Rehoboth submits 2020 CDP to state for PLUS review

Public comment can still be made Feb. 17 on 200-page document
February 8, 2022

Story Location:
Rehoboth Beach City Hall
229 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

After more than three years of work, Rehoboth Beach submitted its 2020 Comprehensive Development Plan to the state Feb. 1 for Preliminary Land Use Service review.

The city began working on the document in late 2018, but delays forced the city to ask for and receive two one-year extensions from the state. Facing a hard July 2022 deadline, the city needed to get the 200-page document to the state by Feb. 1 for the mandatory PLUS review to have time for more public comment and fine-tuning before handing in the final draft.

In an email Feb. 3, Lynne Coan, city spokesperson, said it’s difficult to pinpoint specific items that may have changed. It’s a different document, in many ways, from top to bottom, starting with the vision statements, she said.

Coan provided a list of changes that was compiled by Wallace Montgomery’s Lauren Good, the second contractor hired to complete the document, and City Planner Tom West. The changes include updating the overall layout, city statistics, maps, visions and goals, and the current facilities for the city’s water, stormwater and sewer management facilities, they said.

The new plan incorporates information on projects that have been completed and code revisions made to manage scale of housing in residential areas, parking, and wastewater system updates, said Good and West.

The new plan includes a discussion on a review and possible development of a mixed-use zone within existing commercial districts to provide additional opportunities, including potential upper-floor housing, said Good and West.

Finally, West and Good said, the new plan incorporated extended descriptions of city neighborhoods and residential architectural forms; provided information on numerous initiatives completed, underway, or expected in near future; incorporated information on climate change and related sea level rise; and highlighted extensive work undertaken related to trees.

Planning Commissioner Chair Michael Bryan said for the city to complete the document by the July 2022 deadline, it was crucial the city make the Feb. 1 filing deadline for PLUS review at the end of the month.

Bryan credited Good for getting the lion’s share of the work done over the past few months, but also added that it’s been a team effort with an enormous amount of time revising the document.

“We realized that the city faced a tight deadline, and many individuals have put in the work necessary to meet it,” said Bryan in an email Feb. 3.

Moving forward, the planning commission is expected to hold a special meeting Thursday, Feb. 17, to gather more public comment on the document. The PLUS review meeting with the state is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 23. The state will have preliminary comments during that meeting, but is expected to have a more comprehensive review back to the city by late March. It is anticipated city commissioners will receive the CDP from the planning commission in April or May.

During the most recent planning commission meeting Jan. 28, planning commission members began discussing the time frame for the next CDP. Good said that because the city is turning in the document in 2022, the state wouldn’t expect a mandatory 5-year look-back before 2027 and a new CDP before 2032. However, some commissioners expressed a desire to push the revision timeline forward to 2025 for the look-back and 2030 for a new CDP to keep the city on the same track it’s always been on. Ultimately, the commissioners decided to keep with the state’s required deadlines for the next CDP, but also to try to move it along to get back on the normal track.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter