Concerns over parking and noise have spurred residents of Beachaven Condominiums to protest an application by Fins Ale House and Raw Bar to build a patio at its Route 1 location.
The protested application will be heard before the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, in Sussex County Council Chambers on The Circle in Georgetown.
The commissioner's office grants or denies applications for liquor licenses, approves or disapproves requests for modifications to licensed establishments, performs inspections and grants renewals of liquor licenses.
The residents of complex, located immediately east of the restaurant off Parsonage Road in Rehoboth, have come together to protest Fins' application for a nearly 3,000 foot expansion. It would allow 40 additional interior seats and a 614-square-foot patio with 40 exterior seats. The application also requests a variance for external speakers.
Commissioner John Cordrey said his office has received 34 letters protesting the application of the Fins project; the minimum number of complaints that triggers a hearing is 10. Cordrey said he's gotten complaints that range from the minimum to a couple hundred.
The majority of the letters were from the Beachaven community. All of the letters from the community were the same, but were signed by a different owner.
The commissioner's office sent a copy of a letter that was written April 26 and received April 30. The letter is clear and to the point.
“I hereby object to the additions identified in the legal notice regarding these premises. Specifically, I object to the addition of a patio with outside dining and speakers,” reads the letter, which moves quickly into saying the owner would not object to the patio if it faced Coastal Highway.
But that's not what the plan calls for.
Jeff Hamer, Fins Ale House and Raw Bar owner, who also owns Fins Fish House and Claws Seafood House, had no comment, saying only the patio was planned for the north side of the building. In this scenario, the patio would be facing the Rehoboth Diner, with Beachaven to the east.
The letter notes that since the restaurant opened earlier this year, there have been problems with parking and trespassing.
“...so it seams clear that some limitations must be established,” the letter reads.
In addition to the Fins protested application, there's a public hearing regarding an application by the Seaside Bar & Grill in Long Neck.
The commissioners office has received complaints regarding the restaurant's application for a restaurant, Sunday and patio license. Also being protested is a request to permit speakers, amplifiers, live entertainment and a wet bar on the patio.
This hearing immediately follows the Fins hearing at 6 p.m.