CHAPTER 108

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 315

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO DEFINE THE WARNER GRANT TRUST LANDS; AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO SURVEY AND MONUMENT THOSE LANDS.

WHEREAS, in 1682/3 the Court established by the Penn family in Lewes, Delaware, made a grant to Edmund Warner (recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for Sussex County in Deed Record Book A-1, page 14 et seq.) of the land described as follows:

"the land of the Cap Commonly called "Cape Henlopen, Lying on the North East side of the Creek formerly called the Whorekill to make a Coney Warrin on and Liberty to Build a House and seat a Warriner upon..."; and

WHEREAS, the purpose for the use of the land set forth in the grant was as follows:

the Timber and feed of said land, and marshes thereunto Belonging be and forever hereafter Lye in Common for the use of the Inhabitants of the Town of Lewes and County of Sussex, as also free liberty for any and all of the Inhabitants of the said County to fish get and take of their oyster & (socket shells and gather plums, cranberries and Huckleberries on the said land as they shall think fitt always..."; and

WHEREAS, the City of Lewes had been made the Trustee of this trust by an act of the General Assembly in 1857, found at 11 Del. Laws C. 486, and continued through 57 Del. Laws, C. 170.

WHEREAS, in 1972, the Attorney General sought instructions as to the proper uses of the Warner Grant lands; and

WHEREAS, the City of Lewes and numerous individuals have been made parties to extensive litigation as to the Warner Grant lands; and

WHEREAS, there is no agreement among the parties as to the exact boundaries of the Warner Grant lands in 1682; and

WHEREAS, natural monuments have moved and been redirected over the past three hundred years; and

WHEREAS, it is advantageous to the State and all parties concerned to once and for all time establish the boundaries of the Warner Grant an and the uses to which they can be put.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE: Section 1. There is hereby created the Warner Grant Trust Lands.

Section 2. The Warner Grant Trust Lands include property located in two parcels generally described as follows:

PARCEL NO. 1 All that certain tract, piece or parcel of land situate partly within the Corporate limits of the City of Lewes and partly without the Corporate limits of the City of Lewes, and also being situate in Lewes and Rehoboth Hundred, Sussex County and State of Delaware, and being bounded as follows:

On the North by Cape Henlopen Drive (County Road No. 19), the Barcroft Company, the Delaware Bay and the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad Co., on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, on the South by North Shores, on the Southwest in part by the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, on the West by the Freeman Highway (County Road No. 23), and being more particularly described as follows:

Beginning at a point at the intersection of County Road No. 23, known as Freeman Highway and County Road No. 19, known as Cape Henlopen Drive, thence along County Road No. 19 in an Easterly direction, 2700 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Southerly direction 1000 feet more or less to a point, thence in an Easterly direction 3500 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Northerly direction 2,648 feet more or less to a point at the low water mark of the Delaware Bay, thence along and with the low water mark of the Delaware Bay in a Northerly direction and continuing Easterly and Southerly around the Point known as Cape Henlopen and continuing along the low water mark of the Atlantic Ocean to a point at the northeast corner of a 15.44 acre tract of land now or formerly of the United States of America, for use by the Department of Navy, thence continuing along the low water mark of the Atlantic Ocean in a Southerly direction 18,750 feet more or less to a point, thence leaving the low water mark of the Atlantic Ocean in a Southwesterly direction 1100 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Northwesterly direction 264 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Southwesterly direction 165 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Northwesterly direction 1171 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Southwesterly direction 616 feet more or less to a point at the low water mark of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, thence with same in a Northwesterly direction 2222 feet more or less to a point, thence in a Northwesterly direction 664 feet more or less to a point, thence leaving the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal in a Northwesterly direction 1253 feet more or less to a point, thence along the original Course of the Lewes Creek in a Northwesterly direction 6000 feet more or less to a point at the low water dark of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, thence with same in a Northwesterly direction 9500 feet more or less to a point at County Road No. 23, thence with same in a Northwesterly direction 3000 feet more or less to the point of Beginning.

