Rehoboth Beach

The Rehoboth Beach City Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to approve legislation that imposes occupancy limits on rentals.

WBOC reports that the Vacation Rental Ordinance comes as result of an increasing number of rental units being turned into “mini-hotels”.

The heart of the measure allows two people per structure with another two people for each bedroom.

The commission members called it a good balance.

And the television station reports that a number of homeowners said they were pleased with the results.

REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's environmental secretary has ordered the closing of a shellfish harvest area in Rehoboth Bay near the city of Rehoboth's wastewater treatment plant.

Officials said this week's closure is based on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration assessment of theoretical wastewater discharges, and not on water quality changes in the area.

The boardwalk at the northern end of Rehoboth Beach is now open.

It had been closed for repairs after this winter’s storm.

WBOC reports that the boards were raised 12 inches to make them flush with undamaged sections.

But the underlying supports are still broken.

For the moment officials say the boardwalk is safe to walk on although it could be damaged again with another storm.

Meanwhile, town officials say that a damage assessment form the Federal Emergency Management Agency is still in the works.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain and a Dewey Beach business have agreed to end a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Cracker Barrel.

A federal judge this week signed a permanent injunction and dismissal order that prohibits Highway I Limited Partnership and its business partners from using any trade dress, marks or designs in building a new Jimmy's Grill restaurant in Rehoboth that copy or are confusingly similar to those of Cracker Barrel restaurants.

Don Rush

Repair crews are out along the Ocean City shoreline repairing damage done by the recent snow storm.

The beach cleanup is being carried out in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

It’s estimated that as much as 880-thousand cubic yards of sand was lost.  

The initial assessment last week was $21 million.

Mayor Rick Meeham told WBOC that this is only for the beaches adding that an official estimate for homeowners and businesses has not yet been released.

creative commons

The town of Reboboth Beach is looking at draft legislation that would limit the number of people who can spend the night in a rental unit.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the measure would impose a maximum of two people per bedroom plus four additional people.

The paper reports that for a rental with seven bedrooms the total limit would be 18.

And, an efficiency with no bedrooms could have four.

The paper reports that the proposal is the result of raucous behavior during the summer season.

creative commons

It will cost anywhere from $150-thousand to $400-thousand to repair the damage to the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach by the recent winter storms.

That’s the estimate from a city consulting engineer.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the city commissioners are now trying to decide how to come up with the money.

Commissioner Stan Mills says told the paper that there was a hope that the federal government might provide some assistance as well as some help from Delaware lawmakers.

Don Rush

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Natural Resources officials are wasting no time in cleaning up and reinforcing Rehoboth Beach after last month's snowstorm.

A worker was operating a dozer through the sand less than two weeks of the snowstorm hit, pushing sand the edge of the dry beach to the dunes, over a layer of water.

This process reinforces the dunes, Tony Pratt of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control tells WBOC-TV.

Pratt says nature does most of the work, but the dozers can speed things up a bit.

Immanuel Shelter

Many people around this time of year find themselves homeless just as the holidays begin to come to a close and the onset of cold weather is around the corner. In Rehoboth Beach, the Immanuel Shelter takes in around 25 men and women, providing them with relief from the cold and a momentary place to stay and get back on their feet. Delmarva  Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with those whose lives are just a little bit better for having found shelter.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Voters in the city of Rehoboth Beach have elected in a referendum to support restrictions on housing development imposed earlier this year.

The city said that Saturday's balloting concluded with 785 votes, or 53 percent, in favor of the restrictions, compared to 697 votes, or 47 percent, opposed.

Rehoboth's board of commissioners passed an ordinance in July making it harder to build large homes and requiring more green space on front yards.

creative commons

A bank robbery in Rehoboth Beach has Delaware State Police looking for a female suspect.

Officials told WBOC that it occurred just after 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon at the TD Bank on Midway Outlet Drive.

The suspect is described as a white female around 5-feet 3-inches to 5-feet 6-inches tall.

