Dinner for Herb Melvin
Ellendale Volunteer Fire Co. benefit beef dinner and silent auction for Herb Melvin, Saturday, June 26, Ellendale Fire Hall, 5 p.m. $20 a person. Call 856-7100.
Father’s Day Breakfast
Father’s Day breakfast, Sunday, June 20, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ellendale Fire Hall, sponsored by Ellendale Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary. Adults, $5, children, $3, under six, free. Call 422-4934.
Greenwood looks to future with updated town zoning regulations
By Cindy Lyons-Taylor
The Greenwood Town Council has adopted a new Planning and Zoning Ordinance, effective June 1, that will govern the town’s future land development for Greenwood’s two business districts.
The town council has for several months struggled with the classifications to the planning and zoning ordinance it has been trying to finalize and make official. The changes were initiated upon recommendation of the planning and zoning commission to comply with the proposed comprehensive land use plan. Several issues and questions were brought up at public hearings the town has held in its efforts to adopt the changes that will define which parcels will be considered Commercial- Zone 1 and Commercial- Zone 2.
The new zoning law separates regulations for the downtown business district, known as C-1, and the highway business district, known as C-2. The C-1 district would allow residential development, including multiple units, but the C-2 district would be predominately a commercial zone.
Greenwood Mayor Donald Donavan said, “The main reason for the change is to give the town more control on the highway, and to keep the type development seen on the highway separate from what you would see in the downtown district.”
The town has had a generalized commercial zoning law in effect for the downtown business area that extended to and included the regulation of business on the highway. Under the new law, the two divided sectors will have separate zoning laws.
A representative, who was present at the public hearing on behalf of Sussex County’s Senior Services CHEER Center, voiced concern over the flexibility the organization hoped to retain after the zoning changes took effect.
The organization owns land on U.S. 13 and Rt. 16 in the highway commercial zone with a planned project in the future for residential unit housing. Stating that the plans were made known to the council beforehand, the CHEER representative said the organization wanted to “preserve the opportunity for future development, and that it would pose a hardship if development could not continue as planned” for the multi-million-dollar investment.
Donavan pointed out that the zoning changes would “allow consideration for conditional use.” He also made reference to the fact that the “plan was presented, but had never been approved.” He added, “The C-2 zoning change does not mean that you can’t. With conditional use, we can re-zone that portion.”
Frank Kea, spokesperson for developer John Green, also asked questions concerning the intentions for rezoning the C-2 portion.
Mayor Donavan responded, “We (the council), as a body, look at what’s best for the town.”
James Waeler, town attorney, added, “Almost every developer has to go to the county for approval.”
The spokesperson for CHEER asked, “Is there some way you can restructure what you are doing tonight, so that we do not have to come back? That would give the town the commercial strip it wants, and allow the owners to continue with plans.”
After some discussion, Councilmember Brenda Tallent made a suggestion to amend the ordinance to exclude the areas south of Governors Avenue Extended, and east of the new service road, and parcel 5-30-10-53, allowing for an exception to the two properties in the reclassification of the zoning regulations, with councilmembers Carl Peters, and Randy Willey in agreement.
The council then voted and unanimously approved the changes to the comprehensive zoning regulations for the Town of Greenwood, and the zoning map, by creating two new zoning districts by deleting the parcels of land presently located in the former general commercial and business district and re-designing such parcels as being located in either the newly created C-1 general commercial and business district, or the newly created C-2 highway commercial district.
Council member Randy Willey commented the new zoning regulation change was “for the best interest of the town, and was a more sensible plan.”
New golf course construction to begin Sept. 1
By Mike McClure
The developers of the Heritage Shores golf course and development told the Bridgeville Commission that the target date to start construction on the clubhouse and golf course is Sept. 1 with an anticipated open date of Labor Day 2005. The Commission was also updated by police chief Allen Parsons on the progress made following the passage of an ordinance on unlicensed vehicles.
Bob Rauch of Robert D. Rauch and Associates, Inc. attended the Bridgeville commission meeting on Monday, June 14 along with Nick Rocks, president of Allen and Rocks. According to Rauch, workers at the site are currently moving dirt while plans are being finalized for the 40,000 square foot clubhouse.
Rocks told the commission that the targeted construction date for the clubhouse and golf course is Sept. 1 with Labor Day 2005 as the anticipated open date.
The golf course will be open to the public but Rocks was not sure if the restaurant will be available for non-members/residents.
“This golf course is going to be one of the three best golf courses in Southern Delaware. People are going to want to play this golf course,” Rocks said of the golf course which is being designed by Arthur Hill.
In the meantime, a trailer will be located on Rifle Range Road to take the names of people interested in the Heritage Shores homes (once the developers get a county permit). Model homes will be open at the end of the year at the earliest.
Parsons told the commission that eight cars have been towed since the passage of the unlicensed vehicle ordinance on May 1. Commission president Joe Conaway told Parsons to “stay on it”, citing the many unlicensed vehicles that are still around town.
According to Parsons, the police department mails letter to the vehicle owners giving them a certain amount of time to move the vehicle or get it licensed. After that time is up officers will ticket the car before having it towed within 24 hours.
The commission also discussed the possibility of requiring that the town’s police officers work for as police officers for Bridgeville only. According to police commissioner Bill Jefferson, there are currently two officers that work part-time for another town’s police department.
Conaway said he had no problem with officers working other jobs but was against them working for another police department.
“What happens if, God forbid, he gets shot or hurt in another town?”, asked Conaway.
A motion was made for the town to require all new policeman to work for the town only and for the two officers to leave the other police force within three months. Town manager Bonnie Walls asked the commission to hold off voting on the motion to allow her to run it by the town’s attorney.
The Office of Highway Safety awarded Bridgeville $2,500 grant for overtime funding even though the town didn’t apply for it. Conaway suggested using the money for street patrols, which would satisfy one of the requirements for the use of the money (pedestrian safety). The Commission agreed to accept the grant and used it for foot patrols by the town’s police officers.
The town will hold a meeting on July 1 to see if there is an interest in having a neighborhood crime watch group. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at town hall.
In other business, there have been complaints regarding the noise made at all hours of the day by barking dogs. The commission is also looking into getting help from the SPCA to address the problem of stray dogs running loose in town.
At the beginning of the meeting, the commission viewed the park across the street from town hall.
Commission members agreed to purchase a new sign, move the sign forward, replace the bushes around the sign and keep them trimmed, mulch the area, and plant appropriate flowers three times a year to add color to the area.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the commission voted to donate $1,000 toward the cost of bringing the Moving Wall to Seaford. It also voted to declare the two abandoned trailers at 603 North Cannon Street unsafe and a public hazard following a report by the Dangerous Building Inspection Committee.