What are Dewey officials' motives?

October 18, 2013

I'm writing in response to an article in last Friday's Cape Gazette titled "Dewey homeowners face suspension of rental license."

First of all, I question why this article was written at all given the circumstances and history of the renovations of these properties.

I've been following what I had believed to be the progress of the situation at 114 and 116 Chesapeake since near the beginning. It's a matter of public record that all permits were obtained and approved and all fees were promptly paid. It's also public record that the town manager and town building official of Dewey Beach approved all aspects of the construction, including an approval at a final inspection after all construction was completed.

I was in attendance at a Dewey Beach Board of Adjustment hearing concerning a complaint about noncompliance with the zoning code for these properties June 12. The final decision of the board after hearing several hours of testimony, which included that of the town manager and town building official entering sworn testimony that the properties were in total compliance, including fence setbacks and stating that no further action was necessary.

The board concluded that any appeals filed concerning the properties were submitted well beyond the 30-day deadline, and that the appellants failed to meet their burden to show sufficient basis for the appeal.

The appeal was dismissed and it appeared to be the end of a long and unnecessary legally expensive nightmare for the owners. If the people filing the complaint were dissatisfied with the board's ruling, they could have taken proper recourse afforded them by town code and filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. They did not.

Why is this resurfacing at this time and why is the Town of Dewey Beach going back on its approval? Marcia Schieck can sometimes be outspoken about matters concerning the rights of property owners and the lack of transparency in Dewey Beach. Whether one agrees with this or not, is no reason for a town to continuously harass it's citizens in what appears to be some sort of retribution.

Many people in Dewey Beach currently fear the possible consequences of speaking out against the large bar businesses. Do they now also need to fear the vindictive ramifications of disagreeing with the town?

Property owners have a right to finality in any construction process, especially when they've conducted the process properly, and certainly final approval by the town should constitute such finality.

I sincerely hope that occurrences such as this have not become the Dewey Beach way of life!

Gary Keith
Dewey Beach

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