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Rehoboth board should do its job

January 19, 2018

Attorneys for Keith Monigle, the owner of Bay Mart shopping center, will appear before the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners Jan. 26 to appeal a unanimous vote of the planning commission that it cannot move forward with his application until he submits a major subdivision plan. It all seems simple enough, right? After all, anyone only has to take one look at the site plan blueprints to see why the community is overwhelmingly against it in its current form, and why city, county and state officials have all voiced strong objections to various aspects.

How can any reasonable person call this proposal anything but a major subdivision? Right there on paper are almost 60 five- and six-bedroom single-family detached homes with (tiny) yards, driveways and garages off extremely narrow streets (sorry, no room for sidewalks) - all jammed into less than eight acres to boot! No amount of Olympic-worthy legalspeak gymnastics by his attorneys can change the plain and obvious conclusion that Mr. Monigle wants to build a subdivision while he thumbs his nose at the city's planning and zoning ordinances and Comprehensive Development Plan.

The planning commission was extremely fair and thorough in their due diligence both before and at the preliminary hearing stage (where the mandate is to gather information necessary to move on to the full public hearing stage). They concluded that it was impossible to have a public hearing on what is clearly a major subdivision without a major subdivision plan from the developer. The board of commissioners needs to support that unanimous decision to table further review of the application for this development project as presently conceived. The planning commission has done its job; now is the time for the board of commissioners to do theirs.

John Michael Dukes
Rehoboth Beach

 

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