep quoting "market value," but they are com- paring apples to oranges and bananas rather than apples to apples. They're looking at man- ufactured housing communities and putting them into the same categories as stick-built homes, condos and townhouses; however, you notice that they don't com- pare them to Section 8 housing even if it is right next door! MHC Inc., whose greed and questionable business practices created this shameful situation, seems to be keeping a low profile. I find it interesting that they have We've salved all thet, We're talking Remember. I said ourants, VERY LARGE movieS, shopplmj. development, banking, schools.,, recently changed their name from MHC Inc. to Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. My opinion is, if you have a name that you're proud of, why change it? Recently, and seemingly sud- denly, there is a great deal of dis- cussion in Sussex County about "affordable housing" and how this can best be achieved. I applaud these efforts, but what about retaining and protecting what is already in existence. Many fam- ilies and seniors have been here for years and are now being priced right out of their homes. From what I can see, nobody's "minding the store" as far as the county and its council are con- cerned. I have heard from people in many communities that older. singlewide units are being replaced with doublewides that are exceeding legal plot bound- aries with no inspections which require a certain amount of space between homes to maintain health and safety laws. As reported recently in the News Journal. water problems continue to p!ague our area and mobile home communities are particularly vul- nerable. Homeowners in at least one community have had major problems with waste material backing up in their bathrooms and it was discovered that their sewer lines were never connected to the main system, yet they've been paying sewer bills for years. To add insult to injury, recently the council gave the landowners a 25- percent tax credit based on a $12,000,000 surplus in the sewer coffers, but it's the homeowners who pay the bills, not just for usage but the frontage assess- ments as well. Where is the jus- Volume 12 No. 50 Publlaher Dennis Fomey, Ext. 303 dnf@capegazette.com Editor Tdsh Vernon Ext. 315 newsroom @ capegazette.com Office Manager Kathy Emery, Ext. 305 kemery @ capegazette.com Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 3t7 kester @capegazette.com Sports Editor Dave Frederick davefredman @ comcast.net News Editor Laura Ritter Ext. 320 Idtter @capegazette.com Sports Writers Jim Bamforth tim @ seashorestriders.com Frededck 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 Karl Chalabala, Ext. 338 ad @ capegazette.com Jim Westhoff, EXt. 339 j westhoff @ capegazette.com Janet Andrelczyk, EXt. 335 Rosanne Pack Maggie Beetz, EXt. 337 mbeetz @ capegazette.com Henry Evans, Ext. 336 hevans @ capegazette.com Photographers Dan Cook Steven Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate. Ext. 308 Classified Sandy Barr, EXt. 300 sbarr@ capegazette.com Kim McPike, Ext. 310 kmcpike @ capegazette.com Jean Sarro, Ext. 302 jeans @ capegazette.com Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ capegazette.com Sharon Hudson, EXt. 306 shudson @ capegazette.com Amanda Neafie-Lucks, Ext. 311 amandal @ capegazette.com Chris Rausch, EXt. 312 crausch @ capegazette.com Steve Lhotsky, Ext. 313 slox45 @ hotmail.com Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks@capegazette.com Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodriguez Ran Winterstein Ken Dunning Sheri Oswald Kristin Comell Edwin Krumm Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer web@capegazette.com Receptionists Kancly Vicary Beth Vorhauer Circulation Joni Weber, EXt. 360 jon i@capegazette.com Email for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.com Email for advertising: iroduction @ capegazette.com Emeil to subscribe: subscribe @ capegazette.com tice in that! The list of problems is endless and yet when the county is informed of these situations, their first response is to pass the buck - call the property owner, call the utility company, call DNREC. Well I'm sorry, honorable legis- lators and councilmen, the buck must stop here! It's time we got some straight answers and solu- tions to our problems. What is needed is greater protection in our laws and a paid, state commission or council with "teeth" and the power to act, to oversee all aspects of manufactured housing from leases and codes to investi- gation of illegal practices and fraud. We have tens of thousands of people who need and deserve your help. It {s time for our elect- ed officials to be there for us as you promised during your cam- paigns. Bobbie Hemmerich Lewes Past election sad day for Sussex Today, the front page headline of the Nov. 9 News Journal informed us of the damage being done to our Sussex County bays. This damage is being caused by what the newspaper calls "explo- sive development _ around Delaware's beaches." I for one couldn't agree more. This past election was a sad day indeed for Sussex County. Those that reside in Sussex County lost an opportunity to help curtail the urban sprawl that is changing not only the waters but is destroying the very things that most of