Rehoboth Beach Commissioners Address Vacation Rentals - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Commissioners Address Vacation Rentals

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Rehoboth Beach commissioners consider vacation rentals ordinance at November's workshop. (Photo: WBOC) Rehoboth Beach commissioners consider vacation rentals ordinance at November's workshop. (Photo: WBOC)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Just days after a controversial referendum on house sizes, the Rehoboth Beach Commissioners have moved on to yet another topic at a Monday workshop: vacation rentals. 

Neighbors, realtors, and commissioners gathered for the workshop Monday morning, to discuss a potential ordinance on these rentals, among other issues. A vacation rental is defined as a property, which is rented for less than 120 days, excluding month-to-month rentals. 

At the workshop, commissioners weighed a number of possible actions including occupancy limits, mandatory inspections, additional licensing, and the creation of a local contact person for each property. Monday's meeting was a continuation of past discussions at a meeting in August.

Neighbor Linda Kauffman spoke at the meeting, and said regulations were needed to maintain the character of the town. 

"There's concern in the community," she said. "About the proliferation - about what's happening in the city mostly prompted b the larger places." 

Others in town, especially those in the realtor community, have voiced opposition to parts of the proposed ordinance. That included Karen Cordry, who said it was disheartening to see what she called an attack on rental properties. 

"It's just one ordinance after another, after another," she said. "And for them to call every rental property a 'mini-hotel' - it just seems like there's  been a real attempt to push back on the concept that Rehoboth has a lot of renters during the summer. And that's where it makes its money. That's what it lives off of."

The commissioners decided to do further research on nearly every aspect of the discussion. Commissioner Stan Mills said it could be months before an ordinance is introduced. Mayor Sam Cooper did not participate in Monday's discussion, and has recused himself from the topic since he owns rental properties. 

The vacation rentals ordinance would be the latest in a number of ordinances, targeting the spread of large homes in town. In July, the commissioners passed a controversial zoning ordinance that attempted to decrease house sizes. This ordinance was challenged by a group of neighbors, leading to a referendum on Saturday. By a vote of 785 to 697, residents decided they would affirm the zoning ordinance. 

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