For more information on projects and operations in the City of Rehoboth Beach, visit the City Manager's Spotlight.

Residential Topics


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: and

Pool-Spa-Hot Tub 

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:

Business District Topics

Restaurant Size

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:


Community-Wide Topics

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

New City Hall Complex 

As of June 1, 2017, the City Hall masonry work is being finished, and the contractors are now focusing on the outside of the caucus room at the NE corner of the building. Windows have been installed throughout the building, and painting contractors are applying first coats of each color in offices and meeting rooms. The parking lot on the west side for employees, the Parking Dept, and all police vehicles, is now being used. This is not a public lot. Public parking is available in the east lot for access to City Hall temporary offices and the Police Dept. Employees are expected to move into City Hall offices shortly after Labor Day. Completion of the City Hall Complex, including the new parking lot on the east side and pedestrian walkway from Second Street, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. The Convention Center is anticipated to reopen in early 2018.  Be sure to look at the webcam, where you can view progress of the construction, 24/7!  See it here: 

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.