For more information on projects and operations in the City of Rehoboth Beach, visit the City Manager's Spotlight.
Water Main Replacement Undrway
Concurrent with the discharge pipe installation for the Ocean Outfall project, Henlopen Avenue will be having 3800 feet of aging water main pipes replaced. The result? New 8" non-corrosive PVC pipes instead of 4" iron pipes. Temporary road closures will occur that are separate from the closures due to the outfall project.
Residential Rental Ordinance
On April 4, 2016, the Commissioners adopted a new ordinance focusing on the management of residential rentals. It includes designating a local contact person who can be available 24/7 to respond to complaints or problems, a self-certification process for code compliance, sets occupancy limits and gives authority to the City Manger to suspend or revoke a license for repeated violations. Letter from the City Building & Licensing Dept. was sent to all property owners on December 27, 2016 with details. You can find the complete ordinance here.
Refuse, Recycling, and Yard Waste Collections
On April 4, 2016, the Commissioners adopted an ordinance to amend Chapter 227 - Solid Waste of the Municipal Code related to waste collection. The issue came to their attention because residential refuse is set out too far in advance of collection day, including on Saturdays when refuse is predominantly generated by rental houses. In addition, residential refuse, yard waste, and recycling containers are not removed from the street/curbside in a timely manner. These two factors have resulted in unsightly trash on our residential neighborhoods that can also leach out into the streets and attract vermin. The new ordinance establishes and codifies a timeline for setting out refuse for collection and for retrieval of containers after pick-up. A valet service is being offered, on a trial basis and at extra cost, to enable homeowners to have their waste and recyclables picked up outside of the normal City collection schedule. You can find the Fact Sheet/FAQs here, photos here, the complete ordinance here, and the City Manager's letter to homeowners here. In addition, RBHA has prepared a Resource List of local valet services that will take your trash cambs to the curb and back, along with other Sussex county facilities available for solid waste and recycling drop-off.
In July 2016, RBHA sought input from members and sent all suggestions and feedback to the Commissioners for consideration.
New Zoning Ordinances
Rehoboth Beach Commissioners passed two new zoning ordinances on October 21 , 2016.
One ordinance adds a new Section 270-23.1 to the Municipal Code to affirm and clarify that only one single-family detached dwelling may be constructed on a single lot, regardless of size. This is designed to address the earlier decision of the Board of Adjustment, which found the language in the current code “ambiguous,” and, therefore, overturned a decision of the Rehoboth Beach Building Inspector regarding the proposed BeachWalk development. The second ordinance adds a new section 270-46.2 to the Municipal Code to require that the entrance to a single family dwelling be within 100 feet of a public street. More information, including the complete text of both ordinances, can be found in these links: https://cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=120 and https://cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=121.
A new ordinance regulating pools has been adopted by the Commissioners that spells out responsibilities of owners of outdoor swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and Jacuzzis. The City is expected to send property owners a notice of this new ordinance and what actions are required of pool/spa owners. A few examples of the responsibilities of pool/spa owners are registration with the City, preventing outdoor lighting from spilling onto neighbor’s yards, discharging water properly and providing safety signage and equipment. To learn more, the full text of the ordinance can be found here: http://www.cityofrehoboth.com/sites/default/files/AdoptedOrdNo.0615-01NewChapter206SwimmingPoolsNoSigBlock061915_0.pdf
Business District Topics
Restaurants where alcoholic liquor is sold or consumed on the premises previously had size limitations, whereby the sum of all floor areas including dining and bar areas as well as kitchen and restroom areas. Newly adopted size limitations are now based only on the dining and bar areas, in order to give restaurant owners more flexibility to enlarge. The new ordinance provides for unlimited size restrictions for non-public areas such as kitchen storage areas, and restrooms.
Brewery-Pubs in Rehoboth Beach
Brewery-pubs are now permitted in the City! A recently adopted ordinance establishes conditions for operation of brewery-pubs in commercial zones.
Full text of ordinances can be found here: https://cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net/filepro/documents?preview=10069
Stormwater Sampling Project
A study to evaluate existing stormwater quality and options for improving stormwater discharge volume and quality is underway as of the fall of 2017. To facilitate this study, water sampler machines have been strategically placed around the City at catch basins to collect stormwater samples when it rains so that water quality analyses can be performed.
Year-Round Rules for Umbrellas on the Beach
The City has approved a change to its beach regulations that restricts use of tents, canopies, and other large shading devices except umbrellas and baby tents. See more details on the City website here.
The adoption of the new law was driven by public safety concerns and is meant to promote safety from fires and eliminate the number of tents on the beach. This decision has been made to keep beachgoers safe while allowing emergency personnel the ability to navigate our beaches in case of an emergency. From a public safety standpoint, the ever-growing popularity of the beach tents in certain locations in the beach area makes it difficult for an EMS unit or other emergency responders to get through this line of tents to the beach and water in a timely manner.
Lake Avenue Streetscape
Now complete and open! The project included a minor realignment of the street, elimination of parking on one side, installation of 5-foot wide pervious sidewalks for the full length of the street on both sides and improved street lighting. New street trees were added in specially placed bump-outs. Additionally, there was some relocation of utility poles and upgrading of the existing drainage system on Lake Avenue. For any questions or concerns, please contact the City of Rehoboth Beach Communications Department at 302-227-2772 or email email@example.com.
New City Hall Complex
After closing for a week the City Hall offices housed for over a year in temporary trailers, the City is now back in business in the new City Hall, as of September 25, 2017. On October 1, a ribbon cutting ceremony which included the reading of a proclamation citing October 1, 2017 as Samuel R. Cooper Day and also included the presentation of a key to the city to former Mayor Cooper, led off a four-hour Open House with tours of the new City Hall. Approximately 400 persons attended and were bale to tour the new facility, including normally out-of-sight areas such as the administrative offices, police offices, lockers and criminal processing rooms, the Judge's chambers and court room and the new Commissioners Room. City Hall also features art by local artists adorning the hallways throughout the building!
The parking lot on the east side of the convention hall and City Hall is torn up and still under construction. The parking lot on the west side of the building is renovated but is only for use of the police and city personnel -- not the public. The east parking lot, including a new pedestrian pathway to Baltimore Avenue, is expected to open in early 2018.
Earlier, we reported that the City has been able to secure a bond in the maximum principal amount of up to $18 million at a fixed interest rate of only 2.375% for a 25-year loan period. This equates to a savings of approximately $123,000/year and $3 million over the life of the loan. See our most recent Fact Sheet about costs of building the City Hall Complex.
The new Parking Department building construction was completed on schedule and within budget in 2016.