Millville votes to adopt revised town code

Two public hearings were held on Dec. 14 during Millville’s town council meeting. Council discussed ordinance 11-03 to “Adopt the Code of the Town of Millville,” which would enact revisions made during the “codification process of the Ordinances of Millville into a consolidated municipal code.”

“We had our ordinances put together by a company called General Code, and what they did is they put together all of our ordinances in order of section, with references to zoning, subdivision of land,” explained Town Manager Debbie Botchie. “This ordinance will codify our code.”

“The other purpose of using General Code is to make a ‘living document’ so, rather than having to go through all of the various ordinances amending other ordinances, you have one centralized code that’s kept up to date,” added Town Solicitor Seth Thompson.

Mayor Don Minyon noted that although the two-year process was a long one, now residents may access the completed work online, through the town’s Web site.

“I certainly appreciate the work that you guys did to make this all happen,” said Councilman Mike Jeffers. “My understanding of it, as we discussed in the workshop, is that there is not anything tremendously different – it’s all minor changes, grammatical in nature.”

The council voted 4-0 to accept Ordinance 11-03, to adopt the Code of the Town of Millville.

Council members on Tuesday also discussed ordinance 11-01, which would allow a performing arts theater at Dicken’s Parlour Theatre as a permitted use, provided that it resides in a commercial zone, and may also allow the theater to have a banquet hall as a permitted accessory use when used in conjunction with a theater.

“I think it’s an asset to the community. A theater and this type of operation will expand the businesses around this theater,” commented Councilman Richard Thomas.

“I think that cultivating a business like this has been a real asset to the town, and I think it’s bringing folks in from out of town. I’d like to see it grown,” said Jeffers.

“Because of the uniqueness of this, I think it’s a great opportunity to bring people in from other areas, to show the rest of our business district while they’re visiting for performing arts,” added Minyon.

The council voted 4-0 to accept Ordinance 11-01.

Noise complaints voiced

The council went on to discuss noise complaints related to the Fat Tuna Grill. Minyon noted that the town received two complaints from residents of Mill Run Acres about the noise at the Fat Tuna. A resident of Country Estates in Ocean View also spoke to council about how the noise has become a nuisance.

“It actually gets me out of bed. I just stay up now until the Fat Tuna goes to bed, and then I go to bed. It doesn’t make it very pleasant, sitting and trying to read a book. You can’t even do that, much less TV – it’s that bad,” she said.

Adding that she’s dealt with the noise every Friday night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., the Ocean View resident went on to tell council that she had spoken to the Ocean View Police Department, who said they were unable to take action, as the bar and eatery are located in Millville. They had, she said, noted that they receive numerous complains about the noise level.

“Is there anything that can be done? It’s really interfering with my life a lot, and I don’t like that.”

She noted that she’s spoken to Steve Parrill, the restaurant’s owner, whom she said was nice but couldn’t justify the noise, other than to say, “It’s what his customers like.” She said she had even spoken to state Rep. Gerald Hocker about the issue, who suggested she contact the Delaware State Police and ask neighbors if they, too, are upset by the noise.

“I just want him to lower the music. That’s all I want him to do,” she said.

“We’ve talked to Steve a number of times over the years, and it seems to work for a while,” said Minyon.

The town has no specific stipulations about what is played within an establishment such as the Fat Tuna, however the owner did sign an agreement with the town through the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) about noise on their outdoor patio only.

“If people pick up the newspaper and read that someone else is complaining about the noise, then perhaps other people will come forward and say, ‘Yeah, it is bad.’ So I’m doing it just for that reason, to see if I can get people to come forward and say that it is bothersome.”

Minyon said he plans to send both Parrill and the ABCC a letter about the complaints and said the issue will be brought up at the town council’s next workshop meeting.

In other town news:

• The town will not hold a January council meeting. One was originally scheduled for Jan. 11.

• The town hall will be closed Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

• The town council will hold its monthly workshop Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.

• The next Business Breakfast will be held Feb. 16 at 7:30 a.m. in town hall. Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin will be the guest speaker.

• Minyon pointed out that Thomas had turned 80 years old over the prior weekend, noting, “We appreciate everything that you do.”