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.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Unintended Consequences of Proposed Zoning Ordinance.

The unintended consequences of the very, very flawed new zoning ordinance that the Rehoboth Beach Mayor and Commissioners will be voting on this Friday, July 17 at 7 pm at City hall are many.

In an effort to squeeze out the building of pools entirely, the city has a new ordinance pending which will be voted on on Friday which will have the unintended effect of creating mini-parking lots where trees should be or worse: large boxes with no character and only 3 bathrooms that will house many people and attract a different tenant mix. The result will be lower property values, more vacationers going elsewhere, less charm and parking based on toilets: one additional parking spot for every toilet over 3.

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.

The Save Our City people are perpetuating a fear that every person buying a lot in Rehoboth is a Realtor, a Communist or worse and they all have a single goal of ruining Rehoboth. This is bunk.

The majority of people buying property in the city of Rehoboth Beach are the same as always: they are buying second homes and they rent to help subsidize their mortgages and even help pay for exorbitant college costs and weddings. The Save Our City people should know this as the majority of them did the same and many even admitted to having multiple rentals.

Now that others are doing the same and the Save Our City folks are retiring here, what's good for the goose is not good for the gander. Call them NIMBYs or hypocrites, they do not want you doing what they did. They have theirs and do not want you to have yours.

Their complaints of children squealing and splashing in a swimming pool on a summer's day are nothing compared with what they have in store: downsizing homes so that you must have a parking space for every toilet over 3; eliminating rentals in residential neighborhoods or at the very least, eliminating weekly rentals. The economic impact on this city is such that we are certain that even all of their trust funds cannot make up for the lost revenue to businesses and government.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rehoboth Beach Zoning Changes Affect Everyone.

Many people showed up for the Mayor and Commissioners' Workshop on Monday hoping to discuss the new Zoning Ordinance. To everyone's dismay, it was not up for discussion. The next time we will be able to discuss it is at the July 17 Public Hearing at 7 pm. Please plan to attend because they will likely be voting YES if there's no opposition. They will likely vote YES if they do not hear opposition via phone and email. The changes are significant and affect ALL property owners in the City of Rehoboth.

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.