Save Our Nation’s Summer Capital, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving Rehoboth Beach, Delaware as a unique resort destination and community with thriving businesses, residences and rental properties all living in harmony.
We are committed to transparency in our local government and informing, engaging and empowering all citizens of Rehoboth Beach.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Plan to be at City Hall (fire station - 2nd floor) Monday morning at 9 am for the city's monthly Workshop meeting which will, among other things, continue discussion of Vacation Rental Ordinance and the Charter Change. Here's a copy of the agenda:
And here is a copy of support documents:
Consider writing to the Mayor & Commissioners about the issues. You'll find their emails in previous posts below. The City is trying to pass a Vacation Rental Ordinance with inspections, highly subjective language and massive amounts of paperwork, including TWO licenses - one Rental and one Vacation Rental - and the Inspection Brochure with its detailed checklist. It also gives the City the power to access the interior of your property WITHOUT A WARRANT at any time the City Manager deems necessary.
Even if you are not offended by the language today, just keep in mind that once an ordinance such as this is passed, it is easy to amend it to their liking. We think that too much subjective decision-making power lies with one person and it is over-reaching and unnecessary. As we have said in public meetings, it is a SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF A PROBLEM.
The Charter Change is also on the agenda. We are in favor of reducing the residency requirement from 6 months to the 30 days that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the early 70s was sufficient. We also want to encourage the City to allow owners of properties in LLCs the same right to vote as those who have their properties in trust instruments. The City should also allow persons with properties in IRREVOCABLE TRUSTS to vote the same as revocable trusts. We are perplexed as to why the City Solicitor has been taking this line when there is no distinction in the Charter between them.
Our Save Rehoboth Facebook Page has been compromised. You can find information here or on Save Our Nation's Summer Capital Facebook page.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
The City of Rehoboth Beach has long stood by its 6-month residency requirement stating that it is part of the charter. It has violated the U.S. Constitution the entire time.
There is a U.S. Supreme Court decision dating back to the 70s that 30 days residency is PLENTY OF TIME. If it's good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court, it's good enough for the City of Rehoboth!
For years, the city has disenfranchised certain stakeholders while allowing other stakeholders a vote in municipal elections...or, apparently, multiple votes. The city has also been inconsistent in its delivery of its rules and requirements. Two different people can call City Hall and get two different answers any day of the week. THIS IS NOT HOW IT SHOULD WORK IN AMERICA, PEOPLE.
The government of Rehoboth Beach has been making it more difficult for people to vote in the following ways:
1) By knocking them off the registration list after two consecutive missed elections (without notifying them), so people show up to vote not knowing they cannot;
2) By requiring them to register in person at City Hall;
3) By telling every third person something different when they call City Hall (today the person who answered did not know who the City Solicitor was???);
4) By FLAGRANTLY VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES in myriad ways, including:
a) Holding onto a 6-month residency requirement in direct violation of U.S. Supreme Court rule. Even the City Solicitor understands it to be "Unconstitutional" but ENABLES IT anyway;
b) And thusly, not allowing qualified people their civic right and duty to vote;
c) And lastly, allowing some people to vote multiple times (some as many as 6 TIMES for as few as 3 entities!!! Some pigs are more equal, after all.)
5) Making the absentee voting process difficult and inconsistent. Some have been told they must mail in an affidavit whereas others were not made to do so.
6) It leaves an entire category of people with property in LLCs without the right to vote. We pay taxes, we are stakeholders and yet we are disenfranchised.
And those are just off the TOP OF MY HEAD!! FRIENDS - GET TO THE POLLS ON SATURDAY & DEMAND your RIGHT to VOTE in this municipal election. It's time to take our city back!
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Almost every single property owner will immediate become non-conforming, including and especially those grandfathered in to old zoning. You may also be unable to expand, add on or change at all! People need to understand these changes and their potential impact.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Here's a link to the Ordinance:
Many things have changed: Lot coverage is reduced by 20%; FAR is reduced by as much as 20%; one additional parking space must be added for each toilet in excess of 3!! The maximum size house you can build is 4500 sf but if you want a pool, you only have 2500 sf. They are discouraging pervious surfaces for parking because strips or pervious surfaces still count toward lot coverage which will have the unintended consequence of creating MINI-parking lots.
This ordinance has been created in response to several residents' complaints about pools, parking and new, large houses. A group of mostly retired residents called Save Our City is responsible for the majority of complaints. You will hear the tired refrain from them about the commercialization of residential neighborhoods, the proliferation of pools and the Mega-rentals and Mini-Hotels. You didn't hear them complaining about rentals when they were renting their houses to pay off their mortgages or to pay for their kids' weddings and college tuitions.
They have the Mayor and Commissioners ears and since the Pool Ordinance Amendment failed, they have been pushing for very strict zoning to restrict new residents from building pools at all and even building a nice house in town such as most of them have. Many, if not most of them, are grandfathered into old setbacks with outbuildings right on the property line. They have theirs and they do not want you to have yours.
The irony is that many of the folks who are full-time Rehoboth residents with smaller cottage-type houses stand to lose the most when they realize their property values have deflated as a result of their own planning. People will only pay so much for a tear-down when they are severely restricted in what they can do with the property.
Write to the Mayor and Commissioners and remind them that the economy of the town depends on vacationers who come to town and spend money. High season is really only from July 4 through the second week in August. We have always said that summer is the price you pay for living at the beach year-round - everyone used to understand that. It is just the Save Our City Self-Interest group who don't want to share this beautiful town with others. There is a better way to deal with the few problems that exist for a short period of time without punishing everyone.
