An already tight deadline challenged by change in Rehoboth Beach's CDP consultant
A meeting with Rehoboth Beach’s new Comprehensive Development Plan coordinator left Planing Board members with more questions.
Rehoboth Beach hired a new consultant to complete its Comprehensive Development Plan, after the current one announced she’s leaving the consulting firm.
And the transition is leaving members of the Planning Commission frustrated, noting the almost two and half years it’s taken to get this project finalized.
Commissioners, including Steve Kaufman, say there hasn’t been enough transparency in the process.
“I came on the Planning Commission in January 2020,” said Kaufman. “And the CDP process had already started in 2018. It’s now a full year and nine months later, and I’ve not, nor has any other member of the planning commission seen one word of this draft. It’s time for us to start to see as much of it as we can now.”
Planning Commission members also argue with such a tight timeline, there won’t be room for much public comment.
Planning Commission member Julie Davis says she’s concerned about the outdated public input currently being used to guide the plan, a survey conducted in the first half of 2019.
“We’re not going to have much time or opportunity for any other public input and I would hate to see this plan depend on the results of that survey — or depend in large part on the results of that survey which is already over two years old,” Davis said. “And the responses to which in many respects I suspect are very much out of date.”
Davis says the pandemic changed so much about the town, and more public input is needed to guide the future of this plan.
Mayor Stan Mills says the schedule needs to be swift, since the city needs to approve the document by July 2022.
The city’s new consultant, Wallace Montgomery, plans to release the first draft to city staff by mid October, and the public won’t get a chance to see it until the beginning of next year.
Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.