Rehoboth Beach Debates Large Rental Homes - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Debates Large Rental Homes

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - From setbacks and lot coverage to noise control and pool permits, a hodge-podge of ordinances are being discussed in Rehoboth Beach. This is all to deal with what some neighbors call a problem with large rental homes.

The debate all began as a discussion over pools, adjacent to large rental homes, that can hold 20 to 30 people at a time. Many neighbors voiced concerns with the city council, citing noise and lighting as a problem. In the aftermath of this, the city initiated a moratorium on the permitting or construction of new pools in October.

Just a month away from the end of the pool moratorium, the city council is not only finishing up on pool and noise ordinances, but also beginning discussions on more zoning ordinances in regards to these large rental homes.

Mayor Sam Cooper said that ideas being tossed around included increasing setback requirements, increasing the number of minimum parking spots for additional bedrooms, and most notably decreasing lot coverage from 50 percent of the lot to just 40 percent.

"There's been a number of new homes in the last year," said Cooper. "Being operated in a fashion that they're really just commercial ventures."

At the council's latest meeting, a consultant - Kyle Gulbronson - recommended the latest ideas. Cooper said that these recommendations could help to balance the scale between residential and commercial or semi-commercial rental homes.

"It's breeding a different atmosphere," he said of the rental units.

Many neighbors have voiced their concern with the proposed ordinances though, saying these rental homes have a right to set up shop. One of those residents is Ellen Copeland, who WBOC caught up with in South Rehoboth. 

"If you buy a property you should be able to build the house you want," she said. "If you want to build it as a rental unit, you should be able to do that."

The pool moratorium is set to expire on April 17th, but Cooper said that it will end sooner if a new pool ordinance can be passed.

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