Christiansen begins 2nd year, eyes more progress for Dover

Robin Christiansen

Robin Christiansen

DOVER –– Monday’s Dover City Council meeting ushered in the second year of Mayor Robin Christiansen’s term, a year when Dover will also celebrate its tricentennial.

“Last year I gave us a B-plus,” Mayor Christiansen said in his State of the City remarks. “Today, I give us a B-minus because while I know we have worked diligently, we can always do better and we will.”

One of Mayor Christiansen’s goals has been to make the City of Dover a safe place to live and last year, Dover secured $580,000 from the state to address safety concerns.

The funding is being funneled into enhancing community policing, foot patrol, adding cameras downtown, improving the cadet program and supporting community outreach programs.

He commended the city police, fire department and all the city’s employees who have contributed to the improvements made during his first year, but emphasized it will take a sustained unified front to continue making strides.

“The challenges are many, but we have the talent and the team to meet the challenges of today to ensure that our vision of the future is a safe, prosperous and beautiful city where we all want to work, play and live. A place we are proud to call home,” the mayor said.

In the business portion of Monday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Tim Slavin was reaffirmed as Council President/Vice Mayor.

Speedway zoning changes approved

Council members unanimously voted for the proposed zoning changes for four properties at Dover International Speedway.

The vote will change the zoning of the properties from agriculture use to recreational and commercial use.

Currently, 295 acres of The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, which hosts events including Firefly Music Festival, sit outside city limits and fall under the jurisdiction of Kent County.

All except 35 acres of the property lying with the county are set to be transferred to Dover.

The city has been working with the speedway for approximately one and a half years to annex all of the properties used for festivals, camping, and other activities into the City of Dover under a common zoning classification of recreational and commercial.

Once all the land is of the same zoning and under jurisdiction of the city, management will be made much easier as it will all fall under the city.

Currently, organizers of festivals and events held at the speedway must obtain permits from both Dover and Kent County for a single event, and the annexation will make coordinating events a simpler and more seamless process.

The complicated permitting process was first brought to light in 2012 when the first Firefly Music Festival was held at the speedway.

Other issues that may arise with the property including complaints, law enforcement and emergency response will also be easier to manage with festival property solely within
jurisdiction of the city.

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