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New outdoor dining policies in Rehoboth Beach

Delaware News Desk
At their Oct. 6 special meeting, Rehoboth Beach commissioners approved a policy regarding the use of public outdoor space.

At their Oct. 6 special meeting, Rehoboth Beach commissioners approved a policy regarding the use of public outdoor space. 

Restaurants must have a straight and continuous minimum of five feet of sidewalk in front of any outdoor seating that must be maintained at all times. Space allows pedestrians to move up and down the sidewalks without adjusting their path because of the outdoor seating. The approved policy also requires that outdoor tables be set eight feet apart from each other. A barrier is needed between the tables and the pedestrian path if a restaurant is serving alcohol. Commissioners also approved tents and canopies without sides to be used in outdoor dining areas.

Outdoor heaters that are fueled by propane were also approved. Electric heaters or open flame are not allowed under the policy. The heaters must also be placed at least five feet from a restaurant's entrance and exit. The heaters must be secured and can only be in place during operating hours.

The city's building and licensing staff will continue to work closely with all restaurants for their outdoor seating plan as winter nears.

These policies will stay in effect through March 31, 2021. The commissioners also discussed parklets that convert curbside parking spaces into outdoor dining space. Commissioners will continue discussing outdoor public space logistics at their next special meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 13. Visit cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net/portal for meeting information.

For more, call 227-6181, ext. 522, or email communications@cityofrehoboth.com.