Dewey commissioners to vote on zoning changes Jan. 8

Ordinance sets maximum home size, number of stories, setbacks
January 6, 2021

Dewey Beach commissioners are set to vote Jan. 8 on a host of proposed zoning changes researched and submitted by the planning commission, and debated by town council and residents for about two years. 

A possible vote on the issue scheduled for Nov. 13 was tabled, because commissioners said they were not ready to vote after hearing from each other and residents. At the time, town solicitor Fred Townsend said commissioners could submit comments to him so he could write alternatives to the proposed ordinance.

The planning and zoning commission was tasked with simplifying parts of the zoning code for easier enforcement by building officials, and addressing concerns about overbuilding in the north end of town.

Up for consideration is the use of square footage, not floor area ratio, to determine maximum home size. 

In the Neighborhood Residential district, planners recommend a maximum home size of 4,500 square feet on lots smaller than 7,500 square feet, and a maximum home size of 5,200 square feet on lots larger than 7,500 square feet. In the Resort Residential area, maximum home size would be set at 5,100 square feet.

In the NR district, planners proposed changing the maximum number of stories from 2.5 to 3 and requiring a minimum roof pitch of 4/12. Roof decks would be prohibited in the NR district, and tiered setbacks would no longer be required.

Minimum setback requirements in the NR district for a side yard abutting a side street would be reduced from 15 to 8 feet. In the Resort Business-3 district, side-yard setbacks would be set at 10 feet.

Basements would be permitted as long as state regulations are followed. A minimum 15 percent of the home lot area should be dedicated to plantings and beautification efforts, with 50 percent of this requirement located in the front yard.

The virtual public hearing and meeting is set for 12 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8. A link to the meeting is available at


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