The Bill Green Gazebo
By: Ed Cohen
The Atlantic Watergate Gazebo is dedicated to the memory of Bill Green, an original owner, along with his wife Tammy. Bill, more than probably anyone else, is responsible for the Delaware Coast not hosting a wall of high rise buildings like those that dominate the Ocean City, Maryland skyline.
Bill Green was a communications lawyer by profession in Washington, D.C. But his avocation was zoning and land use law. He was self-taught and developed an expertise in the laws and cases of Delaware and Sussex County. As the Chairman of the Legal Committee of Atlantic Watergate in the 1980s and 1990s, Bill kept a watchful eye on all of the building applications in the largely undeveloped land between Indian River Inlet and Bethany Beach.
Each time there was a new application for a high rise building like those at Sea Colony, Bill would dissect both the plans and the procedures by which applications were being processed and approved. Employing his understanding of Delaware and Sussex County law, he seemed to always find a defect which would send the developer back to the drawing Board. Most of Bill’s victories were in the Delaware courts and there are myriad cases bearing the name “Tamara Green vs._____.” Ultimately, the developers gave up and built developments with single family homes.
Bill was not anti-development. He simply wanted to see a sustainable Delaware coast where the type of construction maintains the beauty and tranquility of the beach.
For this, we all owe Bill a big thank you.