When the Town of Bethany Beach decided to issue a non-binding referendum regarding a proposal to rezone the property that the Bethany Arms Motel now sits on, and an adjacent property, to Commercial Lodging (CL-1), there were some raised eyebrows from some.
Most of those looks came from those opposed to the rezoning, and the subsequent hotel proposed by developer Jack Burbage that would most likely be built in that area. They felt that if the people spoke out against this rezoning, it wouldn’t matter, since the referendum was non-binding and Town officials would not be obligated to follow the wishes of the people they were elected to represent.
It appears those concerns might be moot.
The results of the referendum were counted and released earlier this week, and those in favor of the zoning change outnumbered those opposed 1,790 to 745 (71 percent to 29 percent). That’s 2,535 votes in all — a significant number, to be sure.
It would appear the public has spoken, and they are in favor of this project being built, judging by the votes tallied.
For those opposed, we really don’t think this will be the end of the world, or, more aptly, the beginning of the demise of Bethany Beach. We remember the loud voices against Super G being built, and Bear Trap and Bayside, but those are all now valued members of our community. We believe Burbage will build a beautiful hotel that will revitalize the downtown Bethany Beach area, and give a much-needed shot in the arm as far as beautifying the town as a whole.
That being said, we are grateful for the vocal opposition that stood up to this zoning change and subsequent project being built. This created conversation that might not have happened had it just gone through the channels without opposition, and ensures that the hotel will be built with a keen eye on its impact to the town all of you love so very much. We are nothing as a democratic society if those opposed remain quiet, and the entire town of Bethany Beach, along with those in bordering areas and visitors who share a love for that town, owe all who spoke out on both sides a hearty thanks.
While we say goodbye to longtime Point reporter Monica Scott and wish her nothing but great things in her future, we also are very pleased to welcome Tripp Colonell to our little family.
Tripp will be covering Indian River High School sports, and other sporting activities in the area, as we move Laura Walter into news coverage and more feature stories. Tripp is a graduate of Salisbury University, where he studied journalism, and his work has been published in several publications, including the national sports Web site Bleacher Report. Welcome, Tripp!