us moved here to enjoy. Unless the Sussex County Council begins to look at things in a different light, we're all going to be out irr the cold. This county is ill-equipped to handle the influx of housing and people that is currently under- way. It must be drastically slowed. The infrastructure doesn't exist Continued on page 7 " Write, Now Letters must  l signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less, Write to Cape Gazette PO Box 2t3, Lewes. DE 19958. fax to 645-1664 or emait newsroom @capegazette,eom, The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is DUb- fished by Cape Gazette Limited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes, DE 19958. Second- class postage paid at Rehoth Beach Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette. PO Box 213, Lewes Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645+7700 FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. POIFMASTER: Send address changes toThe Cape Gazette, RO. Box 213 Lewes Delaware 19958. "Conservation is a state of harmony between men and /and. '" Aide Leopold 6 o CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Nov. 19 - Nov. 22, 2004 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Thinking urban.our only salvation A number of local and regional developers 'with large projects underway in Sussex County - and looking at more - traveled to New York City recently for an Urban Land Institute conference. The important emphasis in the name of that conference is urban. Sussex County is movifi, rapidly from rural to urban. That means more and more emphasis has to be placed on developing infrastruc- ture to adequately hahdle the ineVitable development under way and coming. That infrastructure includes schools, wastewater facilities, water systems, highways, electrical distribution networks, _open space and a host of other system considerations. Since Sussex County government hasn't traditionally taken a strong proactive approach to careful planning efforts, the way our land develops is often left up to those who come in and buy farmland and carve it up to sell for homesites and to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with that - it's part of our free enterprise system. However, given the ideal location of SussexCounty in this tax-friendly world of Delaware, it would be nice to see development" leaders, such as those with interest enough to attend conferences put on by the Urban Land Institute, take a kadership role in developing communities that clearly value the importance of open space and quality of life and make sensible connections - using a variety of transportation modes - with other neighborhoods. In urban thinking, and in generally enlightened community think- ing, those involved think beyond the confines of their own projects to see how their works can create benefits for the larger good. In an urbanizing region such as ours, that mentality will determine the long-term success or failure of the legacy we leave future genera- tions. 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 C.J. Gibbs photo The last leaves begin to fall on a grey chilly November afternoon in a wooded area outside of Lewes. Rainy weather arrives for the weekend. We intend to NOOOI What about build a very the added traffic, I m'ge. (/1 3 tlu e- cthOeyti!/"' " c "+" b.. --"-o0"iiva - ", L  "voowotca ,HOME Kq,Vllr We need straight answers right now Well, the election hoopla is over, so while the promises and commitments are still fresh in the minds of our political leaders, I am addressing the shameful situa- tion that worsens daily in our great state. As we approach the new year, the letters of rental increases for owners of manufac- tured homes on leased land begin to arrive. The devastating conse- quence of the decision of both the Superior and Supreme courts of Delaware in the MHC. Inc. case which removed rent caps, has resulted in many additional landowners charging outrageous increases of 20. 30 and 40 per- cent. Many homeowners are fac- ing evictions and summary pos- session of their homes because they can no longer afford property rental fees. These landowners keep quoting "market value," but they are com- paring apples to oranges and bananas rather than apples to apples. They're looking at man- ufactured housing communities and putting them into the same categories as stick-built homes, condos and townhouses; however, you notice that they don't com- pare them to Section 8 housing even if it is right next door! MHC Inc., whose greed and questionable business practices created this shameful situation, seems to be keeping a low profile. I find it interesting that they have We've salved all thet, We're talking Remember. I said ourants, VERY LARGE movieS, shopplmj. development, banking, schools.,, recently changed their name from MHC Inc. to Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. My opinion is, if you have a name that you're proud of, why change it? Recently, and seemingly sud- denly, there is a great deal of dis- cussion in Sussex County about "affordable housing" and how this can best be achieved. I applaud these efforts, but what about retaining and protecting what is already in existence. Many fam- ilies and seniors have been here for years and are now being priced