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Dewey Beach commissioners split on zoning changes

Delaware Public Media

Dewey Beach Commissioners remain undecided on changing the town’s zoning regulations.


Commissioners in Dewey Beach have discussed changing some of the town’s building regulations for years. 


Friday, they held a public hearing to hear concerns about the changes. A majority of the comments were about changing the required setback for side yards in corner lot homes.


David Jasinski is one of the commissioners against the shrinkage of the setback.


“What I just wanna make sure my commissioners understand is, when you’re making this change, if you change it to 8 feet, you’re reflecting the wishes of the people with the corner lots, but you’re not reflecting the wishes of the community as a whole," said Jasinski. "Candidly, a lot of people weighed in loud and clear who don’t have corner lots that they don’t wanna see this.”


The current required setback is 15 feet, and commissioners are looking at changing that to 12 or 8 feet, allowing people to build their home closer to the street.


Many corner lot homeowners voiced their displeasure with the possible change to 12 feet, some say they don’t have large properties to begin with, and having the smaller 8 foot setback would allow them to have a roomier home.


Another area of contention is changing the maximum allowed house size. Commissioners are looking at shrinking the maximum square footage of houses in the area to match the character of the town.


Commissioner Paul Bauer says he’s worried the changes could discourage new residents.


“You know we’re voting on taking away something that someone has today and I think we’ve heard that a lot of people talk about building their dream home and we want people to build their dream homes here in Dewey Beach, we wanna see that continue,” said Bauer


Commissioners vote on the changes at February’s meeting. 


Also during the town meeting, commissioners got an update on 5G rollout in the town. 


Assistant town manager Jim Dedes says he’s resisting granting building permits to telecom companies that want to install multiple large cell towers at the ends of the beaches.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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