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Contents of April 2019 Newsletter sent to CCEPOA members
A new task force has been formed to consider a parking garage in the City, and will be making its recommendations to the Commissioners within the next several months. Chaired by City Manager Sharon Lynn, members of the group include several Commissioners and business owners. The first meeting on May 3 is available for viewing on the City website. All meetings are open to the public. We will keep you updated via email!
Last September, our Mayor and Commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the City charter to impose a lodging tax up to 3% on hotel and motel rentals. But the charter change must be approved by the General Assembly and has yet to be introduced. We will be contacting Representative Schwartzkopf and Senator Lopez to express our support for the hotel tax.
As it is now, hotels in Rehoboth Beach contribute very little toward the cost of city services and infrastructure. There is a hotel building boom in the City of Rehoboth Beach! Three new hotels have been proposed this year that will add an additional 230 rooms to the approximately 1150 that currently exist in the City. More people staying in hotels in the City will only increase the burden on our infrastructure and the services that the City provides to our visitors. Consider these factors:
Residential rental houses have a 6% lodging tax and contribute more than $2 million a year to the City revenue stream. In addition, residential rental landlords often buy parking passes for their guests.
. City-wide, parking fees contribute approximately $5.7 million a year to the City. Hotels have their own parking lots and garages, and guests pay nothing to the city for that parking.
We spend approximately $200,000 a year to maintain the boardwalk. Hotel guests contribute nothing to that upkeep.
We spend over $1 million a year in garbage collection, much of it on and near the boardwalk. Most of that money is paid from residential refuse fees from homeowners. Hotels pay nothing.
We pay $650,000 a year for beach patrol services. Hotel guests are big users of the beach, just as they are big users of the boardwalk.
Residents, visitors in rental homes, and anyone using parking meters in the City are the ones paying the bills for all this upkeep. It’s time for hotel guests to pay their fair share. We believe they would agree and that visitors to Rehoboth will not object to this small tax. Other resort towns already charge a hotel tax, and most cities and towns around the country do so, often at much higher rates! Guests are accustomed to them.
We have just learned that a bill allowing Georgetown to enact a hotel tax up to 3% is already in the General Assembly.
As you may know, our water and sewer bills will be going up 30% and 60%, respectively, starting April 1, which means you will see the increase in your second quarter bill in July. The Utility Rates Committee will soon recommend final rates, and may suggest eliminating peak rates for summer, which means that the cost of higher summer usage will now be spread across all users throughout the year.
We do not yet know if a Town Hall will be scheduled to present the new rates before our Commissioners vote on them. We will keep you posted via email updates so be sure that we have your email address.
Major new development projects
Several major new commercial developments are underway in the City. In the past few months, plans for 3 new hotels and a large expansion for Clear Space Theatre have been introduced at Planning Commission meetings, and are currently undergoing site plan review. Two projects could affect parking along the streets of CCE.
One of the hotels directly abuts CCE. Called Rehoboth Grand, it will be a 90-room hotel at the corner of Rehoboth Avenue and State Road, on two parcels, one of which is now zoned residential.
Clear Space plans to construct a 295-seat theatre with offices and classrooms in the 400 block of Rehoboth Avenue, on three parcels located next to the Ark. On-site parking requirements have not yet been determined.
The other new hotels are in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue, and on the boardwalk between Rehoboth Avenue and Wilmington Avenue. Please check the city website for Planning Commission and Commissioner meetings where these topics are discussed for any updates this summer.
Summer Season Updates
The new summer season will soon be upon us with increased visitors, pool openings and gatherings. If noise becomes an issue after 11:00 PM, you are encouraged to call the non-emergency number at the Police Department (302-227-2577). They would like to have a record of the “bad players”.
The City of Rehoboth Beach has partnered with the Blood Bank of Delmarva on a blood drive to be held Monday, May 13, from 12 – 6 PM at the Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Avenue. You can book an appointment by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or online at: http://bit.ly/rehobothdrive and use code CORB. The Blood Bank of Delmarva needs 350 donors per day to ensure patients at the 19 hospitals in Delmarva has the blood they need. Please help if you can.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or comments.
C.C. ESTATES NEWS
Country Club Estates Property Owners Association recently lost a cornerstone member of the Association. Our president, Tom Zellers passed on October 22nd, 2019. He and his wife, Lorraine, bought their Rehoboth house in 1998. They rebuilt it from a shack to a lovely home. There was nothing Tom couldn't build or engineer. He always had a project going and was willing to help a neighbor at the drop of a hat. If someone needed a unique tool, Tom always had it.
Locally, he was involved in the Save Our Lakes Alliance (SOLA3) and worked with on DNREC on the dredging of Silver Lake. As president of the Association, he kept the Association up to date on the city's activities. He would walk the community looking for burned out streetlights and report them to Delmarva Power. In the winter he would keep an eye and ear out for water running in case someone had a leak caused by frozen pipes.
Once Tom had a project in mind, if he ran into a negative reply or a roadblock, he would continue to push for what he felt was right for our community. When he had a goal, he would be stubborn in getting it accomplished. He was well known to City Hall employees, enabling him to cut to cut through a lot of red tape!
A couple of his most recent successes were additional picnic tables at the Stockley Tot Lot and its new pavilion.
When talking to Tom, every few minutes he would say,” Do you know what I mean?” It became his signature catch phrase. His hand was always filled with or near a Diet Coke.
Tom, we will miss your guidance, and more importantly your friendship. Thank you for being part of our community.
Stockley St. from Hickman to Scarborough will be paved between now and March 2020. If you live on that street, you will be notified by letter of the date, duration, and construction activity being performed.
Commemorative Tree Fund
The city has relaunched its tree donation program. Each donor to the tree planting fund will have a custom engraved memory leaf attached to local artist Bill Wolfe's tree sculpture in City Hall’s atrium. For more information and donation forms, visit:
Building and Licensing
Be aware, as of September 24, 2019 enclosed spaces of decks, balconies, and porches are being interpreted as part of the sum of the gross floor area (GFA) when calculating the floor area ratio (FAR) .
Comprehensive Development Plan
The results of this summer’s CDP survey are currently being analyzed by the Planning Commission. Results will be discussed in future public meetings of the Planning Commission. The target date for the CDP completion is July 2021.
Rehoboth is currently experiencing one of the largest demolition/rebuild seasons ever. There have been more than 31 demolition permits issued. Currently six properties in Country Club Estates are going through this process.