Rehoboth Beach Zoning Referendum Passes in Historic Special Elec - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Zoning Referendum Passes in Historic Special Election

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. -- The Rehoboth Beach zoning ordinance referendum passed 785 to 697 in a historic special election.

City Solicitor Glen Mandalas said the referendum the largest voter turnout in the city's history. Mandalas said about 1,700 residents registered to vote when typically only about 1,200 do so. About 1,690 people actually voted, which the city solicitor said far surpasses voter turnout since 1995.

There were about 845 absentee ballots, according to Mandalas. Usually, the absentee ballot count is under 360. The city solicitor said the special election numbers demonstrate the interest property owners have had in the zoning ordinance, and also mentioned more voters turned out for the zoning referendum than for any general election in the city.

The referendum passing means the city will keep the current zoning ordinance that was passed over the summer and sets house size limits, new setback requirements and increases green space among other things.

It's a victory for Rehoboth property owners who want to maintain the city's charm and character, and a loss for opponents who have said the ordinance is too restrictive.

The polls opened at 11 Saturday morning at the Rehoboth Beach Fire Department.

A city commissioner says more than 700 people came out to vote Saturday.

The ordinance was passed in July as a way to maintain the character of the beach town, reduce noise, and traffic problems.

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