In a world where almost everything is regulated, even President Joe Biden isn’t immune to government bureaucracy.
Months ago, the Cape Gazette reported the Department of Homeland Security, with the Secret Service as the subagency, awarded a $455,000 contract to Rehoboth’s Turnstone Builders for “purchase and installation of security fencing at 32 Farview, Rehoboth Delaware.” That’s the address of Biden’s home in North Shores, about a mile north Rehoboth Beach. He purchased the property in 2017.
At the time, the expected completion date was by the end of 2021. To date, the fence has not been constructed, and a public notice published in the March 15 edition of the Gazette appears to explain why.
According to the notice, which is for an April 4 meeting of the Sussex County Board of Adjustment, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is seeking variances from Sussex County related to the maximum fence height requirement for proposed fences.
In an email March 16, Turnstone CEO Harvey Ryan said there’s nothing to report.
“We are and have been in a holding pattern waiting for approvals,” he said.
The notice does not say how tall the proposed fences are. However, the application’s plans, available for review at the count’s planning and zoning office, do.
According to those plans, the Bidens are looking to build a 4-foot-tall stone wall along the front of the house. County code allows front-yard fences to be 3 1/2-feet tall.
The plans also show a 10-foot-tall fence with stone columns along the sides and a 10-foot-tall aluminum fence along the rear of the house. County code allows for 7-foot-tall walls along those yards.
The information on the awarded contract is available on the website USAspending.gov. According to that website, there have been a few changes to the work order since it was awarded in September. The cost of the project is now approximately $463,000, and plans call for the installation of three 6-by-6-foot gravel pads and crane services. The address has also been removed from the description of the project.
The board’s public hearing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Monday, April 4. An agenda for this meeting will be posted at least seven days in advance of the meeting at sussexcountyde.gov.
Information pertaining to the applications may be reviewed in the county’s planning & zoning office, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.