Ruling expected in Stingray case

February 27, 2013

A decision on the civil case involving Stingray Sushi Bar and Asian Latino Grill in Rehoboth Beach is now in the hands of a Delaware Superior Court judge.

Judge E. Scott Bradley is expected to rule on the case within the next 60 to 90 days.

Bradley’s decision would culminate what has been a two-year grind through the court system for Stingray’s case against the Rehoboth board of adjustment. Stingray appealed the board’s denial of a variance that would allow the restaurant to build a 750-square foot outdoor patio. Stingray had previously been denied by the city commissioners for a permit of compliance because the patio was an expansion of Stingray’s square footage. The restaurant exceeds 5,000 square feet but was grandfathered in when the zoning code was adopted in 1991. City code mandates that an expansion of a nonconforming use requires a variance.

Stingray attorney John Paradee argued at a Feb. 19 hearing, as Stingray has all along, that the patio is not an expansion of the restaurant’s square footage. Paradee said court was the only option left for Stingray, and that the board applied an arbitrary standard, different from the standard used for restaurants like Grotto Pizza, The Greene Turtle and The Cultured Pearl, which also exceed 5,000 square feet.

Although each attorney was allowed to speak at the brief, 15-minute hearing, Dan Griffith, attorney for the city, said he had nothing further.

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