As Phase 1 of the state’s economic reopening is set to start Monday, June 1, Rehoboth Beach employees have installed barricades along Rehoboth Avenue blocking parking spaces to give restaurants more space for outdoor seating and to allow more area for social distancing.
Rehoboth Beach commissioners recently agreed on a plan to allow businesses to use the sidewalks for outdoor seating and close down parking spaces along the sidewalk from Second Street to the Bandstand.
In addition, parking spaces in the First Street business district – from Baltimore Avenue to Wilmington Avenue – will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow businesses to use the sidewalks. The area around the Bandstand will remain open to cars but parking will be limited to 30 minutes only. Parking will remain open in the median spaces down Rehoboth Avenue. Handicapped parking on Rehoboth Avenue will also remain open.
City spokeswoman Krys Johnson said the city figures to lose 200 parking spaces. The commissioners agreed to evaluate the plan every 15 days, with the first evaluation on Tuesday, June 16.
The plan, finalized during a May 26 commissioners’ meeting, is part of an effort by city officials to reopen businesses after Gov. John Carney announced Phase 1 of reopening from lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Carney’s reopening plan allows for restaurants to operate at 30 percent capacity beginning Monday, June 1.
Rehoboth Beach Main Street solicited input from the business community through a survey for how to move forward with reopening. The city and businesses agreed that the first priority is public health, so they are seeking to get the economy humming again while maintaining social distance protocols. The businesses recommended blocking off parking spaces in the central business district, allowing for the businesses to serve people outdoors, making up for indoor space that cannot be used to comply with capacity requirements, while allowing pedestrians to walk the streets and maintain distance.
Under the city’s plan, retail establishments will be allowed to place items out on the sidewalk no more than 3 feet from the front of the store.
Thanks to Suburban Propane, 300 barricades were located from as far away as Gainesville, Va. Ben Carroll, of Suburban Propane, worked with commissioners to locate the barricades, and manger Dominick Venezia coordinated the effort of getting the barricades delivered to Rehoboth Beach.
Calls should go to city, Main Street
Due to the high volume of calls about the barricades directed to the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, the chamber released the following:
The plan was approved by Rehoboth commissioners and created by Rehoboth Beach Main Street and not The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. All questions, compliments or concerns should be directed to either Rehoboth Beach Main Street at 302-227-2772, firstname.lastname@example.org or City of Rehoboth Beach at 302-227-6181 ext. 522, Communications@cityofrehoboth.com.