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BeachWalk developer must address issues

December 7, 2017

As homeowners on Scarborough Avenue Extended, whose property backs up to the Ocean Bay Mart Shopping Center, we would like the city commissioners to reconsider the appropriateness of the upcoming appeal of the Beach Walk proposal that is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2018. We base this request on several important facts.

Hearing the appeal will require dedication of extensive city resources. The city has already spent an extensive amount of time on the Beach Walk proposal and, thus far, the developer has consistently refused to provide the information requested by the planning commission. Given the recent decision to move forward with an appeal, the city is now going to invest additional time and energy in a lengthy proceeding where the developer will present the same arguments that have already been made to the planning commission.

Another important point to consider is that the planning commission has not officially closed the Beach Walk case, but rather has tabled the application, and is waiting for additional information. Until the requested information is provided, the planning commission cannot hold an official public hearing, a key step in the review process that is required by city code.

Collectively these facts raise the issue of whether an appeal meeting can be justified without the planning commission having completed its job in addressing major concerns regarding the proposed development.

Specifically, the planning commission has not considered whether the Newbold Square sewage station has the capacity to handle a 305-bedroom/305-bathroom community. Nor have they considered any of the issues required by the city code: parking, traffic, and environmental issues.

Of particular importance is the fact that the 2014 DNREC stormwater management standards have not been addressed, which was an important consideration in the planning commission's recent approval of the new school to be built in the vicinity of the Beach Walk proposed development.

Finally, the DelDOT requirement to keep the Route 1 access open for the entire development has not been reviewed or incorporated into the developer's design plans.

Should the upcoming appeal continue as planned, a fair question to ask the city commissioners is: will you ask Beach Walk to address these issues as the city code requires?

Bonnie and Paul Hardy
Rehoboth Beach

 

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