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Rehoboth Beach commissioners plan for outdoor dining, retail

Delaware News Desk
Sussex Countian

After multiple discussions, the Rehoboth Beach commissioners agreed on May 26 to permit businesses to use the city sidewalks through July 31.

Restaurants may apply to use sidewalks for outdoor seating beginning June 1. The application is available online at cityofrehoboth.com. Also beginning June 1, merchants may use up to three feet from their storefront to display wares without an application. Business sidewalk usage must take into account Americans with Disabilities Act and social distancing requirements.

Also decided by the commissioners was the utilization of parking spaces as a pedestrian walkway. The new walkway will be located in the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue on the north and south sides with median parking still available. This area will remain open to two lanes of traffic in each direction. The Bandstand circle will remain open to vehicular traffic with 30-minute metered parking. The new walkway will be ADA accessible and ADA parking will remain. Delivery, public transportation and emergency vehicle access will be maintained.

Installation of the perimeter with jersey barriers will begin on the north side of Rehoboth Avenue on May 29, and the south side May 30. The walkway is anticipated to be in place through July 31. The city staff is also working on a future plan for a pedestrian walkway on First Street between Baltimore Avenue and Wilmington Avenue. Commissioners determined the new walkway was necessary to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the expanded use of the sidewalks downtown while social distancing.

The commissioners relied on public input, with Rehoboth Beach Main Street’s Survey Summary being key for their decision. The summary reported 81 respondents from the business community, with 64% requesting the use of city sidewalks. Ultimately, the decision was based on sustaining the business district’s economic vitality, which is important to the community.

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