Dewey property owners being persecuted

November 8, 2013

I live two blocks from the property on Chesapeake Street. My husband and I own a small business and we are truly troubled by this situation. Imagine that you are a restaurant owner in Dewey Beach and you renovate your patio service area over the winter, a neighbor complains, files a board of adjustment appeal that you must defend.

Imagine that at that hearing the town manager and building official gave testimony that they investigated the complaint and found no reason to take any action; that you were in compliance. You finish construction in May and hosted patrons all summer long. Imagine in August getting a letter saying you might not be in compliance. You write the town asking for code citations they allege you violate, but they refuse - three times.

Imagine they then tell you they do not plan to respond and they are not required to tell you which section of code you violated, but then say they are going to take your business license unless you fix the unknown violations within 10 days. Imagine this is the same town that inspected your property after construction and directed you to increase the height of the patron area fence to meet code, which you immediately did. Then imagine that you are now told that the same fence is not in compliance with the code - three months later.

This all seems absurd and surreal. The two properties on Chesapeake were in disrepair; one a blight to the neighborhood. I looked at one of the properties while it was on the market and could not even enter the building because of its disgusting condition. Now, both properties are beautifully renovated and have increased the property values for us all.

For the life of me I don’t understand why the town manager is persecuting these property owners.

Stephanie Kelly

Dewey Beach


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