Letters to the Editor
June 13, 2018
Ever since I decided last month to run for a seat on the Board of Commissioners in the City of Rehoboth Beach, I have been walking around town to speak with voters about their top concerns. The commercialization of our residential neighborhoods is one thing that a lot of homeowners are very worried about, and I share these concerns.
Residential zoning is for residential living. Our neighborhoods in Rehoboth are not the place for investors to operate commercial mini-hotels. Of course, Rehoboth will always be a resort community—and I love the way that the town transforms, this time of year, from its winter slumber to a bustling metropolis downtown. However, we should not give up the peace and quiet in our charming neighborhoods. These lovely residential neighborhoods are a huge part of what brought us to Rehoboth in the first place, and they keep generations of visitors coming back, summer after summer.
I think we can do much more to protect our neighborhoods. This is not a problem unique to Rehoboth Beach, many other cities and towns are doing much more to deal with these issues, and we should be following in these footsteps. We can make reasonable distinctions between, on the one hand, the summertime rentals that have a long tradition in Rehoboth, and on the other hand, the new phenomenon of investor-owned houses that are dedicated to by-the-night stays, hotel-style, all year long. These mini-hotels are driving away the homeowners and long-term renters. These are business investments that abuse the residential zoning and unfairly compete against the downtown hotels and legitimate B&Bs.
I support a thriving business community in Rehoboth, but let's please keep it downtown, and not in our residential neighborhoods.