Rehoboth Neighbors United -- Press Release

Rehoboth
Neighbors
United
Homes, Not Hotels
September 19, 2015
For Immediate Release

New Citizens' Group Supports Zoning Ordinance
With the certification of sufficient signatures to call for a referendum on the recently enacted
zoning ordinance, a special election has been set for November 7, 2015 for residents and
property owners in Rehoboth Beach.  Voters will be asked to vote FOR or AGAINST the
ordinance as passed.
A new coalition of individuals and organizations in the city, called Rehoboth Neighbors United,
has been formed specifically to support the ordinance and encourage citizens to vote FOR it.
"We look forward to the referendum, and are sure that the citizens will support the ordinance
that preserves the quality of life in our neighborhoods", said Susan Gay, speaking for the group.
"Our group will further grow in strength as the facts about the ordinance are discussed further".
The ordinance, passed by a 6-1 majority of the commissioners, ensures the preservation of
green space, and sets new rules for size of houses and setbacks from neighbors' property. The
ordinance was the result of over one year of deliberation.  At least 18 public meetings were held
where information was shared and citizen comment was taken, and city officials received
several hundred calls, letters and emails calling for action. "Let's be honest", said Gay. "This is a
turning point in our city. Will we affirm the ordinance and preserve what is best in the city, or will
the future be determined by the short-term personal financial interests of realtors, developers
and their clients?"
"Gigantic homes, many with six or more bedrooms and baths, have proliferated in the last few
years, and many are being operated as mini-hotels. These homes, entirely out of scale to their
neighborhoods, many with swimming pools, have increased noise and congestion, and
decreased the green space that makes our city so beautiful and unique", said Gay. The result is
that while the owners of these new mini-hotels may reap immediate economic benefit from
rentals to large groups of visitors, the value of their neighbors' property is being decreased due
to these negative effects.  Commercial establishments belong in our commercial zones, and
homes, not hotels, belong in the residential zones."
Over the next several weeks, Rehoboth Neighbors United will answer residents' and property
owners' questions about what the new zoning ordinance means to them.  "A lot of
misinformation is being circulated about the ordinance. As a prime example, many people have
been told that a front porch is no longer permitted under the ordinance. This is simply false. In
fact, the ordinance continues to encourage front porches by allowing additional square footage
for a front porch. It allows owners to build homes with front porches and in the distinctive
architectural style so familiar in Rehoboth Beach."
Gay stated, "Responsible rules and zoning have always increased property values in Rehoboth
Beach and other cities. This ordinance will keep our property values strong, protect the quality
of life in our neighborhoods, and ensure that our community retains its reputation as one of the
very best places in America to live, work and visit."
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