News Briefs 05-19-17

May 19, 2017

Fitness center on Sussex agenda May 23
Sussex County Council will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 23, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda is a discussion about proposed changes in commercial zoning and a presentation from Housing Alliance Delaware officials on the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Among the 1:30 p.m. public hearings is a conditional-use application filed by developer Quail Valley 1525 LLC for a therapy and fitness center on a six-acre parcel off Savannah Road near Lewes. The county's planning and zoning commission has recommended approval of the application.

Milton Sustainability Committee to meet
Milton Sustainability Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 23, at the Milton library. The committee will discuss grant opportunities, upcoming events and other projects. For more information or a full agenda, go to or call 302-684-4110.

Dewey extends town hall, court hours
Dewey Beach will offer weekend hours for town hall and Alderman Court 36 this summer. Both can be found at 105 Rodney Ave. Now through Sept. 3, town hall will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sundays. During the week, town hall will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. Beginning Sunday, June 4, Alderman Court 36 will have Sunday hours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The court will also be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday, through Sept. 29.

Dewey code officer to order vehicle tows
Dewey town council passed an ordinance May 13 changing town code by giving a code enforcement officer or supervisor the power to order a vehicle towed or booted. Prior to the vote, Town Manager Marc Appelbaum said he requested the change because he prefers for police to be more focused on crime prevention and apprehension, rather than code violations.

Dewey against lodging tax proposal
Dewey Town Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution opposing a bill that would apply the state's 8 percent lodging tax to short-term rentals, defined in this case as rentals of 120 days or less. If the bill were approved, Mayor Dale Cooke said the town would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. He said town code says the town cannot collect its 3 percent accommodation tax on properties that are subject to the state's lodging tax.

Dewey adjusts beach fire permits
During their May 13 meeting, Dewey commissioners changed the fee associated with purchasing a beach fire permit. Instead of $30 for everyone, it's now $30 for Dewey property owners and $50 for those who don't own property. There is now a $100 cleanup fee deposit, which is refundable the following day if no cleanup is required. As part of the permit purchase, individuals will be given a bucket, shovel and gloves to help with cleanup. Town Manager Marc Appelbaum said there are 100 to 200 beach fires a year. It's a nice benefit to the town, he said, but it's difficult to clean up. Beach fires are limited to 24 people, and only one fire per block is permitted at any one time.

Dewey comp plan group passes baton
After nearly two dozen meetings over the past 18 months, the Dewey Beach Comprehensive Plan Working Group has presented town council with its draft of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan. Town council will now review the document before passing it along to the planning and zoning commission for further changes. Mayor Dale Cooke said the town also recently received word the state has approved a one-year extension to complete the state-mandated document.

Dewey planning meeting canceled
A Dewey Planning & Zoning Commission meeting scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, May 20, has been canceled. As of May 17, no new date had been set.

Lewes byways to discuss Savannah Road
The Historic Lewes Scenic Byway Committee will meet at 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, at city hall.
Jim Klein, author of Lewes' scenic byway Corridor Management Plan, will be on hand to discuss the first phase of the proposed Transportation Alternative Program between the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bridge and American Legion Road. Committee members will also discuss a fundraising plan for the project. For more information, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Transportation subject of Sussex workshop
Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a comprehensive plan workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, May 22, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda is discussion of the transportation chapter of the plan led by Delaware Department of Transportation officials and DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan. Public comment will be accepted from 9 to 10 a.m. and from 2:30 to 3 p.m. See for more information.

Rehoboth parks meeting canceled
The Rehoboth Beach Parks and Shade Tree Commission has canceled its Monday, May 22 meeting due to a lack of agenda items. The board's next scheduled meeting is Monday, June 26.

Rehoboth board to meet June 5
The Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment will meet at 7 p.m., Monday, June 5, at the Rehoboth fire hall, to hear two requests for variances. The first request is from attorney Chad Meredith on behalf of Donna Thompson, trustee of the Betty Lou Nagle Trust, owner of 110 Park Ave. Meredith is requesting variances to exceed the requirement that no more than 40 percent of a lot can be covered to allow for the encroachment of an existing shed. Meredith is also asking for a variance to allow existing structures to encroach in the rear yard.

The second variance request is by Rehoboth Elementary School to allow the roof height of a two-story wing to exceed 35 feet and allow the roof pitch to be reduced to accommodate HVAC units on the roof. The school, represented by Brian Bassett, director of facility operations for Cape Henlopen High School, is also asking to exceed the city's maximum lot coverage by 2.5 percent and encroach in the front setback to allow a parking lot.

LWVSC offers Land Use Forum May 24
The League of Women Voters of Sussex County will hold its 14th public forum, Will the 2018 Comprehensive Plan have Teeth?
This forum is set for Wednesday, May 24, from 7 to 9 p.m., in Sussex County Council Chambers, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. The forum's goal is to offer the public a better understanding of the Force of Law concept.

Discussing this concept are three speakers:
• Max Walton, attorney and senior fellow in the University of Delaware's Institute of Public Administration
• Bob Wheatley, chair, Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission
• Linda P. Robb, senior land-use planner at the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration.

A discussion period follows the presentations, when attendees will be able to ask questions. Throughout, the importance of the public's role in drafting Sussex County's 2018 Comp Plan will be stressed. This forum continues to explore how the 2018 Comprehensive Plan can best be developed to support current and future Sussex residents. Go to for more information, as well as to view prior forum presentations.