She reportedly walked into the bank and demanded the clerk give her an undisclosed amount of money.

She then fled.

No one at the scene was injured.

Don Rush

The battle over a zoning ordinance that limits the size of new houses is heating up in Rehoboth Beach.

There’s a new group called the Rehoboth Neighbors United which wants voters to approve the new regulations in November 7th’s referendum.

Susan Gay, one of the group’s organizers told WBOC that this is “a turning point” for the city.

She expressed particular concern about the environmental impact of these houses – especially the loss of trees.

creative commons

There’s a rebellion brewing in Rehoboth Beach.

Hundreds are angered by a law that will make it harder for them to build large houses.

And they have handed in a petition to force the town commissioners to take another vote.

They must have gathered 40 percent of the electorate in order to force the vote.

That will force suspension of the ordinance until its reconsideration.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that if there is not a reversal residents vow to force a referendum.

Dogfish Head taps

Dogfish Heads renovation plans in Rehoboth Beach have gotten unanimous approval by the board of commissioners.

The brewpub is some two decades old and hopes to make its first upgrades since it opened the building.

Commissioner Stan Mills told the Daily Times that he wanted Dogfish Head to stay in town.

But the approval came after a vigorous discussion over whether the brewpub’s application was in compliance with the city zoning code.

The overall plan includes an outdoor courtyard and a major venue for live concerts.

creative commons

More than 350 swimmers were rescued along the coastline from Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach to Ocean City.

Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Kent Buckson told the Salisbury Daily Times that there were more than 100 rescues on Sunday alone.

He said it was the most dangerous three to four day period he has seen.

Much of the problem occurred because of the rip currents and the volume of waves that hit the coast.

Buckson told the paper this was “a recipe for disaster” and he praised his crew for handling the conditions so well.

All Saints Websiite

Member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach got an unwelcome flyer on their windshields this past Sunday.

The literature blasted the church for accepting gays and lesbians into their congregation as well as allowing women to hold church leadership positions.

Rector Max Wolf told WBOC that the flyers were not only disturbing to the church’s gay and lesbian members but to their families and friends as well.

The literature called homosexuality a “shameless act” and called women “emotional basket cases”.

creative commons

A lawsuit in Rehoboth Beach gives new meaning to the phrase, “Vote early and vote often.”

Resident Jackie Nichols has filed a federal lawsuit that says the ability of corporation owners to cast multiple votes in a referendum violates the Delaware and U.S. constitutions.

The multiple voting provision only applies to referenda not general municipal elections.

Wilmington News Journal reports that city staff also said that residents who own Rehoboth based businesses can also cast multiple votes.

creative commons

A swimmer was rescued from an unguarded area near Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.

The Delaware’s Natural Resources Police with the help of a Delaware state police helicopter located the swimmer and took him to safety.

The swimmer had drifted a half mile from the shore line to the southern Dewey Beach.

The state police told WBOC that the outgoing tide along with a strong south wind pushed the swimmer from the shoreline.

State officials said that the waters along the coast line are strong with tidal or rip currents that can pull a swimmer out to sea. 

Don Rush

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery may be expanding its restaurant in Rehoboth Beach after all.

A Rehoboth Beach land-use board reversed its rejection of the plan that now could pave the way for an expanded brewpub on Rehoboth Avenue.

Sam and Mariah Calogione who own Dogfish argued that the expanded restaurant would benefit other businesses and employ more than a hundred people.

The current Dogfish restaurant would be expanded from around 82-hundred square feet to just over 92-hundred square feet.

creative commons

Rehoboth Beach is set to impose restrictions on vacation-home renter’s use of backyard pools today.

Under the ordinance beginning in 2018 people who rent vacation homes would not be allowed to use any pool or hot tub on the property.

Those pools and tubs would have to be covered by the owner.

But state Representative Ruth Briggs King says that she is concerned the town is overreaching their authority.

