Face Stricter Regs
NOTE: Sussex Beat is a log of news briefs and commentary by Kerin Magill, editor of Sussex County Online, with contributions from Sussex County Online users.
South Bethany residents should clean up their acts -- or face fines up to $1,000.
The South Bethany Town Council has expanded its grass cutting ordinance to include other property maintenance issues such as grading, trash, junked cars, boats, trailers or appliances, and other items deemed a potential public health threat.
The ordinance specifies that grass on any lot, with or without a house on it, must be less than 10 inches high. The fines for violation of this part of the ordinance range from $50 for a first offense to $500 -- but fines for other offenses are now $100 to $1,000.
Grading of lots in a way that causes a neighbor's lot to flood is now a violation of town regulations, as is allowing plants to obstruct vision on corners or encroach on a neighboring property.
The new ordinance also addresses storage of trash and construction materials, as well as junked vehicles and pest infestation.
It also requires owners to keep the exterior of their homes in good repair. Some items prohibited under the new regulation include: cracked windows, ripped screens, decaying wood, broken doors, fences, or trimwork, chipped and peeling paint, mildew or rust.
The ordinance also sets up an appeal process for property owners who feel they have been wrongly cited. A hearing board, with three members appointed by the mayor, will hear any appeals.
Now that the ordinance is in place, Mayor Donald Beck said council member Gary Jayne, who sponsored it, will work with town manager Wayne Stacey and the code enforcement officer "to figure out an initial approach" to some properties that have been a problem for some time.
The council is set to vote next month on revisions of its bulkhead ordinance, to bring town regulations into line with state and county regulations.
Beck said the council also agreed to review the town budget on a quarterly basis, making any adjustments necessary based on actual revenues and expenses. Beck said that so far this year, the town is "in great shape' financially.
In other business, the council appointed a Cambridge, Md. engineering firm to consult on the proposed dredging of the town's canals.
A two-term incumbent and a candidate who lost once before captured the two open seats in the City of Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners' election on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2002.
Betty Ann Kane won her third term on the commission with 528 votes. Earning his first term after an unsuccessful run before was Mark Aguirre with 520 votes.
Joe Hill received 459 votes for third place. Mayor Sam Cooper ran unopposed and received 649 votes for a fifth term.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is seeking volunteers for the 16th annual Coastal Cleanup Campaign on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2002.
The Delaware cleanup, from 9 a.m. to noon, eoncompasses the state's 97-mile eastern coastlien and includes river and ocean shorelines, wetlands, and watershed areas.
Volunteers can sign up online at www.dnrec.state.de.us using the link to the Coastal Cleanup in the Hot Topics section of the home page.
Volunteers may also register by contacting Jason Gleockler or Donald White in the DNREC Office of Information and Education at 302-739-4506.
The program began as a means to monitor the amount of trash thrown into the oceans and waterways by fishing vessels, cruise ships and recreational boaters. Last year, approximately 1,600 Delaware volunteers used 1,000 trash bags to collect 25,000 pounds of debris.
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