Sands Motel Eyes Controversial Expansion - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sands Motel Eyes Controversial Expansion

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The Sands Motel (Photo: WBOC) The Sands Motel (Photo: WBOC)

FENWICK ISLAND, Del. - The new owner of the Sands Motel in Fenwick Island wants to refurbish and add rooms, but cannot due to a zoning ordinance that he says he wants to change.

At present, the Delaware resort town's zoning code only allows for one room per 1,000-square-feet of land. Therefore, the Sands has 39 rooms.

"Well there are some folks in town who feel that adding more density or more rooms will bring more people to town and will bring more people to the beach," Fenwick Island Vice Mayor Richard Mais said. "The north end of our town is not very crowded and I think there's plenty of room for the additional guests that would be in a redeveloped motel."

The owner, Spiro Buas, said he wants to change the density to one room per 600-square-feet, or around 65 rooms, to compete with the only other two motels in town, which were built before the code was put in place.

The Fenwick Islander currently has 63 rooms and the Seaside Inn has 61.

Peter Frederick has spent his summers in Fenwick Island since the 1940s and was the mayor for four years back in the late 1990s. He hopes a middle ground can be met to avoid overcrowding.

"As much as we love Ocean City, we don't want to become Ocean city, and we don't even want to become Dewey Beach either," he said. "It's obvious that everybody in town I think would like to see the current property improved and fixed up, and I think that everyone in town would like to be sure that we don't end up having motels on every block in Fenwick Island."

His suggested would be allowing a few more rooms for the Sands and then putting a moratorium on building of future motels.

Buas said he is also in favor of compromise, such as grandfathering in current hotels to a new code, but added that the town should embrace change to get better quality hotels.

 

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