Bay Mart: Plan is a work in progress
We live within the City of Rehoboth Beach on Silver Lane directly adjacent to and behind the Bay Mart property. The owner of Bay Mart, Keith Monigle, told us a few years ago that he planned to convert the property to beautiful homes.
From our backyard perspective, Bay Mart is currently a vast parking lot with weeds, boat trailers and buildings of rust-stained cement block. We have looked forward to its conversion into a new residential development.
We support Mr. Monigle in his desire to develop Bay Mart. We enjoy the amenities of Rehoboth Beach and applaud the success of the city in enabling developers, restaurants and businesses to thrive. However, in this pro-growth environment, there must be an emphasis on intelligent planning, or smart growth if we are to maintain the beauty and value of our community. Unfortunately, the current plan for the Bay Mart property is not smart.
In its current conception, the streets in this proposed development of 63 homes are so narrow that there is no on-street parking. There are only two parking spaces for each large five- to six-bedroom home. There is no parking for the multitude of vacationing guests who might visit these homes. There seems barely space for large trucks and vans to pass, let alone for these vehicles to stop to service homes. With no sidewalks, pedestrians, bicycles and cars will all share the same narrow streets. And where are these frustrated visitors expected to park? Any plan should prevent this type of chaos.
In the entire 7.7-acre parcel, there seems no plan for the community green spaces or shade trees which Rehoboth encourages with all new residential development. With back and side yards only 10 feet wide, this is a dense collection of homes. There is no provision for the beauty of common green space - which could be a potential trade-off for buildings spaced so closely together.
Poorly conceived developments can fail. If new homeowners are frustrated by access, density and parking, disenchantment can ensue. Instead of a project with robust sales and proud owners, a poorly maintained development can result. This provides no benefit to the owners, the community or the developer.
We look forward to a wise review process by the Rehoboth Beach community. We are hopeful that Mr. Monigle and the community can work together to produce a development which benefits everyone.