Containing 3200 acres more or less of land (by scale);

and

PARCEL NO. 2 All that certain tract, piece or parcel of land situate in the Corporate limits of the City of Lewes, and also being situate in Lewes and Rehoboth Hundred, Sussex County, and State of Delaware, and being bounded on the North by the low water mark of the Delaware Bay, on the East by Roosevelt Inlet, on the South by the low water mark, on the Northerly side of the Broadkill River, on the West by the line of the Corporate limits of the City of Lewes.

Containing 190 acres more or less of land (by scale).

The above parcels are to be surveyed to determine the bearings and distances of the above parcels and permanent markers are to be placed at the corners.

The above description is based on a compilation of various deeds and plots as well as general preliminary surveys.

The deeds and plots are as follows:

1. Lease to Barcroft Company, of record in the Office for Recording of Deeds of Sussex County at Deed Book 630, Pages 620, et sequi, and a plot found at Deed Book 630, Page 625.

2. Agreement between the City of Lewes and the State of Delaware, of record in the Office for the Recording of Deeds of Sussex County at Deed Book 774, Page 61.

3. Agreement between the Commissioners of Lewes and the State of Delaware, of record in the Office for the Recording of Deeds of Sussex County at Deed Book 586, Page 286.

4. Quitclaim Deed between the United States of America and the State of Delaware, of record in the Office for the Recording of Deeds of Sussex County at Deed Book 581, Page 426.

5. A plot title "Perimeter Survey, U. S. Naval Facility, Fort Miles, prepared by Edward H. Richardson Associates, Inc. of record in the Office for the Recording of Deeds of Sussex County at Deed Book 698, Page 612.

6. A plot of the Cordons Pond area prepared by the Delaware State Highway Department. (Ruyter survey of 1955)

Section 3. The Warner Grant Trust Lands further shall include any land, parcel or piece of lands now within the boundaries described in Section 2, supra, which is now owned by the Government of the United States of America, its agencies or departments, which lands are hereafter reverted to, escheated to or in any other way conveyed to the State of Delaware.

Section 4. All other lands not included within the description contained in Section 2 hereof presently owned by the State of Delaware, which it has been claimed, argued, contested, alleged or implied to be within the so-called Warner Grant, are specifically excluded from the Warner Grant Trust Lands as delineated herein and are not subject to the Warner Grant Trust as established herein but shall hereafter and forever be lands of the State of Delaware; and those said lands lying in the area of the City of Lewes or adjacent thereto shall be administered by the City of Lewes according to the terms of its charter, 57 Del. Laws Ch. 170. Title to lands which has previously been established to be held in fee shall remain undisturbed and held as heretofore.

Section 5. The Warner Grant Trust Lands shall be forever administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for the benefit of the people of Lewes, Sussex County and State of Delaware. Said lands must be administered for the public benefit as areas of public recreation, conservation and/or nature education and may not be used for private benefit to the detriment of such public benefit, subject, however, to use for railroad purposes existing at the time of this Act.

Section 6. Any modification of the laws governing the Warner Grant Trust Lands shall require action by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware and approval of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware. Any such modification shall be without prejudice to any parties affected by the same to litigate any issues pertinent to such modification.

Section 7. The Department of Transportation shall commence within three months of the effective date of this action a survey which shall develop a metes and bounds description of the lands generally defined in Section 2, supra, which description shall be recorded by the Attorney General In the Office for the Recording of Deeds In and for Sussex County upon its completion and its approval by the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware. The Department of Transportation shall place suitable monuments to memorialize the boundaries of the Warner Grant Trust Lands.

Section 8. A sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the Department of Transportation from funds not otherwise appropriated for the purpose of conducting this survey. Any funds not spent by June 30,1981, shall revert to the General Fund of the State of Delaware.

Section 9. This Act shall take effect ten days after the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware enters orders dismissing the Warner Grant litigation, being case numbers C.A. No. 439, 1972, and C.A. No. 518, 1974, Sussex County.

Section 10. This Act is intended to completely define, delineate and interpret the Warner Grant recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Sussex County and State of Delaware in Deed Record Book A-1, Page 14, et sequi.

Approved July 5, 1979.