Dewey Beach Residents, Property Owners Learn About Roles of DNREC, DelDOT, County Government In Overseeing Ruddertowne Project

Mar 02, 2013 -- 5:10pm

State Senator Ernie Lopez hosted a meeting for Dewey Beach residents and property owners at the Lifesaving Station this morning  so they could learn and ask questions about the roles that DNREC, DelDOT and the Sussex County Government have in overseeing the Ruddertowne Redevelopment Project.

Lopez started the meeting by sayingt he was happy to see that the project was moving forward. He described how about 20 minutes before the meeting started, he stopped by the construction site and saw the people who were working on building the new Hyatt Place Hotel. Many residents and property owners say they've wanted to see the property redeveloped. However, they say they have issues with the fact that it's being built higher than the town's 35-foot height limit. Dewey Beach Enterprises had filed six lawsuits against the town over the project. Those lawsuits were settled two years ago by a mutual agreement that will allow the new Lighthouse Cove complex up to 46 feet high, and include not only the hotel, but condos, shops and restaurants. The hotel and condos are scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend.

The representatives from DNREC fielded questions about DBE's plans to build a 16-foot-wide baywalk around the perimeter of The Lighthouse and the Que Pasa restaurant, and also expand the bayside beach at the end of Van Dyke Street, next to Que Pasa. Some residents and property owners asked questions about the conditions that have to be met during the permitting process. It's uncertain when DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara will issue a decision on the permits for the baywalk and expanded bayside beach.

DelDOT says they can conduct a Traffic Impact Study for the town on request, but since Lighthouse Cove has an address on a town-maintained street, DelDOT doesn't have jurisdiction. Residents expressed concerns about increased summer traffic, pointing out that Dewey Beach becomes a bottleneck during weekends in the summer, and also persistent flooding from the Rehoboth Bay.

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