Lot "Unmerging" Hotly Debated in Rehoboth Beach - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lot "Unmerging" Hotly Debated in Rehoboth Beach

Posted:
REHOBOTH BEACH, De. - The process of making a one lot property into two lots, is creating some debate in Rehoboth Beach. The process of putting two individual lots into one is called "merging," and when a landowner then decides to split these into two plots of land instead, it is called "unmerging" or "subdividing." Now a recent decision by the building inspector's office, may take away the Planning Commission's oversight of the "unmerging" process. 

For decades, it's been a common practice in the city for the Planning Commission to grant the go ahead before these subdivisions could take place, but after a series of challenges to this, the Chief Building Inspector has made a decision to change this policy. 

Over the last six years, five different homes have tried to "unmerge" without permission from the Planning Commission, getting denied by the building inspector's office. Each time, the property owners appealed this decision to the Board of Adjustments, where the decision was over-ruled. After being challenged and over-ruled five times in a row, Chief Building Inspector Terri Sullivan has decided to allow these "unmergers" without permission from the Planning Commission. 

"As you are aware, merger of lots has been the subject of considerable debate for some time," she said in a memo. 

She continued later on in the memo with the following: 

"Having been reversed by the Board of Adjustment on numerous occasions, the Building and Licensing Department has revised its merger policy," she said. 

WBOC sat down with Sullivan Tuesday to discuss the reasoning for the memo. 

"The attorneys that are representing these clients disagreed with my interpretation," she said. "The Planning Commission is a body that sees things one way and apparently the Board of Adjustment sees it another way." 

And this discrepancy has left her office in the middle. While the Planning Commission's regulatory role in "merging" is clearly defined, when it comes to "unmerging," it's less clear who is responsible for oversight. Sullivan said the only solution to this discrepancy is for the commissioners to clarify it though a new ordinance.

In October, the Planning Commission submitted a report to the commissioners urging them to take action on this. On Monday, the commissioners held a workshop to discuss the issue. WBOC met with Commissioner Stan Mills at a property on Maryland Avenue that was most recently granted permission to subdivide without permission from the Planning Commission.

He said action needs to be done in order to decide which board's perspective would be the town's official opinion. He said many neighbors would be concerned about rampant subdividing if it's not done within city guidelines. 

"Pretty much everyone I know in Rehoboth Beach doesn't like change," he said. "So certainly subdividing and tearing down one house and putting up two is always perhaps frowned upon. But again the property owners have certain legal rights that we have to adhere to." 

With or without the Planning Commission's oversight, these mergers will have to adhere to specific regulations. To be subdivided, the lots must have a minimum area of at least 5,000 ft, it must have at least 50 ft. of frontage on the street, and it must be large enough to contain a rectangle of at least 4,000 square feet in area with it's shortest side measuring 48 feet.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Body Found in Pocomoke River

    Body Found in Pocomoke River

    Monday, June 26 2017 1:36 PM EDT2017-06-26 17:36:37 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 1:50 PM EDT2017-06-26 17:50:13 GMT

    Worcester County Sheriff's Department have confirmed a dead body was found on Monday morning in the Pocomoke River.  

    More

    The Worcester County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a body was found Monday morning in the Pocomoke River. 

    More
  • Delaware Lawmakers Eye Gender Identity Protections

    Delaware Lawmakers Eye Gender Identity Protections

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:50 AM EDT2017-06-27 05:50:30 GMT
    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:51 AM EDT2017-06-27 05:51:15 GMT

    Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

    More

    Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

    More
  • *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:32 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:32:15 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-06-27 02:53:01 GMT
    Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Arrested for Heroin Possession During Traffic Stop

    Two Arrested for Heroin Possession During Traffic Stop

    Monday, June 26 2017 4:59 PM EDT2017-06-26 20:59:56 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 5:07 PM EDT2017-06-26 21:07:55 GMT
    Two people were arrested after deputies found heroin during a traffic stop.Two people were arrested after deputies found heroin during a traffic stop.

    Two people were arrested after a traffic stop lead to a heroin bust, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office. 

    More

    Two people were arrested after a traffic stop lead to a heroin bust, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office. 

    More
  • *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:32 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:32:15 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-06-27 02:53:01 GMT
    Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More
  • Two Inmates Treated for Suspected Overdoses at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna

    Two Inmates Treated for Suspected Overdoses at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna

    Monday, June 26 2017 8:41 PM EDT2017-06-27 00:41:25 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 8:41 PM EDT2017-06-27 00:41:25 GMT
    The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)
    DOVER, Del. -- Two inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna were treated for suspected overdoses last week, correctional officials said. Jayme Gravell, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Correction, said two inmates were treated with Narcan and became responsive following medical treatment during separate incidents on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Gravell declined to give more details about the nature of the suspected overdoses, including the ...More
    DOVER, Del. -- Two inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna were treated for suspected overdoses last week, correctional officials said. Jayme Gravell, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Correction, said two inmates were treated with Narcan and became responsive following medical treatment during separate incidents on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Gravell declined to give more details about the nature of the suspected overdoses, including the ...More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Delaware Girl Falls From Six Flags Ride

    Delaware Girl Falls From Six Flags Ride

    A teenager fell about 25 feet from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, falling into a crowd of park guests and employees who had gathered to catch her.

    The 14-year-old girl was from Greenwood, Delaware, and was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition and with no serious injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Her identity has not been released.

    More

    A teenager fell about 25 feet from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, falling into a crowd of park guests and employees who had gathered to catch her.

    The 14-year-old girl was from Greenwood, Delaware, and was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition and with no serious injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Her identity has not been released.

    More
  • Del. State Police Searching for Alleged Drug Dealer

    Del. State Police Searching for Alleged Drug Dealer

    Delaware State Police are searching for an alleged drug dealer after they say he disappeared from the Dover Mall Wednesday night.

    More

    Delaware State Police are searching for an alleged drug dealer after they say he disappeared from the Dover Mall Wednesday night.

    More
  • Law Enforcement Warns Against the Use of Dirt Bike's on Salisbury's Streets

    Law Enforcement Warns Against the Use of Dirt Bike's on Salisbury's Streets

    Law enforcement warns against the dangers of dirt biking on public streets.

    With the warmer weather, police said they have seen an uptick in dirt biking throughout Salisbury.

    Lieutenant Jason King from the Salisbury Police Department said, "A lot of times they aren't paying attention to traffic on the roadway and people who may be walking in neighborhoods and its just not safe to do those kind of things."

    More

    Law enforcement warns against the dangers of dirt biking on public streets.

    With the warmer weather, police said they have seen an uptick in dirt biking throughout Salisbury.

    Lieutenant Jason King from the Salisbury Police Department said, "A lot of times they aren't paying attention to traffic on the roadway and people who may be walking in neighborhoods and its just not safe to do those kind of things."

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices