Designated parking a slippery slope

July 15, 2022

Lewes Mayor and City Council recently approved a designated on-street parking space for a resident on Kentucky Avenue on Lewes Beach. Just a few months earlier, an adjacent neighbor on the same street received the same accommodation.

With only three homes on Kentucky Avenue, one side of this public street is now essentially private parking. The other side of Kentucky is so overgrown that most of it is also unavailable for parking.

Both Kentucky Avenue homeowners initially approached city council in August 2021 about designated on-street parking because they do not have a driveway or any options to add off-street parking. At the time, such accommodations were considered for full-time elderly residents or someone with mobility issues.

Although the requests were not approved at that meeting, both properties have since received special designation, as have properties on Iowa and Illinois avenues. 

Granting special parking for older residents or others in need is one thing, but it should not be extended to any resident who doesn’t have off-street parking. That’s a slippery slope.

Councilman Khalil Saliba said he does not recall a hardship being a requirement for designated parking. City Manager Ann Marie Townshend said the hardship, particularly on Lewes Beach, is the difficultly in finding parking during the busier months.

To us, this is not a hardship. Lewes is no different from most historic or resort towns in the country. Parking is at a premium. That’s just a way of life.

When asked by a resident if this approach applies to all properties in Lewes, Saliba said yes. That means anyone without off-street parking, particularly residents in the historic district, can request and likely receive a private parking space on a public street. We urge Lewes council to reconsider this policy. The parking situation is already difficult. Adding islands of private parking will only complicate matters.

During the discussion, Townshend added that the city does not grant the special parking for an individual, but for the home. That means a resident’s children, friends or anyone visiting could use the space if it is available. This privilege should not be abused and should only be extended to those in need of special assistance.


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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