Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Delmar Delaware Board Of Adjustments Meeting - 2012

The Delmar Delaware Board Of adjustments had their meeting tonight regarding signage for the Old Bonanza Building. The members of the Board of Adjustments are Mayor Michael Houlihan, Town attorney James Waehler and Public Works Supervisor Jerome Reid. In the audience were Town employees William Hardin, Gaylon Bounds and Cindy Fisher.

The issue tonight was Atlantic Financial (The Old Bonanza Building) would like additional sign(s) over the amount allowed in The Delmar Planning and Zoning Ordinance on page 83 which states;

B. For each lot containing two or more businesses the following shall apply:
1. The number of signs shall not exceed one (1) sign for each single
commercial occupant, and each such sign shall not exceed one (1)
square foot in area for each lineal front foot of the building used for that
single commercial purpose. Each allowed sign must be on or attached
to the building.

A variance was requested to add an additional sign. As the Town attorney stated a hardship condition would have to be provided in order for the Board of adjustments to approve it.

Charlie Towers Of Towers Sign appeared to provide information on the signs and the hardship it would cause without it. The owner of the property was not there.

The first question by the town attorney was who owns the building. Mr. Towers wasn't sure and couldn't swear to it but thought Atlantic Financial did. Again this is a reason why an owner of the property should be there.

Anyway the hardship given for the lack of the additional sign was financial as people could not see where the businesses were from Rt13 without the additional sign. Since this was a public hearing the question was asked if anyone had a comment and since no one was for or against the sign the meeting continued. As to be expected approval was given for the additional sign.

Approval of the meeting of March 15th 2011 was also approved. I assume that was the last time this board had a meeting.

As a side note prior to the meeting Councilman Robt Thompson gave the board a briefing on the matter. I question if this should have not been done after the meeting was called to order as it had the appearance of the Board of Adjustments having a non public meeting out of the public eye as all three members were present.

Open meetings are covered under the Freedom of Information act

Delaware Open Meetings Law Statement of purpose
The statement of purpose of the Open Meetings Act states,
"It is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that our citizens shall have the opportunity to observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials in formulating and executing public policy; and further, it is vital that citizens have easy access to public records in order that the society remain free and democratic. Toward these ends, and to further the accountability of government to the citizens of this State, this chapter is adopted, and shall be construed."

The law states that all gatherings of a quorum of members of a public body, whether formal, informal or through video conferencing, with the intention of discussing public business are considered meetings.

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