Rehoboth couple seeks reconsideration in Bay Mart case

Previous motion to intervene was denied
July 16, 2018

A Rehoboth Beach couple seeking to intervene in a case that pits a developer against the Rehoboth commissioners, has asked a Superior Court judge to reconsider their request.

Carol and Jim Tello filed the motion five days after Judge E. Scott Bradley denied their original motion to join the case filed by Ocean Bay Mart against the Rehoboth commissioners.

The Tellos own property on Terrace Road adjacent to Rehoboth Beach Plaza shopping center. Owner Keith Monigle, doing business as Ocean Bay Mart LLC, is seeking to redevelop the property as a 63-unit condominium development known as BeachWalk.

Bradley ruled June 20 that the Tellos had no relevant interest in the property. On June 25, the Tellos asked for their motion to be reconsidered, arguing that Bradley misapplied the law and that as adjacent property owners, they have an interest in how a neighboring property is developed. They say city and county code specify that property owners who live within 200 feet of a property subject to a land-use application must be given notification, meaning those property owners have a material interest.

BeachWalk was first proposed in the summer of 2015. Plans call for the 7.75-acre parcel to be redeveloped as 58-single family homes and a five-unit apartment complex. Because the development was proposed as a condominium, the developer does not intend to subdivide the property into separate lots.

The proposed development immediately drew controversy. Plans called for most of the houses to be five or six bedrooms with five to six bathrooms. The development would be accessed by 20-foot-wide  “drive aisles,” half the width of city-mandated streets. Police and fire officials opposed the plan to cut off access to the property from a Route 1 traffic signal and instead force a U-turn on Route 1 to get to an entrance on Terrace Road.

Building inspector Dam Molina denied Ocean Bay Mart a building permit for the development, citing a rule in city code saying no more than one building can be built on a lot. That decision was appealed to the Board of Adjustment, which overruled Molina and sent the case to the planning commission for site plan review. The commission determined that BeachWalk was a major subdivision and should submit plans as such. Monigle refused and appealed to the city commissioners, who upheld the planning commission’s ruling. The commissioners’ decision was then appealed to Superior Court, where the city has moved to have the case dismissed.

Ocean Bay Mart’s attorney, Richard Forsten, is asking Bradley to allow him to address arguments made by the city in its motion to dismiss. The city’s attorney, Max Walton, argued that unless new issues are raised, Ocean Bay Mart should not be allowed further response to the city’s motion.

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