Rehoboth business asks city to upzone neighboring property

Rehoboth Auto Repair owners Richard and Stephanie Marsch would like to expand
September 15, 2022

Story Location:
20663 Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

A request to upzone a Rehoboth Beach property from C3 commercial to C1 commercial along Route 1 has been sent to the city’s planning commission.

Richard and Stephanie Marsch have requested a change in zoning for their property at 20663 Coastal Highway. The couple own Rehoboth Auto Repair, which is located immediately to the east of the property.

During a commissioner workshop Sept. 5, Mayor Stan Mills said a change in the property would allow for a more intensive use, then laid out how the request could be handled. Commissioners can set a public hearing and make the decision themselves, or they can send it to the planning commission for a recommendation, which will take longer.

The Marsches attended the workshop, but their engineer Carlton Savage of Scale Engineering spoke on their behalf. He said the request is for one single reason – the expansion of the auto shop, which isn’t allowed under the C3 designation.

Savage said he recognizes the city isn’t in favor of spot zoning, but the property in question is surrounded by C1 commercial to the north.

Resident Steven Thomas’ backyard off Scarborough Avenue Extended backs up to the Marsch property. He said the auto shop is a good business, but he has some concerns about what kind of fencing would be required if another auto repair building went up. He also had concerns about how the company would ensure chemicals, such as gasoline, would not end up in the yard where his kids play.

Commissioner Patrick Gossett didn’t say he was against the possible rezoning, but he did point out that the city has never upzoned any property. 

Ultimately, commissioners agreed to send the rezoning request to the planning commission for a recommendation. The agenda for the planning commission’s Friday, Sept. 16 meeting has already been set, so the earliest it will be discussed is the October meeting.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter