Letters to the Editor — Feb. 2, 2018

Date Published: 
Feb. 2, 2018

Neighbors oppose liquor license

Editor:

We are residents of Bethany Beach who live near the proposed establishment which will be called the Ropewalk Restaurant, located on Garfield Parkway. We would like to formally register our opposition to this restaurant’s application for a liquor license on the basis that we feel it would not be in the public interest to have a 325-seat restaurant with an open-air rooftop area located right in the middle of town.

The size of the establishment will bring added noise, congestion and traffic, further straining very limited parking availability. The existence of the rooftop open-air portion of the building is, in our view, at least arguably, not in compliance with Town Code 425-70: Prohibited uses, Sub-section C, which states that “(n)o use otherwise permitted in this åzoning district shall be permitted as a rooftop open-air business.”

We chose to settle in Bethany Beach, as opposed to other area beach communities, because of its reputation of being a “Quiet Resort.” We enjoy the calm and intimacy of our little town, and the visitors who choose to spend their vacation time in Bethany Beach seem to treasure this as well. We don’t want to be a smaller version of Ocean City, with all the noise, congestion and rowdiness that goes along with that distinction. This would certainly have a significant adverse impact on our quality of life.

We are concerned that it just opens the door for more and larger bars and restaurants which would totally change the character of Bethany Beach and make it a less attractive destination for the many families who vacation here.

We encourage anyone who agrees with us to join us at the Sussex County Administration Building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown, Del., on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at 5 p.m.

Susan R. Fried, Joshua Fried, Larry Bullis, Judy Bullis, Joseph P. Smith, Claire Loftus, C. Michael Loftus, John Barbour, Kathy Sierra, Margaret Young, Bennie Allen and Steve Allen

Bethany Beach

Readers thankful for support of community

Editor:

We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent cards or passed along kind words and prayers as Shirley has been battling some health issues. She has been receiving excellent care, and your kindness has helped us through these difficult times.

We would especially like to thank the people at St. George’s United Methodist Church, who have included Shirley in their prayers and continue to offer support to our family.

William & Shirley Cobb

Dagsboro

Reader asks for balance in growth

Editor:

Kudos to the Coastal Point and to Chip and Meg Smith for the inclusion of their entire letter-to-the-editor of Jan. 26. The presentation of the facts at hand required much noted research. The concerns of the project are valid, as are many proposals in Sussex County to continue the decimation of wetlands and water habitats.

It’s too bad the officials in Sussex County and DNREC lack the required reading skills to interpret regulations into polices of conservation and preservation. Many concerned citizens have suffered the fate of the Smiths’ thoughtful opposition; arguments against bad ideas are often dismissed or subjected to unfair due process.

Where’s the proper planning in Sussex County? For example, all one has to do is drive to the Bayside community in West Fenwick, past the 18th hole on the golf course, and make a left on East Sand Cover Road. Much of the new development past the great magnolia tree circle was categorically freshwater wetlands, according to DNREC maps (http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?url=http://firstmap.delawa...).

If the editorial/project is concerned with five lots, how did all these new properties get permitted over the years? The tragedy is not just with loss of wetlands, but the future loss of home values as the natural hydrostatic pressure under the foundations causes problems. Many of the homes are continually running sump pumps to keep their crawl space dry.

Follow the signs to the Point, and the complete decimation of upland forest and the nearshore wetlands area portends the fate of our local area. At one time, songbirds, foxes, deer and eagles roamed here. Now it’s the ugliness of bulldozers, mud and clear-cuts all for the all-mighty dollar.

Yes, many new arrivals here reside in new developments, but at what cost? There must be a proper balance and timeline for conservation, always.

Gregg Rosner

West Fenwick Island

Ocean View project gets attention

Editor:

I believe people and businesses have the right to do things to their own property. I believe even stronger, though, that neighbors should be good neighbors. Perhaps even more so, as the world we live in seems to have more diversity than ever in my 61 years of observing our society.

Although anticipated, seeing and hearing the bulldozers on the tract of land located on the corner of Route 26 and Woodland Avenue in Ocean View was stomach wrenching. As demolition work progressed, the woodsy smell of felled trees could be easily detected.

The impact of a removed stand of dense trees (what my kids nicknamed, “the Ocean View forest” when they were young) affects all of us locals, part-timers and vacationers. That corner, with its old-fashioned cottage-look house and outbuilding, was a local landmark.

When demolition started last week, the word spread like wildfire. The energy of smartphones, landlines, texts, social media and neighbors talking face-to-face with each other was almost palpable.

I have been told the developer will allocate a meager percentage of its overall budget for landscaping, including the possibility of a berm installed on their back property line. Currently, the demo team left a scant number of mature trees.

I am suggesting the developer dramatically increase their landscaping budget to heavily screen the back portion of its property with massive plantings of semi-mature and fast-growing trees.

That immediate action may help to mollify the objections of the neighbors in the Cottages subdivision, located directly north of the property, who are affected by the loss of a tree boundary line which served to visually block Route 26 traffic. It may also help ease the pain for our coastal communities at large.

Through its homeowners association, the Cottages residents practice the good-neighbor policy. How about you, the development company?

Ann Whaley

Ocean View

Cannabis prohibition doesn’t work

Editor:

I recently attended the Delaware Citizens’ Cannabis Lobby Day at Legislative Hall in Dover and came away convinced that now is time for the state of Delaware to approve House Bill 110, legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis.

Prohibition doesn’t work.

It didn’t work with alcohol, a far more dangerous drug than cannabis, and it doesn’t work with cannabis. What prohibition accomplishes is creating and facilitating an environment in which criminals control the trade and profits of a multi-billion-dollar industry.

People who want to consume cannabis will do so. The questions are where will they purchase it and who will profit from the consumption. Given this reality, it makes far more sense for this product to be regulated and taxed, just as alcohol is.

Over the next two years, the State of Washington will take in over $730 million in tax revenue from the legal sale of cannabis. Colorado has raised more than half a billion dollars in tax revenue since it legalized recreational use three years ago. This money is now being used to fund much-needed programs for education, healthcare and health education, substance-abuse education and treatment, and law enforcement.

Under current law in Delaware, there are no tax receipts from the money spent on cannabis for the State to then use to help its citizens in need. Profits from sales go to criminal organizations, and consumers have no consumer protections.

Numerous studies have shown that cannabis legalization does not lead to increased teen usage, that cannabis is not a “gateway drug” and that it will not result in significant increases in traffic fatalities.

I was impressed by how many Delaware citizens I saw and met at Lobby Day — registered voters of a variety of backgrounds with one thing in common: a desire for commonsense laws regarding cannabis.

It is time for all cannabis consumers to speak out and make your voices heard.

We can change the law and reap the benefits of progressive legislation.

Contact your state representative and urge them to vote yes on House Bill 110.

Dan Winschel

Frankford