The Rehoboth Beach Commissioners recently adopted an ordinance to amend Chapter 95, Beaches, relating to restrictions on fires, cooking devices, umbrellas, baby tents and other fixtures on the beach.

The new law defines an acceptable beach umbrella as having “…a circular shade no greater than 8 feet in diameter.” In the law, an umbrella is also defined as “…a collapsible circular shade stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole no greater than 7-feet-6-inches in height, and without grounding lines, ropes or sides are permitted on the beach.”

Baby tents, up to 36 inches high by 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep, may be used to shade infants and small children. This means that, with the exception of umbrellas and baby tents, tarps, cabanas, pavilions, tents, sport-brellas or any material mounted on supports are prohibited from being placed on the beach.

The adoption of the new law was driven by public safety concerns and is meant to promote safety from fires and eliminate the number of tents on the beach. From a public safety standpoint, the ever-growing popularity of the beach tents in certain locations in the beach area makes it difficult for an emergency medical services unit or other emergency responders to get through this line of tents to the beach and water in a timely manner.

Couples getting married on the beach may incorporate a tent as part of their ceremony as long as they have a Beach Wedding Permit. Requests must be submitted as part of a special event permit.

For permit information, visit cityofrehoboth.com.