It hasn’t been easy, but the Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission is nearing completion of a rough draft for the city’s 2020 Comprehensive Development Plan. If everything goes as expected, the public will have a chance to view the rough draft no later than the end of October.
During a special planning commission meeting Aug. 28, Chair Rick Perry said tremendous progress has been made on the document and there’s a lot of good information in it. This is going to be a product the planning commissioners can all be proud of, and it will be of great benefit to the city, he said.
This CDP isn’t going to be a document that sits on the shelves somewhere and collects dust, said Perry. It’s a document that will be vibrant and alive, helping steer decisions and being used for reference for years to come.
The state requires all municipalities to go through a rewrite of their comprehensive plan every 10 years. After the town finishes the plan, it is submitted to the state, which then vets the plan through the Preliminary Land Use Service review. Once state approval is given, the comprehensive plan becomes enforceable under law.
Rehoboth’s 2020 CDP creation process began in 2018, but basically started over in late 2019 after a significant overhaul of who was on the planning commission. Then in early 2020, the planning commission’s community expos, scheduled for March 21 and April 4, were among the first city events canceled because of COVID-19.
Instead of conducting the community expos, the planning commission, led by Vice Chair Jeffrey Trunzo, identified and interviewed all the local organizations, groups and individuals that wanted to contribute to the information-gathering process.
During a special planning commission meeting Aug. 28, Debbie Pfeil, a planning manager for KCI, said she expects to have a rough draft of the plan to the planning commissioners by Friday, Sept. 11. Commissioners will have two weeks to respond with comments, she said. KCI is the company hired by the city to help guide it through the plan-creation process.
A public presentation of the rough draft is expected in mid- to late October, said Pfeil. Along with that, and before the plan is submitted to the state, the plan will be given to surrounding communities – Lewes, Henlopen Acres, Dewey Beach and Sussex County – to get their opinions, she said.
At this point, said Pfeil, the document is over 250 pages. The land-use section hasn’t even been completed yet, she said.
Pfeil said the current CDP has a lot of desires, but not much data to back them up. This new plan will have a lot of data to support the suggestions and recommendations that are going to be made, she said.