And, she says the General Assembly may look at approving some legislation to limit the resort actions.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - State police say a man was robbed as he walked toward a bus stop near Rehoboth Mall in Rehoboth Beach.

Police say the robbery occurred on Saturday morning. Police say the 32-year-old male victim was walking along Airport Road when a man grabbed him from behind.

Police say another man then approached and pointed a gun at the victim. Both went through the man's pockets and took cash.

Police say the armed man fled on foot, while the other man left in a vehicle.

The victim wasn't injured. Police have not identified any suspects.

creative commons

The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners plan to hold a vote on four measures to clamp down on vacation rentals including pool use by renters.

The vote set for June 19th would include a ban on renters from using pools at their vacation rentals by 2018.

In addition, another would put tighter limits on home size while a third would require more off-street parking.

Finally, there were would be a pool licensing system in addition to the ban.

creative commons

If you’re vacationing in Rehoboth Beach and looking forward to using the pool at your rental house that could come to an end in the near future.

The resort’s board of commissioners is looking at denying vacationers the right to use the pools of rental properties.

The Mayor and other city officials are concerned that the larger homes being built in the resort is causing too much noise and disruption in the residential areas.

creative commons doug4872

Rehoboth Beach has a new noise ordinance.

But some are not happy with the law.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there has been a series of emails from over 30 people that have been sent to city officials and the media.

They claim the resort’s gay community is being targeted.

In addition, he paper reports that the violations for open containers and other minor offenses were clustered around the areas that attract mostly gay residents and visitors.

There was one noise citation at a rental home over the Memorial Day weekend.

creative commons

Rehoboth Beach has a new noise ordinance that defines what it is and how loud it can be.

The town has established – what is called – a plainly audible standard in residential areas.

WBOC reports that this is a method that is used to identify a noise disturbance.

This is aside from simply measuring the number of decibels.

The measure is an effort to bring down the number of late night disturbances that involve rental units of more than 20 to 30 people

polar bear plunge logo

More than three thousand people  took the plunge into the cold Atlantic Ocean water on Sunday in Rehoboth Beach.

And they raised $780-thousand for the Special Olympics Delaware as part of the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge.  

3,325 people jumped into 37 degree water, according to organizers.

The money will help 37-hundred children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics Delaware will provide sports training, athletic competition and especially an opportunity to socialize.

creative commons

Most of the overtime for resort towns along the Delmarva coastline goes to public works, wastewater and the police.

Wilmington News Journal reports that the expenditures can get as high as $13-thousand or the equivalent of an extra day of work.

But city officials say providing overtime is easier and more efficient than hiring an extra person part-time.

Sharon Lynn, city manager of Rehoboth Beach, told the Delmarva Media Group that it means a quicker response and a quicker process than hiring someone.

human right campaign

The Delaware towns of Dover, Rehoboth Beach and Newark have been found to be above average for their inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  

That’s according to a report released by the Washington-based Human Right Campaign, a major national gay rights group.

Meanwhile, in their 2014 Municipal Equality Index Wilmington and Middletown fell below the national average.

Overall, Delaware which made same-sex marriage legal last year scored 57 overall on a one hundred point scale.

The Avenue website

The owners of the Avenue Inn and Spa in downtown Rehoboth Beach are seeking to iron out objections to its plans to add 8-thousand square feet that will include 28 new rooms as well as a restaurant and retail space.

At issue is a second stairwell tower.

The current zoning code only allows one stairwell tower over 42 feet per building.

In addition, the code also requires commercial buildings of a certain height to be pushed back from the sidewalk at a 30 degree angle.

mario duran ortiz / EV_Charging_Station_sign_NC.jpg

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Rehoboth Beach is preparing to add two public charging stations for electric vehicles under a one-year trial.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the Rehoboth Board of Commissioners voted in August to accept a state grant that would fund two charging stations downtown. The grant is part of the "Charging Up Delaware" initiative aimed at placing charging stations throughout the state.