Tree Ordinance to See Updates in Rehoboth Beach - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tree Ordinance to See Updates in Rehoboth Beach

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REHOBOTH BEACH, De. - Some possible changes to a tree ordinance in Rehoboth Beach have people talking. In 2006, the city initiated some of the most strict regulations in the state, in regards to when trees can be cut down. More than seven years later, the city is asking the Planning Commission to provide some updates to the ordinance. 

The ordinance was initially created to protect and maintain the lush variety of trees in the beach city. Mayor Sam Cooper said the ordinance is one of the policies that makes Rehoboth Beach unique. He said the policy has been a success overall, but added that there have been some obstacles along the way. 

"We knew it wasn't going to be perfect," he said. "And we encountered some problems. And we want to see what we can do better." 

The commission has created a variety of suggestions for how to improve the policy, which they will discuss at a meeting Friday evening at the Commissioners' Room at the city town hall. Cooper emphasized that these changes were not a transition away from their policy of preservation. Instead, he said it was just fixing parts that needed repair. 

Some neighbors have expressed discontent with the policy, which has made it difficult to remove trees, without a good reason. The mayor said, opening up communication with these people would be part of the new policy. 

"We want to work with people so it's not overbearing," he said. "But at the same time we need to preserve the trees that are so important." 

The ordinance allows residents to remove trees when they can cause a direct threat to a property. For example, if a tree were very old and nearing imminent collapse, the town would help remove the tree. However the ordinance prevents people from knocking down these trees if it is solely due to an aesthetic reason or if it's out of a desire to expand the property. Some neighbors such as Richard Clausen said they have their concerns about the bureaucracy of it all. 

"If you have something you want to get rid of, it would be nice to just to do it," he said.

Jim beaver, the owner of Beaver Tree Service Inc, a company that helps cut down trees mandated by the city said he has heard concerns like this around Rehoboth Beach.

"Sometimes folks just don't want to rake the leaves up and things like that," he said. "And well that's probably not a good reason to take it out."

Others though told WBOC that this is as good a reason as any, to fix up their own property. 

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