Lewes must repeal outdoor music ordinance

April 19, 2024

When I moved to Lewes more than 30 years ago, it was a city of around 2,000, and a town where "everybody's business was everybody's business," meaning the many residents you knew, knew who you were and shared the reason why you lived here. I became active in a few Lewes committees and was a member of the Lewes Planning Commission for 15 years. During my time on the commission, we discussed and ratified the core values of the City of Lewes, which defined the character of the town. There were five core values, and I helped initiate a sixth. But the one value that was most sacred was "Lewes is a town of busy days and quiet nights." Lewes isn't a tourist town – no noisy boardwalk, no mini golf, no amusements and no outdoor music. Somehow the continuity of ownership of protecting and maintaining these core values has been lost. Here are the core values of the City of Lewes:

  1. Lewes has a special and historic relationship with the sea
  2. Lewes is a community of diversity
  3. Lewes values its human town scale and sense of face-to-face intimacy that is characteristic of its quality of life
  4. Lewes is a town of busy days and quiet nights
  5. Lewes recognizes and maintains its internal communities
  6. Lewes has a unique historical origin and strives to highlight its heritage through building design and architectural preservation.                                                                      

Besides the fact that mayor and council have ignored the core values, did anyone question if music on the street is why customers decide to eat at a restaurant? What attracts most diners are a good menu, fine service, friendly atmosphere and friends. Often, music inside a restaurant can't be heard, because noisy diners usually override any possibility of hearing or trying to listen to music. Outside, the ambiance of quiet diners and the sounds of the town are a welcome change from the noise inside. The decision to allow music on the street in Lewes should be revoked. 

Michael Tyler
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