Commissioners explain Dewey brew pub vote
We want to clarify for the voters of Dewey the rationale for a majority of the Dewey Beach Town Council approving the application for a restaurant and brew pub in town.
First, it must be emphasized that we acted consistently with the legal advice of our counsel and consistently with the planning commission’s 5-1 recommendation to conditionally approve the proposed restaurant with a very limited beer brewing component in a business district. Importantly, there is no credible legal argument that this act opens the door to “manufacturing” in our resort town.
However, mindful of the concerns of nearby residents and of prior public discussions about alcohol in Dewey Beach, the commissioners imposed and obtained a number of important restrictions that were highly relevant to the approval and that we believe will protect and even benefit the residents of this community.
The owners have agreed to emphasize the nice restaurant and craft beer focus of the establishment, limit the operating hours to close at 11:30 p.m., and offer no live music or DJs. We have also greatly restricted the capacity for beer production to ensure that this establishment will always be, first and foremost, a restaurant.
Another point that should be clarified is the accusation that the mayor made a comment about the opposition being “BS”. While the use of the phrase is regrettable, the mayor's comment was made only in reference to an abuse of the hearing procedures. At no time was any derogatory comment made concerning the substance of public comments. In fact, public comments throughout the process contributed significantly to the conditions upon which the approval was granted.
All parties involved have done an impressive job of demonstrating the process we have in this town for making decisions, where many people with legitimate interests can get involved in good faith discussions to come forth with a proposal that is acceptable. We are committed to a family-friendly town and believe that this restaurant and brew pub will be a part of that vision.
Mayor Diane Hanson
Commissioner Courtney Riordan
Commissioner David Jasinski