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.

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.