right out of their homes. From what I can see, nobody's "minding the store" as far as the county and its council are con- cerned. I have heard from people in many communities that older. singlewide units are being replaced with doublewides that are exceeding legal plot bound- aries with no inspections which require a certain amount of space between homes to maintain health and safety laws. As reported recently in the News Journal. water problems continue to p!ague our area and mobile home communities are particularly vul- nerable. Homeowners in at least one community have had major problems with waste material backing up in their bathrooms and it was discovered that their sewer lines were never connected to the main system, yet they've been paying sewer bills for years. To add insult to injury, recently the council gave the landowners a 25- percent tax credit based on a $12,000,000 surplus in the sewer coffers, but it's the homeowners who pay the bills, not just for usage but the frontage assess- ments as well. Where is the jus- Volume 12 No. 50 Publlaher Dennis Fomey, Ext. 303 dnf@capegazette.com Editor Tdsh Vernon Ext. 315 newsroom @ capegazette.com Office Manager Kathy Emery, Ext. 305 kemery @ capegazette.com Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 3t7 kester @capegazette.com Sports Editor Dave Frederick davefredman @ comcast.net News Editor Laura Ritter Ext. 320 Idtter @capegazette.com Sports Writers Jim Bamforth tim @ seashorestriders.com Frededck 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 Karl Chalabala, Ext. 338 ad @ capegazette.com Jim Westhoff, EXt. 339 j westhoff @ capegazette.com Janet Andrelczyk, EXt. 335 Rosanne Pack Maggie Beetz, EXt. 337 mbeetz @ capegazette.com Henry Evans, Ext. 336 hevans @ capegazette.com Photographers Dan Cook Steven Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate. Ext. 308 Classified Sandy Barr, EXt. 300 sbarr@ capegazette.com Kim McPike, Ext. 310 kmcpike @ capegazette.com Jean Sarro, Ext. 302 jeans @ capegazette.com Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ capegazette.com Sharon Hudson, EXt. 306 shudson @ capegazette.com Amanda Neafie-Lucks, Ext. 311 amandal @ capegazette.com Chris Rausch, EXt. 312 crausch @ capegazette.com Steve Lhotsky, Ext. 313 slox45 @ hotmail.com Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks@capegazette.com Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodriguez Ran Winterstein Ken Dunning Sheri Oswald Kristin Comell Edwin Krumm Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Ann Graham Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer web@capegazette.com Receptionists Kancly Vicary Beth Vorhauer Circulation Joni Weber, EXt. 360 jon i@capegazette.com Email for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.com Email for advertising: iroduction @ capegazette.com Emeil to subscribe: subscribe @ capegazette.com tice in that! The list of problems is endless and yet when the county is informed of these situations, their first response is to pass the buck - call the property owner, call the utility company, call DNREC. Well I'm sorry, honorable legis- lators and councilmen, the buck must stop here! It's time we got some straight answers and solu- tions to our problems. What is needed is greater protection in our laws and a paid, state commission or council with "teeth" and the power to act, to oversee all aspects of manufactured housing from leases and codes to investi- gation of illegal practices and fraud. We have tens of thousands of people who need and deserve your help. It {s time for our elect- ed officials to be there for us as you promised during your cam- paigns. Bobbie Hemmerich Lewes Past election sad day for Sussex Today, the front page headline of the Nov. 9 News Journal informed us of the damage being done to our Sussex County bays. This damage is being caused by what the newspaper calls "explo- sive development _ around Delaware's beaches." I for one couldn't agree more. This past election was a sad day indeed for Sussex County. Those that reside in Sussex County lost an opportunity to help curtail the urban sprawl that is changing not only the waters but is destroying the very things that most of us moved here to enjoy. Unless the Sussex County Council begins to look at things in a different light, we're all going to be out irr the cold. This county is ill-equipped to handle the influx of housing and people that is currently under- way. It must be drastically slowed. The infrastructure doesn't exist Continued on page 7 " Write, Now Letters must  l signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less, Write to Cape Gazette PO Box 2t3, Lewes. DE 19958. fax to 645-1664 or emait newsroom @capegazette,eom, The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is DUb- fished by Cape Gazette Limited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes, DE 19958. Second- class postage paid at Rehoth Beach Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette. PO Box 213, Lewes Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645+7700 FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. POIFMASTER: Send address changes toThe Cape Gazette, RO. Box 213 Lewes Delaware 19958. "Conservation is a state of harmony between men and /and. '" Aide Leopold