Dewey resident objects to Przygocki letter

February 14, 2014

I'm writing in response to the letter to the editor (Feb. 7) from former Dewey Beach Commissioner Zeke Przygocki regarding Phase One of the Dewey Beach Enterprises development at Lighthouse Cove in Dewey Beach. There was an immediate and strong objection to this development proposal since it seriously violated the town's zoning code. The voters had chosen, in a referendum vote, to keep the height level in our small town at 35 feet. In fact, it still is 35 feet. It should also be noted that since April 8, 2000, there has been an ordinance forbidding new hotels/motels.

Mr. Przygocki's letter focuses on the creation of jobs and potential additional town, county and state revenue. If this development had been built to the code, additional jobs and revenue would have still been created - and Dewey Beach would have an addition that complimented the character of the town, and most likely, solidified the citizens of the town. Jobs are very important, but not at any cost. It is not always all about money; other values count.

This development only exists because the developer filed multiple suits against the town officials and volunteers, an arm-twisting technique. The suits related to the height of the building were never heard in court because of some town officials' concerns regarding cost, fears stoked by Mr. Przygocki and a few others who supported the developer. The town entered into a special agreement with the developer in exchange for “amenities” that would be as beneficial to the developer as they would be to the town - not much of a bargain for the town there.

The development at Lighthouse Cove is 45.67 feet high rather than 68 feet high, the height that Mr. E. Thomas Harvey of DBE originally brazenly insisted it would be. This reduction in height was achieved through the efforts of a grassroots citizens group, Citizens to Preserve Dewey. Hundreds of Dewey Beach property owners worked together, under the umbrella of this group, to have this project no higher than the Dewey Beach code limit of 35 feet. Mr. Przygocki insults each of those people, full time and part time residents alike, by calling Citizens to Preserve Dewey an out-of-state special interest group. There was, of course, no out-of-state special interest group - only Dewey Beach property owners with a desire to see our code honored and the character of our small town retained.

We have Mr. Przygocki to thank for the violation of that code. Although during his election campaign he promised to honor our 35 foot height limit, after taking office, he steadfastly promoted the development and voted for a special agreement with the developer. In the following election, he lost by a very wide margin. He also has the distinction of being the only Dewey Beach town commissioner who during his tenure was sanctioned by his fellow commissioners for egregious improper behavior. This person is not representative of the citizens of Dewey.

Betsy Damos
Swedes St.
Dewey Beach

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