Beebe trying to impinge on Lewes Historic District

July 24, 2014

We want to call public attention to an application that Beebe Healthcare has made to the city of Lewes to rezone and remove two residential properties located on Market Street and adjacent to the hospital, one of which is a house located in the Historic District.

We have been informed by Jeffrey M. Fried, the president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, that Beebe’s intention is to remove the houses on the two residential properties and put in a surface parking lot for 14 cars.

We own a home next to one of the houses that Beebe wants to remove, so are obviously very concerned about Beebe’s application, and we plan to oppose it vigorously. But we also believe there are broader community interests at stake here beyond how this might affect those of us that live near Beebe.

Specifically, one must ask the question if Beebe is allowed to begin nibbling on the edge of the historic district, where will they stop? This specific instance will set an important precedent for how the city of Lewes plans to deal with Beebe’s growth into the future, and whether Beebe will be allowed to ignore the important historic district designation.

It is our understanding that Beebe bought these properties with the full knowledge that both were zoned residential and one of them was in the historic district. In our view, Beebe should respect the historic district and their neighbors by withdrawing this rezoning request.

If you share our concern about protecting the historic district in Lewes, we urge you to contact members of Lewes City Council, the Lewes Planning Commission, and the president of Beebe Healthcare to let them know your thoughts. Time is of the essence as this is now under active consideration by the planning commission and will ultimately be decided by the council.

Daniel Smith and Lorraine Voles

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