County right with ‘clean hands’

Sussex County Council got it right on Tuesday went they went with an ordinance that requires people be completely paid up and in good standing to the county before they can have any permits approved.

We know there are those who argue that they might need to complete a job before they can pay the back payments, and we certainly understand that logic. However, if the county is going to try to be responsible about future building here, they need to make people accountable. That means no payments in arrears, and a clean slate with the people of this county.

And we also appreciated Sussex County Council Member George Cole’s argument that the county should also tack on previous zoning violations to the list that could make a permit unattainable for somebody. After all, why should the county allow someone to do a project when they showed a disregard for county laws the last time?

The problem there is that some people would have no way to remedy their past violations, except to schedule a hearing. And that could just take too long, especially if this is a company or individual with a clean record except for one recorded violation, and could never get work again.

So, as much as this might pain us to say, we agree with county council’s decision on this matter, as well. Nobody thinks people should be rewarded for past transgressions, but it’s important that people do have a way to make up for previous mistakes.

This was the most equitable decision available.

---If you’re curious about exactly what’s going to take place with replenishment efforts in Bethany Beach and South Bethany, turn to page A50. Reporter M. Patricia Titus spent time with the movers and shakers behind this project, and we were able to generate an illustration of what the beach will probably look like when all is said and done, thanks to those involved in the project and our own Bob Bertram.

This is comprehensive and should answer your questions.