City Denies Referendum on Zoning Changes

September 4, 2015

Citizens Coalition Praises City Action to Deny Referendum

“We are pleased that the City, after careful review of the petitions, found that there were not enough valid signatures to place the referendum on the ballot”, said Donna Mabry, representing a wide coalition of citizens who support the zoning ordinance, including supporters of Save Our City. “The unnamed outside instigators who seek to undo the action of our elected officials have shown themselves for what they really are – people who will stop at nothing to preserve their own personal financial interests.”After reviewing the signatures on the petitions, Rehoboth Beach city officials made a preliminary finding of 77 deficient signatures, enough to deny the petitioners the opportunity to place the ordinance on the ballot. Petitions included dozens of signers who are not registered to vote in the city, others who registered after the cut off date for the referendum, some who signed petitions more than once, petitions that were not notarized in accordance with state law, and other problems with the petitions.Hundreds of Rehoboth Beach residents appeared at public hearings last Fall, asking the city to do something about noise, swimming pools and other negative impacts of the “mini-hotels” being built in the city’s residential neighborhoods. The zoning ordinance, which was to be the subject of the proposed referendum, was a part of several measures passed by the Commissioners in response to the City’s citizens to meet these growing challenges.“Rehoboth has always been about great neighborhoods and good neighbors,” said Mabry. “We want to be good neighbors, and all we are asking is that the unknown outside forces who want to overturn the ordinance will be good neighbors, too. But increasing noise from swimming pools and decks, and structures that are out of keeping with the neighborhood are evidence that some people are far more interested in financial gain than in being constructive neighbors.”If at a later date, the referendum petitioners do collect enough verified signatures to place it on the ballot, the coalition has pledged to continue their campaign of educating the voters of the advantages of the ordinance. “For us, it’s all about homes, not hotels, in our residential neighborhoods. If investors want to build commercial establishments, let them do so in our successful commercial district,” said Mabry.###