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Clear Space files lawsuit challenging site plan denial

A group trying to build a new theatre complex in downtown Rehoboth Beach is now suing the city for that opportunity.

The Clear Space Theatre Company has been eyeing two empty lots right on Rehoboth Avenue for years. The company bought the property back in 2019 — and has since found itself caught in the middle of a battle between the city’s planning commission and the Board of Commissioners. 


The Board of Commissioners voted to reject the planning commissions site plan approval a second time last month, arguing the approval process was flawed.


Now, Clear Space Theatre is filing a lawsuit in Superior Court seeking to reverse that decision.


Clear Space could not be reached for comment, and the City of Rehoboth Beach says it does not comment on ongoing legal matters.


Just this month, Rehoboth Beach brought on city planner Tom West to help address issues like this before they happen.


Some City Commissioners say they’re not opposed to the theatre plan, but want to ensure the site approval process is done correctly.


The court will review all of the past proceedings and site plan approvals to determine if Clear Space should be allowed to build its new theatre.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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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