Letter to the Editor: Why the library kiosk at Five Points?

As residents of The Villages of Five Points and members of the Friends of the Lewes Public Library, my wife and I greatly appreciate the benefits that are provided by a public library.

We even looked forward to seeing a library in our neighborhood when it was promised in 2016. But we see a startling misconception that exists in the dispute that is now raging over the library “kiosk” that was constructed in The Villages of Five Points.

The argument is only partially over the kiosk itself, but mostly in the manner in which the Lewes Public Library leadership failed to get the required approvals from the Village Architectural Committee (VAC) to build the kiosk.

Residents in our community must abide by the rules set down by the VAC with regard to our individual properties, and have the right to expect that the Lewes Public Library do the same, since they are an owner of land donated to them originally by the community developer.

That donation was contingent on the library’s building the new facility in Five Points within the next 10 years.

If this was not done within the stated 10-year period, the land would revert to the HOA for The Village of Five Points. It was the library’s decision to build their new facility next to the existing library. But that does not absolve them of the responsibility to follow all the rules and approvals they would have had to observe had they followed their original plan to build within Five Points.

When their application was denied by the VAC for good and sufficient reasons, as acknowledged by the library, they decided to proceed unilaterally without further discussion with Five Points board members or the VAC.

And now the library’s kiosk, an unattended book drop box, sits perched on the busy intersection of Austin Street and Village Main Boulevard in Five Points. There are no parking spots for users of the kiosk at this location, other than to park in the traffic lane of the street. This problem will be multiplied during periods of rainy and snowy weather.

This move by the library is only a thinly veiled attempt to hold onto their donated property by any means, and convert it to a monetary windfall, rather than let it revert to The Villages of Five Points at the end of the 10 years, as was stipulated by the developer’s original donation.

Now when it is time for the library to deal with their illegal actions, they have assumed the role of victim rather than transgressor. It’s time for the library leadership to admit the truth, and come to the bargaining table for a resolution.

Mark Hanson
Lewes

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