CHAPTER 482

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 718

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO EXECUTE AND DELIVER DEEDS TO CERTAIN PERSONS FOR LAND IN BALTIMORE HUNDRED, SUSSEX COUNTY, DELAWARE.

WHEREAS, there exists in Baltimore Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, a patent known as South Petherton, granted on November 10, 1695, which forms the Northern boundary of the public lands of the State of Delaware as surveyed by Thomas B. Pepper in 1929 for the Public Lands Commission; and

WHEREAS, the exact Southern boundary line of the patent known as South Petherton is, at the present time, unknown and a matter of dispute; and

WHEREAS, the land that is claimed as part of the patent known as South Petherton adjoining the public lands of the State of Delaware was conveyed to William P. Short and Mary A. J. Short, his wife, by deed of Delaware Shore Land Company, dated October 2, 1926, of record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in Deed Book 259 at page 273; and

WHEREAS, the said land was conveyed to Delaware Atlantic Shores, Inc., by deed of William P. Short and Mary A. J. Short, his wife, dated May 29, 1935, of record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in Deed Book 301 at page 36; and

WHEREAS, the said land was conveyed to Viola B. Wienski, by deed of Delaware Atlantic Shores, Inc., dated May 9, 1946, of record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in Deed Book 360 at page 465: and

WHEREAS, the said land was conveyed to York Beach, Inc., a Delaware corporation, by deed of Viola B. Wienski and John C. Wienski, her husband, dated August 26, 1953, of record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in Deed Book 424 at page 75; and

WHEREAS, an Agreement of Sale for certain lands which were part of the patent known as South Petherton was entered into on December 7, 1953, pursuant to which York Beach, Inc. agreed to sell a part of the lands in the patent known as South Petherton beginning at a post marking a corner for the lands of the State of Delaware and for the patent known as South Petherton and extending 950 feet along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean; and

WHEREAS, the purchaser, Howard W. Hudson, refused to accept title to the said lands; and

WHEREAS, on February 1, 1954, a suit was commenced by York Beach, Inc., in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, being Civil Action No. 72, to compel the said Howard W. Hudson to comply with the terms of his Agreement of Sale and accept title to said property; and

WHEREAS, by an Order of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, dated May 27, 1954, Howard W. Hudson was compelled to complete the Agreement of Sale and Purchase, the Court finding that York Beach, Inc. held a good and marketable fee simple title to the said land; and

WHEREAS, relying upon the Order of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, dated May 27, 1954, the land was subdivided into lots and has been conveyed in numerous lot owners; and

Civil Action No. 72, captioned York Beach, Inc.-vs.Howard W. Hudson, Thomas B. Pepper, the Surveyor who was employed in 1929 by the Public Lands Commission of the State of Delaware to prepare a plot and survey showing the public lands of the State bordering the Atlantic Ocean between Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, executed an Affidavit in which he stated that the lands which were the subject of the litigation were part of the patent known as South Petherton in which the State of Delaware had no claim of title and which were not surveyed as part of the lands of the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware claims no ownership in the lands between the Southern boundary line of the patent known as South Petherton and the Southern corporate limits of The Town of Bethany Beach; and

WHEREAS, since 1954 and prior thereto, the owners of the lands in question have paid real estate taxes and school taxes to Sussex County; and

WHEREAS, the lands now in dispute have recently become a part of The Town of South Bethany and the various lot owners have paid real estate taxes in South Bethany; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware has recognized that the lands are part of The Town of South Bethany and has paid Municipal Street Aid to The Town of South Bethany as provided by Statute for streets located within the area; and

WHEREAS, by letter dated September 15, 1975, for the first time since the land was plotted following the 1954 litigation and lots sold, certain of the property owners of the land which was the subject of the litigation in 1954 have been advised by John C. Bryson, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, that a part of the land which was the subject of the 1954 litigation are now claimed by the State of Delaware as public lands; and

WHEREAS, there are approximately nineteen (19) lot owners involved in a strip of land claimed by the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the claim of the State of Delaware has cast a cloud over the title of the said nineteen (19) lot owners; and

WHEREAS, it would be an injustice for the State of Delaware to claim the premises now in the possession of the various lot owners and it is desired to confirm and ratify the title of the various lot owners in and to the land and premises described herein.

NOW, THEREFORE:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. The Secretary of the State of Delaware is

hereby authorized, empowered and directed to execute and deliver, subject to the provisions of Section 2 hereof, in the name of and under the Great Seal of the State of Delaware, deeds and such affidavits as are required by law, conveying to the various lot owners, their heirs, executors and assigns, as their interests may appear and to The Town of South Bethany, its successors and assigns, as its interest may appear, all the right, title and interest of the State of Delaware in the following described tract of land:

ALL that certain tract, piece and parcel of land, situate, lying and being in York Beach, Baltimore Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, being more particularly bounded and described as follows: BEGINNING at a concrete monument, said concrete monument being located in the Eastern right-of-way line of Delaware Route 14 (Delaware Route 1) and marking a corner for the lands herein described and the

public lands of the State of Delaware; thence South 60° 30'
East a distance of 744.31 feet to a point in the high water
mark of the Atlantic Ocean marking a corner for these lands

and lands of the patent known as South Petherton; thence in a Northern direction along and with the high water mark of the Atlantic Ocean a distance of 251.28 feet to a point; thence North 60° 30' West a distance of 744.31 feet or such distance as is required to reach the Eastern right-of-way line of Delaware Route 14 (Delaware Route 1); thence South along and with the Eastern right-of-way line of Delaware Route 14 (Delaware Route 1) South 02° 17' East a distance of 251.28 feet, home to the place of beginning, be the contents there what they may.

Under no circumstances does this description include any part of the lands of the old patent known as Derrickson's Venture as described in the Deed of August 8, 1812 from Littleton Townsend to William Derrickson.

Section 2. The State of Delaware shall convey all its

right, title and interest in and to the land hereinbefore described to the various lot owners as their interests may appear and shall convey the streets located herein to The Town of South Bethany as its interest may appear on condition that the respective grantees comply with the following prerequisites for the conveyance by the State of each parcel;

a. Pay to the State of Delaware the sum of one dollar ($1.00); and

b. Have prepared at their own expense a deed containing a survey description of that portion of the hereinbefore described lands to which the grantee or grantees, as the case may be, claim title; and

c. Have prepared at their own expense such affidavits and other documents as are required by law to transfer legal title and to comply with applicable recording statutes.

d. Grant an easement to the State of Delaware for public use and for construction by the Corps of Engineers for their Delaware Coast Beach Erosion Control and Hur-

ricane Protection Project. This easement shall include all the land East of a line 84 feet East of the western boundary of all ocean front lots.

Section 3. The Secretary of State is hereby directed

to execute and deliver deeds to the various grantees as each grantee or grantees, as the case may be, complies with the requirements hereinbefore set forth.

Approved June 24, 1976