Restaurants challenge patio enforcement

by Michael Short on October 1, 2010

By Michael Short

Workshop meetings are usually quiet affairs.

But the Monday, Oct. 4 Rehoboth Beach Commissioner’s Workshop session may draw a number of restaurant owners concerned with what they term “selective enforcement.”

Specifically, some restaurant owners feel the city has recently begun enforcing its’ existing patio ordinance which limits the hours that food and alcohol can be served on restaurant patios. Some members of the business community have expressed concern recently over that enforcement.

The ordinance says that alcohol and food cannot be served past 10 p.m. and patrons must leave the restaurant patios by 11 p.m.

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce President Carol Everhart said she will ask the commissioners to consider repealing the ordinance. She said that comes after a Downtown Advisory Committee meeting held on Friday, Oct. 1 by the chamber. That meeting attracted representatives from 26 restaurants concerned about the ordinance.

“The concern was what they consider sudden activation (of the patio ordinance) and selective enforcement. Some business owners were cited and others were not, in their opinion,” Everhart said after Friday’s meeting.

Chamber members received emails on Friday afternoon urging them to contact city officials or show up on Monday morning if they are concerned about the ordinance.

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