Please see the previous post for their contact information.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
New Zoning Changes Are Coming; Kiss Your Property Rights Goodbye & Watch Your Property Values Plummet.
1) Two parking spaces required for 3 toilets (including 2.5 baths);
2) Three parking spaces required for 4 toilets (including for a 3.5 bath house); and
3) Four parking spaces for 5 toilets, etc.
With this proposed ordinance, it will be impossible to build the same 5 bedroom, 5 bath house in the City of Rehoboth Beach on a standard 50x100 lot that you could build today. If you want a hot tub, you will have to decrease your house size by 500 sf.
They are increasing rear yard setbacks to 15 feet. You will be able to renovate up to 75% of your existing property, including adding multiple baths without adding parking, if you do not change the footprint. However, as we understand it, you will require permitting for anything done inside and a variance for anything done outside.
This proposal will render nearly every property in the City of Rehoboth non-conforming from inception. This means:
1) Your existing home may not be enlarged; especially if your home was built with old 6' setbacks;
2) Future renovations and additions to your existing home will be affected or impossible;
3) You will likely exceed FAR, green space and lot coverage making adding a pool or hot tub impossible to an existing home; and
4) In the event of a casualty, you may be unable to rebuild your current home.
This will all have a drastic effect on property values making it difficult to refinance your home or get a home equity loan.
We also hear that they are going to REINTRODUCE THE POOL AMENDMENT that they just unanimously voted down. They will merely grandfather in existing pools and will still require all future pools to be locked down during rental.
Please plan to attend the meeting at 9 am on July 6 at City Hall and pencil in the public hearing for these changes: July 17 @ 7 pm.
And please write to the Mayor and Commissioners by Friday and tell them to stop this madness!!
Mayor Sam Cooper: SCooper@CityofRehoboth.com
Bill Sargent: BSargent@CityofRehoboth.com
Patrick Gossett: PGossett@CityofRehoboth.com
Stan Mills: SMills@CityofRehoboth.com
Lorraine Zellers: LZellers@CityofRehoboth.com
Kathy McGuiness: KMcGuiness@CityofRehoboth.com
Toni Sharp: TSharp@CityofRehoboth.com
Or call City Hall: 302-227-6181 and speak to them.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
If you have your City property in an LLC and received two votes, please contact us at SaveRehoboth@gmail.com. Likewise, if you were told you couldn't vote, had any difficulty voting or had an extraordinarily long wait time, please let us know.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
For some reason, we cannot post the link so you can just cut and paste. And having attended many of these meetings, Kyle admitted they are using a 2009 number per residence for the bill of $700 and change which he said in today's dollars would be more like $1200+ so consider that in your decision. Save Our Nation's Summer Capital is not making a recommendation one way or the other. We are merely providing balanced information in making your decision to spend approximately $75MM. And we wanted to provide your proxy data to send in.
Monday, June 15, 2015
The Mayor & City Commissioners are voting at 7:00 pm Friday, June 19th. They are trying to take away the rights of property owners. The city wants to close all pools & hot tubs at rental properties. Instead of dealing with noise issues both related to pools and unrelated to pools, the town’s elected officials want to punish everyone with a pool that has a rental license.
If this ordinance goes through, what is next? Could non-rental property owners be asked to close their pools, too? Could porches be the next thing required to be locked from renters? The long-term ramifications of our town’s actions are endless with potential to turn away tourism which would be detrimental to our city’s economy.
Regulate unreasonable noise issues – Not pools!
Don’t take away property owners’ rights.
Please show your support. Bring a sign showing support to save our pools. Meet at the Parking lot of our Convention Center & City Hall at 4 P.M.
Property Owners – Protect your rights
Board of Commissioners – Vote NO on Pool Ordinance & Amendment
Pools Today??? What is next, Front porches?
Don’t give a reason to turn away tourists from our resort!!!
Call the Mayor Tell him to vote NO (302) 227-6181
Friday, June 19th 4PM to 7PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Mayor introduced an Amendment to that Ordinance to Amend Chapter 206 of the Municipal Code which states in Article III, Subsection 206-16 that ..."no unenclosed pool shall be used at any time in conjunction with a vacation rental after January 1, 2018. Thereafter the pool shall at all times the property is used for a vacation rental be covered by a locked cover."
This was discussed at a well-attended Workshop meeting of the Mayor and Commissioners on Friday, May 29, 2015. Most in the audience were against the proposals but the Mayor was unmoved despite Commissioners Kathy McGuiness and Stan Mills urging him to wait until August to see if the new Noise Ordinance with its "plainly audible" standard has the effect they believe it will.
Additionally, there has been an idea proposed at recent meetings BANNING RESIDENTIAL RENTALS altogether. Another proposal is changing the zoning to only allow rentals in certain neighborhoods or having a lottery with only a limited number of rental licenses available per season. There was discussion of having so many rules such as they do in Palm Springs that it would be almost impossible to jump through all the hoops, thereby discouraging people from renting at all.
Please contact the Mayor and Commissioners and remind them that Rehoboth Beach is a resort town whose businesses rely on visitors and tenants to survive; the town has a rental history almost as long as its existence; and that "normal" summer noise is the sound of our town thriving. They may all be reached by calling City Hall at 302-227-6181.
Mayor Sam Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stan Mills - email@example.com
Kathy McGuiness - firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Gossett - email@example.com
Lorraine Zellers - firstname.lastname@example.org
Toni Sharp - email@example.com
Bill Sargent - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also make an effort to attend the June 8 Mayor's Workshop on the pool issue at City Hall in the Commissioners' Room at 9 am and the Mayor's and Commissioners' Regular Meeting on June 19 at 7 pm where the Mayor plans to ask for a vote on this issue.