April 9, 2012, Commissioners workshop report

The Mayor and Commissioners met at a workshop on April 9.  All were present except Commissioner Gossett.  The following items were discussed:

  • Bryan Hall of the Delaware State Office of Planning Coordination reported on the work to be performed in Central and Deer Parks to remove underbrush, ivy and other nuisance growth. The work is being funded by a $10,000 grant from USDA.  Mr. Hall emphasized that a delicate balance must be maintained between public safety concerns, cost and removing invasive plants which have entered the parks from lands surrounding them.  Main invasive culprits are English Ivy and Bamboo. Commissioner Mills emphasized the need for informing owners of properties adjoining the parks of proposed action.

            Mr. Hall suggested the following schedule for work, assuming no          objections from the public.  Work would be done on regular business days,    beginning at 8:00 am. Schedule insures work would be done prior to Memorial Day, 2012,

                        April 16.  Begin removing overgrowth using low-impact equipment                          such as bobcats and mulching equipment

                        May 7.     Begin spraying using low-impact herbicide such as                            Round-up.  English ivy growing on trees to be treated separately 

            After clean-up, which may require retreatment, areas will be replanted

            be replanted with plants such as  Inkberry, black gum and azaleas.       

  • Proposed zoning moratorium to restrict construction around the City’s lakes until such time as the Planning Commission issues its report on possible new and/or revised ordinances as tasked by Commissioners at their meeting on March 16, 2012

      Commissioner Zellers recused herself from the discussion since she owns        property adjoining Silver Lake.

   Commissioner Sargent suggested proceeding with specific                                    recommendations on setbacks/buffers now rather than waiting for         Planning Commission report. Mayor Cooper responded that proper       procedure is to await Planning Commission report, which will include public input as part of its April 13 meeting.

      City Solicitor Mandalas set out schedule required for zoning change    ordinance (moratorium on construction):

                  April 20, 2012: Commissioners Meeting:  Adopt resolution setting                               date for public hearing on moratorium ordinance

                  May 18, 2012: Commissioners’ Meeting:  Public hearing and                                        possible vote on ordinance setting moratorium restricting                                         construction around City’s lakes

                       Feb 14, 2013: Moratorium will end, unless terminated earlier.

The moratorium will not apply to any construction currently pending (permit received) or already under way.

For more information please visit: http://www.saveourcityrehoboth.org/16-blog/news-articles/186-rehoboth-proceeds-with-plans-for-lake-moratirium.html

 

  • Mayor Cooper led the discussion on amending the City Charter to change the authorized indebtedness of the City from a percentage of the assessed value of real property to a fixed amount,   He suggests a fixed amount of $50 million dollars.  Solicitor Mandalas will draft a Charter change to be presented for a vote at the April 20 Commissioners’ meeting
  • Mayor Cooper reminded everyone that the Ocean Outfall/EIS statement and exhibits would be presented at a special meeting April 10 in the Convention Center.  The purpose of meeting is to discuss funding.  30 days are allowed following the meeting to present written testimony to DNREC. The City must address each comment, and GHD will settle those comments after another 30 days.  Mayor Cooper believes the   City will have answers to 99% of the questions presented.

      For information on the April 10 meeting, please visit:      http://www.saveourcityrehoboth.org/16-blog/news-articles/187-rehoboth-         presents-outfall-statement.html