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11/21/2017 2:11:12 PM
Email Subject:
The Rope Walk Restaurant (Clarification)

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A Bethany Beach Property Owners Association has sent an email to its members regarding a restaurant (The Rope Walk), that has recently been permitted to be constructed on the site of the old Fish Tales store, located at 107 Garfield Parkway.

 
Since this email has generated concern on the part of some citizens, I thought it would be helpful to clarify the construction, renovation, and application process in Bethany Beach.

Approvals for businesses in Bethany Beach go through three major layers of review if they involve new construction or renovation.

First, is the business a permitted use in our Town Code? In this case the proposed restaurant met the criteria set forth in the code for approval. Just as Bethany Blues, Grottos, Mangos and the Blue Crab have done in the last decade or so, opening and operating in the C1 Zoning district in Town. Attempting to regulate what types of business can be opened or constructed in a commercially zoned area is often fraught with legal issues. Our Town Code lists a reasonable and defensible list of permitted businesses.

In addition setting criteria for what business we “like” and those we don’t, besides being legally problematic, is extremely subjective. What adds more value to downtown Bethany Beach and thus the entire community, restaurants like the Blue Crab or Bethany Blues or the ubiquitous t-shirt/beach equipment store that proliferate in beach towns?

Second, is the exterior design of the restaurant compatible with the Town’s legislated design criteria? In this case the Town’s Commercial Design Review Committee felt that the restaurant met those standards.

Some feel the Town’s Commercial Design Review Committee erroneously permitted a restaurant with a “roof top” dining area. This is simply not true. Similar to other restaurants in Town, like Mango’s and Grottos this restaurant has a second floor dining deck that fronts Garfield Parkway. This deck opens to the street and is immediately adjacent to and across the street from other businesses and will not affect any residential area. This design feature is not prohibited in the C1 Zoning District in Bethany Beach.

The third level of approval requires that the building’s construction complies with all applicable codes and complies with both local and state guidelines in its construction as a restaurant. The Town Code stringently regulates restaurants with any eye to making sure the business cannot become more of a “bar” than restaurant. In this case the proposed building meets all those criteria and the building’s construction has been permitted.

Seating in a restaurant is computed by the size of the restaurant. The developer of the restaurant has applied for a restaurant that will seat 325 people. By comparison Bethany Blues seats 228, Mangos 244, Grottos at the boardwalk 249, and the Blue Crab 289. We have no criteria or regulation that allows the Town to regulate restaurant seating capacity at this time

When presented with a request for a business license and or building permit that comply with Town codes, the Town is left no choice but to issue those licenses or permits. Such is the case with the Rope Walk restaurant.

I hope this information is helpful.

Cliff Graviet

Town Manager



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A Bethany Beach Property Owners Association has sent an email to its members regarding a restaurant (The Rope Walk), that has recently been permitted to be constructed on the site of the old Fish Tales store, located at 107 Garfield Parkway.

Since this email has generated concern on the part of some citizens, I thought it would be helpful to clarify the construction, renovation, and application process in Bethany Beach.

Approvals for businesses in Bethany Beach go through three major layers of review if they involve new construction or renovation.

First, is the business a permitted use in our Town Code? In this case the proposed restaurant met the criteria set forth in the code for approval. Just as Bethany Blues, Grottos, Mangos and the Blue Crab have done in the last decade or so, opening and operating in the C1 Zoning district in Town. Attempting to regulate what types of business can be opened or constructed in a commercially zoned area is often fraught with legal issues. Our Town Code lists a reasonable and defensible list of permitted businesses.

In addition setting criteria for what business we “like” and those we don’t, besides being legally problematic, is extremely subjective. What adds more value to downtown Bethany Beach and thus the entire community, restaurants like the Blue Crab or Bethany Blues or the ubiquitous t-shirt/beach equipment store that proliferate in beach towns?

Second, is the exterior design of the restaurant compatible with the Town’s legislated design criteria? In this case the Town’s Commercial Design Review Committee felt that the restaurant met those standards.

Some feel the Town’s Commercial Design Review Committee erroneously permitted a restaurant with a “roof top” dining area. This is simply not true. Similar to other restaurants in Town, like Mango’s and Grottos this restaurant has a second floor dining deck that fronts Garfield Parkway. This deck opens to the street and is immediately adjacent to and across the street from other businesses and will not affect any residential area. This design feature is not prohibited in the C1 Zoning District in Bethany Beach.

The third level of approval requires that the building’s construction complies with all applicable codes and complies with both local and state guidelines in its construction as a restaurant. The Town Code stringently regulates restaurants with any eye to making sure the business cannot become more of a “bar” than restaurant. In this case the proposed building meets all those criteria and the building’s construction has been permitted.

Seating in a restaurant is computed by the size of the restaurant. The developer of the restaurant has applied for a restaurant that will seat 325 people. By comparison Bethany Blues seats 228, Mangos 244, Grottos at the boardwalk 249, and the Blue Crab 289. We have no criteria or regulation that allows the Town to regulate restaurant seating capacity at this time

When presented with a request for a business license and or building permit that comply with Town codes, the Town is left no choice but to issue those licenses or permits. Such is the case with the Rope Walk restaurant.

I hope this information is helpful.

Cliff Graviet
Town Manager


This complimentary message is being sent to opt-in subscribers who might be interested in its content. If you do not wish to continue receiving these messages, please accept our apologies, and unsubscribe by visiting our website at:

http://www.townofbethanybeach.com/list.asp?mode=del [http://www.townofbethanybeach.com/list.asp?mode=del]

Please note, we will not sell or give your e-mail address to any organization without your explicit permission.

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