Letters to the Editor — October 3, 2014

Reader concerned about ecology laws

Editor:

On Jan. 1, 2014, a very quiet but significant storm struck the State of Delaware. In time, its affect will impact each and every one of us.

Thoughts from a land planner on the newly enacted (January 2014) stormwater regulations:

Stormwater design over the last 30 years has made great progress.

Those involved in it have developed technical tools and a vocabulary to advance this complex issue.

On Sept. 9, 2014, the News Journal ran an article where Deputy Attorney General Ralph Durstein III, on behalf of the DNREC, wrote: “The assertion that the regulated community is suffering from “Great uncertainty and angst” pending the outcome of the present litigation is so mistaken as to be laughable.”

In reality the new regulations are no laughing matter.

Under the new stormwater regulations, “infiltration” has been chosen as a best practice. Most designers would concur with this practice because it kills two birds with one stone. Infiltration provides for both quality control and quantity control.

However, this practice isn’t feasible on all sites. Land with seasonally high groundwater tables, predominately South Coastal Sussex County, can’t meet the criteria for infiltration. If a property can’t comply with infiltration, then the current regulations become economically punitive to the landowners of these sites.

We posit that a designer exhaust all infiltration potential but meet the Pollution Control Strategies for quality and discharge the quantity with no adverse effect downstream, then no additional fee in lieu of infiltration be required. This currently is no small fee. It works out to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, even on small projects. Meantime, you’re still required to design and build all the storm structures at no small cost.

In other words, the economic impact is so significant that a decision to not build has begun to prevail since enactment of the new regulations, and if this trend continues, there is no ability to reach any ecological goals intended by the regulations.

This has significant social ramifications for small business, as well as community groups, recreational clubs, church groups, municipalities and all projects other than residential homes. These regulations aren’t solely about new construction. The regulations apply to re-development or expansions to existing improvements. Its effect is not laughable.

I’m a land planner, not a politician. If I were a politician, I would ask governmental agencies to maintain sustainable strategies focused on long-term coexistence of humans and nature.

Sustainable strategies requires a need to balance social, economic and ecological issues. We are currently moving through a regulatory period whereby the ecological issues are on “steroids,” at the expense of the social and economic issues. I challenge our legislators to rebalance this offset so that our community at large can function wholly again.

Tom Ford
LandDesign

Reader likes new store, questions content

Editor:

The new Royal Farms store is a nice new asset to the Ocean View area. I was shocked to learn that Royal Farms is selling pornography magazines just 200 yards from the church I grew up in and still attend, Mariners Bethel United Methodist Church. Royal Farms is equally as close to the Church of Christ and the Ocean View Presbyterian Church.

Royal Farms has plenty of products to sell without needing to sell pornography magazines to Ocean View. If you agree, please join me is asking Royal Farms and the Ocean View town government to politely remove this pornographic material from their store.

Bruce Mears
Ocean View

Unity gets support, hope for growth

Editor:

Kudos to your staff reporter Laura Walter for her article in the Sept. 26 issue concerning hospice patients’ wishes that are coming true, thanks to the nonprofit organization called Unity founded by John and Bobbie Robinson. They granted a patient from Sutersville, Pa., who is battling liver cancer his request to go deep-sea fishing, and Unity made his dream come true, thanks to local people at Sandcastle Realty who found a family in Dagsboro who donated their home and the owner of the LilAngler II fishing boat.

The reason such an effort struck a chord with me is that my father, a lifelong pilot, had a request during his time in hospice to fly one more time, and I just did not know how to make that happen due to his frailty and need for oxygen. I needed Unity and the Robinsons’ help but didn’t have access to such a marvelous organization. So hats off to Unity, although they currently operate their services within a 100-mile radius of Uniontown, Pa. I only hope Unity will soon offer their services nationwide.

Kathy Megyeri
South Bethany

Reader: Haley event a fitting tribute

Editor:

Yesterday’s (Sept. 28) beautiful tribute to the life of Matt Haley was truly one of the most moving memorials we have ever attended.

It was a joyful expression of the warmth, kindness and generosity of spirit that embodied Haley and his legacy of philanthropy. That giving spirit was replicated by his fellow restaurateurs who donated an incredible array of fine food for attendees in tribute to their fallen colleague.

What a loyal and loving community we are all blessed to be part of! I can think of no better way to honor Matt’s spirit than for each of us to follow his example of paying it forward by sharing our good fortune with others.

Marylou and Gil Tietz
Bethany Beach