Letters to the Editor — April 28, 2017

Fenwick cleanup a hit, thanks to many


Thank you for your help in publicizing the 2nd Annual Earth Day Cleanup in the Town of Fenwick Island.

On April 22, over 40 community members gathered in our town hall to enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments donated by McCabe’s Gourmet Market and to peruse environmental displays provided by the Center for Inland Bays (CIB) and the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute Inc. (MERR). We were pleased that Laura Walter from the Coastal Point was able to be with us.

After receiving a commemorative grocery/tote bag, teams of volunteers picked up litter and trash from every street in the town of Fenwick Island. Several local businesses made the event even more exciting by donating door prizes.

Special thanks are due to One Coastal, Fenwick Surf Shop, Ocean Side Pizzeria, Surf’s Edge Deli & Pizzeria, Holly’s Treasure Chest, Southern Exposure, Sea Shell City, Warren’s Station, Ropewalk Fenwick and McCabe’s Gourmet Market for their generous donations.

We appreciate everyone’s support in working to keep Fenwick Island the cleanest town on the Delaware shore!

Colleen Wilson

Fenwick Island Environmental Committee

Volunteers essential to success of ITN


On behalf of the ITN Southern Delaware Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity during Volunteer Recognition Week to thank our exceptional volunteers who give rides to our neighbors, parents and older friends who might otherwise be isolated at home.

The dedicated volunteers of ITN’s non-profit transportation cooperative provide rides throughout Sussex County 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for any purpose, to seniors over 55 and adults with visual impairments.

Think about the last 10 times you left your house. How often did you use public transportation or walk? Maybe not at all! Now imagine if you were unable to drive …either because you are temporarily unable or because you no longer have a driver’s license. You still have the same desires to see friends and family, visit the doctor, buy groceries, get your hair cut, attend worship services, and go to the beach — but you might feel like you cannot ask friends or family to take you everywhere you need to go. After all, they have jobs and things to do and no one likes to ask for too many favors or feel like a burden.

Our awesome ITN volunteers step up to help. They improve public safety for all of us and bring customers to your stores, offices and events. They also give family and friends peace of mind by supporting those who might otherwise have to leave work to drive their parents or older family members or friends to an appointment or desired activity.

ITN volunteers commit to a minimum of four hours per month for six months, but most sign up for much more than that. While most volunteers drive, some fulfill their commitment by helping in the office or by getting information out to others about our programs, such as Healthy Miles, Road Scholarships, Rides to Shop and Rides to Dine.

We are grateful to all of our ITN Southern Delaware volunteers for their strong commitment to provide arm-through-arm, door-through-door, dignified, and most of all safe service to our members. Together, they have already driven 20,000 miles and provided more than 1,150 rides.

Special recognition goes out to those passing the following mile-markers: 500 miles — Miriam Barton, Sandra Biller, Caleb Boggs, Bruce Chappelle, Thomas Hall, Charles Minifie, Jeanette Mullen, Catherine Taylor; 1,000 miles — Brook Andrews, Suzette Chagnon, Rose Hanlon, Mary Anne Hoopes, David Jaeger, Dianna Johnston, Robert Porta; and 4,000 miles — Joseph Feichtl.

We would also like to recognize Laura and Martin Krupp, who in addition to some driving, have banked over 275 volunteer hours in the office dispatching rides and providing friendly and reliable customer service.

Please join these special individuals by volunteering. Call (302) 448-8486 to learn more.

Janis Hanwell, Executive Director

ITN Southern Delaware

Community rallies for OVHS event


The Ocean View Historical Society and the Coastal Towns Committee want to thank Sedona, Off the Hook, Café on 26, Misaki Sushi, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Cottage Café, Lobster Shanty, Three Blonde Bakers, Big Fish Grill, Beach Break Bakrie, Morning Buns, Percucci’s, Mio Fratello, DiFebo’s and Beach Liquors for their generous contributions to the Lawn Party & Dedication of the future Coastal Towns Museum held last Saturday.

Businesses like these make our communities stronger and better. There wasn’t a person there who didn’t exclaim, “The food is fantastic!”

We also wish to thank all the volunteers and attendees who made the day so successful.

Keep your eye out for more wonderful events celebrating the history of Southeast Sussex County via our website or Facebook.

Kimberly Grimes

OVHS and Coastal Towns Committee

SARG demands more from county council

(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the members of the Sussex County Council with a copy to the Planning & Zoning Commissioners)

Sussex County residents and visitors are demanding that Sussex County better manage growth and its impacts, especially traffic, and it is high time for the County government to step up and do the job for which residents elected them.

County Council has the legal authority to ensure that the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, now being drafted by the Planning & Zoning Commission, contains a thorough and robust growth and traffic management plan, and it must exercise that authority.

For years, residents have been told by Sussex County officials there is nothing they can do about roads and traffic — DelDOT is responsible. That is not true. Delaware law is unequivocal in that all land-use decisions, from zoning to road levels of service, are the sole responsibility of the local governing body.

The Delaware Supreme Court recently upheld a March 2016 Superior Court Decision in Golf Course Assoc. LLC v. New Castle County that reaffirmed that the County has the authority over planning and traffic issues by clearly stating, “The court finds that state law, … as well as judicial precedent vest the county with final authority to decide whether traffic issues warrant denial of a land use permit.”

The Council has long known it has this authority. The Mobility Element of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan states, “Sussex County Council is responsible for all land-use decisions in the unincorporated areas of the County.” That includes the levels of service (how freely traffic flows) on public roads and highways, regardless of who owns them. They simply have chosen to let someone else do it, to the detriment of residents’ quality of life. That must change.

Letters to the editor dating back to the 1990s expressed concerns about traffic, and those concerns grow greater by the day and can no longer be ignored. At all of last fall’s county-wide Planning & Zoning listening sessions, residents countywide, from north and south and from east and west, raised their concerns about traffic loud and clear. A full 68 percent of folks indicated in their comments on various plan elements that transportation and lack of infrastructure are their number one concerns (25 percent, transportation; 23 percent, land use; and 20 percent, land conservation).

It is as unacceptable now as it was 30 years ago for Sussex County officials to point their fingers at and defer to DelDOT to set the County’s road level of service and development standards, particularly when DelDOT’s levels of service standards over the past three decades have not even come close to being adequate to manage Sussex County’s congestion.

County Council must do the job for which we are paying them, managing development for the betterment of all of the County’s residents. The place to begin is with a strong, thoughtful Comprehensive Plan, focused on outcomes and impacts. The Plan must recommend strong standards regarding traffic mitigation and control measures to be applied to new development and incorporate them into the Land Use, Mobility and Conservation elements. New development should enhance our quality of life, our mobility and our safety, not detract from it. The residents of County deserve nothing less.

The Planning & Zoning Commission is holding a new series of listening sessions on the new draft Comprehensive Plan throughout the County in May. We encourage everyone to take 10 minutes to go to one of those meetings and voice their concerns and opinions on the direction of growth in our County over the next 10 years. Ten minutes for a better 10 years is a small price for a worthy outcome. Go to www.SussexPlan.com for the complete schedule.

Sussex Alliance for Responsible Growth (SARG)