South Bethany reviews town plan

It’s been five years, and South Bethany’s Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) is once again up for certification. Members of the town Planning Commission gathered for a work session on the document April 11.

The commission members have taken it upon themselves to review and revise the 2000 CDP, at a considerable cost savings to the town.

The town worked in collaboration with the University of Delaware, Institute of Public Administration (IPA) on the 2000 update, but not much has changed around South Bethany since then.

However, there will be one public meeting sometime this summer, and the commission members planned to ask if residents had anything to add to the “Goals and Objectives” section.

The existing CDP suggests focus in 14 areas.

• Maintain and improve (1) the community’s and (2) beach’s appearance, and (3) the town canals.
• Maintain the (1) town’s single-family character and (2) a full-time, year-round police department.
• Develop and implement a stormwater management plan.
• Provide high quality public utilities
• Continue regional relationships with the Sussex County Association of Towns (SCAT), etc.
• Work to improve traffic exchange on Route 1 and enhance pedestrian/ bike access on all roads.
• Improve access to emergency health care.
• Follow sound financial practices.
• Provide town services in a customer friendly manner.
• Initiate and maintain significant beautification efforts.
• Develop a town logo.

The commission will be seeking comment on revisions or additions to the list, but Commission Member John Speer suggested the update would be largely a housekeeping procedure.

“We already have good information on what the people wanted to see,” Speer said (from surveys in 1999). There was, however, a tacit agreement with the OSPC that the town would once again retain IPA services for the 2010 update, he added.

Speer said he’d spoken with the Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC), and received word from Director Connie Holland that the plans remained in good order, aside from a lack of maps.

Commission Chair Ron Wuslich said the OSPC should have aerial maps on file, and those would suffice for South Bethany’s purposes. As Wuslich pointed out, there’s only one commercial district — the York Beach Mall.

Shading or drawing a line around the York Beach Mall to separate residential from commercial should adequately delineate the existing zoning districts, and the town has no plans for annexation, he pointed out.