Rehoboth Parking Advisory Committee Finalizes 2020 Recommendations
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - After 10 months of meetings, members of the Rehoboth Beach Parking Advisory Committee are finalizing recommendations to make to the city for parking next summer. The committee wrapped up two major parking topics during its meeting on Tuesday.
"2,2,2" is the name for one recommendation the committee voted in favor of on Tuesday. This means limiting the number of free residential permits each property owner can have to two permanent, two transferable or hang tag, and two scooter permits. Additional permits would still be available for purchase through the city.
"Currently there's an unlimited amount of permits that can be issued," says Parking Advisory Committee Chair Linda Kauffman.
Last year the committee recommended the city limit the number of residential parking permits. On Tuesday it voted to make the same recommendation again.
Kauffman says there are a variety of reasons for that. "One is to get people to use their driveways more often," she says. "The second is that it's a pretty valuable commodity that the city is just giving away."
"You can't have every place here be like bed and breakfast because you're not going to have enough parking for everybody," says Bill Hatzinikolau, who lives on Country Club Drive and has another home he rents out on Munsen Street.
Hatzinikolau sees why this could upset visitors who stay together in large groups. "Let's say two come from Jersey, two come from Maryland, two come from Pennsylvania and they say 'what are we going to do,'" he says. "We're not going to have enough parking permits."
The parking committee says its recommendation encourages carpooling.
Another big topic of discussion during Tuesday's meeting was changing the season that meters are in effect. Due to conflicting opinions, the committee decided that it would be best to keep meter season the way it is. Meters are on in Rehoboth Beach from the Friday before Memorial Day through the second Sunday after Labor Day.
"Meters create turnover," says Kauffman. "The big debate was what is the season. If it's important to have meters in the middle of the summer, isn't September still the season?" she asks. "Some of the merchants and businesses that expressed their concern through one of the committee members is that it drives people away."
Carol Dryer, who owns Odysea, thinks the city's current meter season is sufficient. She does say that meters could help drive business on Rehoboth Avenue further into the off-season.
"You come downtown and you think it's busy, but it's not," says Dryer. "It's a lot of employees."
The committee will present its recommendations at the next commissioners meeting on Dec. 9. It will also consider the options for changing meter season in the future. Kauffman says the committee will look at meter revenues and work to determine when peak season is.