Dewey Beach Enterprises Files Suit To Invalidate Dewey Beach Ordinance

by Dave on August 13, 2010

A preliminary draft rendering shows what Ruddertowne could look like in the future. Click for larger version of rendering.

In the latest chapter in the saga over the future of the Ruddertowne property, Dewey Beach Enterprises filed suit yesterday in the Delaware Court of Chancery seeking to invalidate Ordinance 682, which was enacted by the Dewey Beach Town Council on July 10 of this year.

In their statement, Dewey Beach Enterprises claims that “the enactment of Ordinance 682 continues a sustained, three-year pattern by Dewey Beach officials to harass, intimidate, and unlawfully hinder DBE from constructing its proposed mixed-use commercial, hotel, and residential structure at Ruddertowne.”

Among the claims in the lawsuit:

  • that the Ordinance effectively delegates legislative power to grant zoning variances to the voting citizens of Dewey Beach in contravention of State law; and
  • that by mandating a unanimous vote of all acting Commissioners to amend the Dewey Beach Code, the Ordinance violates the procedural requirements mandated by the General Assembly in the Dewey Beach Town Charter. The Dewey Beach Town Charter specifically designates a quorum for purposes of a vote as “a majority of the Commissioners appointed or elected to the Town Commissioners of Dewey Beach,” Dewey Beach Town Charter Section 12, and permit amendments by “affirmative vote of a majority.”

“It is past time to put Delaware back to work, and yet for three years out-of-state interests have held Dewey Beach hostage and have chosen political and legal obstruction over the needs of working families in Delaware,” stated DBE president E. Thomas Harvey III.

“In addition to providing new revenue to the Town of Dewey Beach, to Sussex County, and to the State of Delaware, this project will generate good-paying jobs. This unwarranted delay has been unnecessary and unconscionable,” Mr. Harvey added.

Click here to read the Dewey Beach Enterprises v. Town of Dewey Beach, et al complaint filing. (PDF file)

We will update the story as more information becomes available.

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