Apple-Scrapple on plate for discussion
By Mike McClure
On Monday, September 9, the Bridgeville Town Commission voted to approve a list of vendors for the Apple Scrapple Festival, which is scheduled for October 11-12. The Commission also voted to hire a part-time police officer and introduced a pair of ordinances that will be voted on next month.
Last year the town passed a law that prohibits vendors from setting up shop during Apple-Scrapple without contributing to the festival. Vendors pay a license fee to the organizers of the festival, who regulate the number of vendors who sell a particular type of food.
During Monday's meeting, the commission approved a list of vendors who are licensed to set up stands at the festival. Since the commission's next meeting will be after Apple-Scrapple meeting, the commission also voted to allow commission president Joe Conaway to approve any new vendors that are accepted by the organizers of the event.
The commission also voted, 5-0, to hire a part-time police officer. The commissioners approved the hiring of Michael Kirby, formally of the Greenwood police department.
The Bridgeville police department will also be receiving a $75,000 grant to hire another policeman. The department recently hired a pair of officers (who went through the police academy), but one of the officers has been sent to Saudi Arabia. The town will either hire a certified police officer or will put one through the academy.
Bridgeville and Blades were two of the three Sussex County police departments that will receive the federal grant.
The commission voted to proclaim the week of September 23 as racial equality week. The proclamation was proposed by the National League of Cities to help promote equality and justice.
Commissioner Pat Correll told the commission that she received a request from the Woodbridge School District to waive a town restriction to allow the district to put in a water well to irrigate the high school's athletic fields.
"I'm all for supporting the kids but you're setting precedents if you let them put a well in," said Correll.
The town has received similar requests from two companies. The Commission decided to deny the district's request.
The commission introduced a pair of proposed ordinances that will be voted on next month.
One ordinance deals with zoning requirements for "big box stores" such as Wal-mart that may request to build a store in a commercial zone.
The other proposed ordinance deals with a proposed residential planned community district, which Conaway said would give the town some control over development in town.
Greenwood Council ponders issuance
of conditional use for home business
By Mike McClure
The Greenwood Town Council discussed a request for a conditional use during its meeting on Tuesday, September 3. Debra Prettyman, one of the owners of Delmarva Transportation, applied for a conditional use to operate a business in a residential area (on Maryland Avenue).
The town’s planning and zoning commission made a number of recommendations for conditions if the conditional use is approved.
The conditions included: the business needs to provide additional off street parking for customers, usage fees would be increased if commercial vehicles are washed on site (at the residence/business), the owners’ names must be on the application, all taxes and fees must be up to date, and the application would be renewed annually.
Town attorney James Waehler suggested that the problem of commercial vehicles being parked on the street could be solved if the vehicles were parked on the properties of Delmarva Transportation’s owners.
But Prettyman questioned why the town would prohibit her from parking her company’s vehicles on the street.
“There are a lot of things worse (in the town) than having cars in the street,” said Prettyman. “That’s our privilege. If I don’t want to park in my driveway, I don’t have to. I don’t think you can say we can’t (operate the business in a residential area) because of the other businesses on our street.”
But the council pointed out that it has to take into account the effect a business would have on other properties within the residential area.
“We’ve had complaints about the congestion (on Maryland Avenue),” councilman Carl Peters said. “It takes away from the desirability of the neighborhood.”
Prettyman said that if she couldn’t park the company’s vehicles on the street she would park them on her property and move her personal vehicles to the street. Delmarva Transportation owns seven trucks, all of which are kept on site.
Councilman Randy Willey voiced a concern about children playing in the area where vans would be pulling out.
Prettyman also said she had a problem with the usage fees for washing the commercial vehicles on site.
“We can’t drink the water, we can’t cook the water. We won’t pay extra water fees to wash cars there,” said Prettyman. “I don’t feel that there’s that much water used with a power washer.”
Willey pointed out that the proposed conditions were suggestions by planning and zoning and that they hadn’t been adopted by the council.
Mayor Donald Donovan said the condition stated that usage fees would be increased “accordingly”, but there is no set standard for what accordingly means.
“The real issue is the off street parking,” Donovan said. “We didn’t just come up with it, we had individuals that came to us.”
But according to Donovan, when the town held a public hearing last month nobody stepped up to voice a concern about the parking situation.
Councilwoman Brenda Tallent suggested that the three property owners who own the business each apply for a conditional use, which would allow them to park a total of six vehicles on the street. Tallent also said that the commercial vehicles could be parked on the properties (alleviating some of the congestion) and the owners’ vehicles could be parked on the street.
Councilman Alan Pongratz added that Tallent’s solution shows people who complained about the commercial vehicles that the business and the town have addressed the issue. But Peters and Willey each said it wouldn’t solve the problem.
“You’re still not getting to the root of the problem,” said Willey. “These things (town ordinances) were written in the 1800’s and we’ve gone from the horse and buggy to the automobile.”
Waehler asked Prettyman and the other owners if they would be willing to accept the conditions (without the water condition and with the request to apply for three conditional uses).
Prettyman said she wanted to think about it, so the council tabled the issue until next month’s meeting.