Rehoboth commissioners to rule on BeachWalk appeal

Fight over proposed 63-unit development ongoing since June 2015
October 19, 2017

The Rehoboth Beach commissioners will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 20, at the Rehoboth fire hall, to decide whether to dismiss an appeal brought by developers of a proposed 63-unit condominium project.

BeachWalk has applied to redevelop the Rehoboth Beach Plaza shopping center as a condominium development consisting of 58 single-family homes and five multifamily units. BeachWalk developer Keith Monigle first submitted his application in summer 2015, but ran into problems with city building officials over whether he could build more than one structure on a lot.

After receiving a variance from the board of adjustment, the project then proceeded to site-plan review by the planning commission. The project met with opposition from neighbors on nearby Terrace Road, Scarborough Avenue Extended and Lake Drive for its density and layout, as well as from police and fire chiefs for its narrow streets and proposal to close access to the 7.75-acre property from Route 1. BeachWalk’s plan called for making cars turn left from Route 1 south onto Terrace Road to enter the development.

The planning commission eventually ruled that BeachWalk constituted a major subdivision, and asked Monigle and his attorney, Dennis Schrader, to apply as such. They refused, leading the commission to give them 60 more days to file a major subdivision application. When Schrader and Monigle did not file, the commission took no further action.

Schrader appealed the commission’s decision to the city commissioners. The planners then filed a motion to dismiss, saying their non-action was not a final action. Schrader argued that by not taking any further action, the commission was in effect denying BeachWalk’s application.

Commissioner Stan Mills, who will preside over the meeting, said it will start with an executive session to review documents related to the case. He said he was unsure how long that executive session would last. Once the commissioners come out of executive session, they will consider the planning commission’s motion to dismiss the case. The commissioners will ask questions and possibly vote on the motion, Mills said.

Mills, as vice mayor, will chair the meeting because Mayor Paul Kuhns has recused himself from the Beach Walk matter because of a previous relationship with BeachWalk attorney Schrader.

Schrader did not wish to comment on the case ahead of the Oct. 20 meeting.