Bethany Beach to Ban Canopies - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bethany Beach to Ban Canopies

Posted: 12/12/2017 14:58:00 -05:00 Updated:

BETHANY BEACH, Del.- After receiving more than 1,200 responses to an online survey, the town of Bethany Beach has plans to ban canopies and tents on their beaches, as 70 percent of respondents said they'd like to see the shading devices go.

"When it's overwhelming-- 70 plus percent versus 30--it's more of a mandate to do something," says Councilmember Rosemary Hardiman, who managed the survey. She says many people expressed frustration of people setting up canopies and leaving them unattended for hours.

"They take up a lot of space, the early set up, the navigation issues--I think those were some of the issues that really drove people's thoughts on them," she tells WBOC. "Plus the fact that each year they seem to proliferate more and more."

On Tuesday, the council voted to have the town's Charter and Ordinance Committee draft an ordinance that would officially create the ban. Next, the council must read the ordinance twice before voting. With that in mind, Mayor Jack Gordon says the ban could first be in place in Feburary, well ahead of the summer season.

"That's the time frame for it so that we can notify people way ahead of time," he says. "So everybody will be aware of the way we are going in Bethany."

The lone vote against the ban was Vice Mayor Lew Killmer, who said he fears it could hurt tourism.

"We get a reputation along the coast [that] you can't have any fun here," he says. "I think this is just sending the wrong thing. If it was really a serious problem, we could've dealt with it, but I think we are trying to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed." 

Killmer had also suggested that if it were to be approved, the ban be put into effect in 2019.

"At least we should wait a year to sit there and make sure that people understand what the future rules are rather than kind of embarrassing them," he says.

Once the ordinance is written, the council will determine if the ban will be year-round or just in the summer months, and how it will be enforced. 


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