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News Briefs 02/19/19

February 19, 2019

Lewes planners to meet Feb. 20
The Lewes Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20, at city hall. The group receive a presentation from Setting Properties Inc., which is seeking a 90-unit major subdivision called Lewes Waterfront Preserve along New Road near Canary Creek on a 34-acre parcel formerly known as the Brittingham property. This is the initial presentation and limited public comment will be allowed. A public hearing will be set for a future meeting.

The commission will also discuss a subdivision application to create six lots at the corner of Anglers Road and Market Street, and may vote on a recommendation for preliminary consent. Commissioners may also vote on a preliminary consent recommendation regarding a 220,000-square-foot senior-living facility on Kings Highway. For more information, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Lewes budget meeting set Feb. 21
Lewes Mayor and City Council will continue to analyze the fiscal year 2020 budget at 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, at city hall. The discussion will center around the police department’s proposed budget, including parking enforcement and lifeguards. The public is invited to attend all budget meetings. For details, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Water workshop set in Lewes Feb. 21
The Lewes Planning Commission will host its first water workshop from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Rollins Community Center, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. Ten speakers from state agencies, conservancies, the insurance field, engineering and the Lewes Board of Public Works are slated as presenters. 

The purpose of the workshop is to learn about how water affects Lewes as viewed by several scientific and other related disciplines, including stormwater management, floodplain management, wetlands, buffers, impervious surfaces and flood insurance.

The speakers will address general and theoretical problems, solutions, and examples. Registration and open workshop session will run from 4 to 5:15 p.m.; introductions, formal session for questions and answers will be from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Snow date is Tuesday, Feb. 26, same time and place. For information, call 302-645-7777.

Rehoboth utility rates working group to meet Feb. 20
The working group formed to exam Rehoboth’s utility rates is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the commissioners’ room of city hall. The agenda calls for further discussion of a proposed rate structure for water and wastewater rates. For more information call 302-227-6181.

Rehoboth BOA meeting cancelled
A Rehoboth Board of Adjustment meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25, has been cancelled. There were two hearings set for the meeting. The first hearing was for a hotel at 17, 19 and 21 Baltimore Ave. The applicant requested variances to construct a hotel more than four floors or stories above grade and to exceed the Floor Area Ratio.

The second hearing, for a property at 71 Sussex St., was for a variance request related to the required depth of two outdoor parking spots. City code calls for 18 feet. The applicant was asking for 17 feet, 7 inches. As of press deadline Feb. 18, the hearing had not been rescheduled.

Greyhound group given approval for Rehoboth Beach Convention Center use
By a 5-2 vote, during their Feb. 15 meeting, Rehoboth commissioners were in favor of allowing the Greyhounds Reach the Beach event to use the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center during their 4-day event in October. The one-year, trial approval comes after being denied use of the convention center twice last year. There were three criteria imposed as part of the approval – the kitchen be closed and no food served, a cleanup crew be on hand during the event and there be a post-event evaluation.

Rehoboth business license dates modified
During their meeting Feb. 15, Rehoboth commissioners voted 5-1 in favor of modifying the dates of the business license. Beginning in 2021, the business license will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Business licenses for 2019/2020 will go out as usual in March, with a June 2019 begin date and then expire Dec. 31, 2020.

This action was taken as part of a comprehensive overhaul to the business licenses already voted on by commissioners in December. According to a diagram provided during a workshop, business license renewals for 2021 would be mailed in November 2020. Business parking passes will be mailed out in April 2021 based on paid business licenses.

Silver maple in Rehoboth to come down
After multiple hours-long hearings, the fate of a 56-inch silver maple at 318 Country Club Drive was officially decided Feb. 15 when Rehoboth commissioners voted to approve the minutes and decision written by attorney Max Walton, who ran an appeal hearing in December. A group of citizens, numbering near 50, appealed the shade tree commission’s October decision to allow removal of the tree. City Solicitor Glenn Mandalas said, after the Feb. 15 meeting, that, as he understood it, the property owners could remove the tree as soon as they submitted an application to the city and received permission.

DNREC says Mountaire cleanup complete
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says Mountaire’s Millsboro chicken processing plant has completed cleanup of an accidental release of partially treated wastewater.

DNREC staff were onsite at Mountaire Feb. 15 to verify the cleanup efforts, which began shortly after the spill was reported by Mountaire Feb. 13. DNREC officials said Mountaire has conducted continuous, 24-hour pumping of discharged wastewater back into the plant’s wastewater treatment system for retreatment.

Other cleanup efforts included scraping soils in the area where the release occurred to remove any potential solids, spreading lime on the ground surface once solids were removed, repairing the mechanical component of the wastewater system that malfunctioned leading to the release, and a complete inspection of the system.