Like many coastal towns, Bethany Beach appears to be stuck in the midst of an aesthetic identity crisis.
The Bethany Beach Cultural and Historical Affairs Committee (CHAC) is pushing for the preservation and, perhaps more importantly, identification of historical homes in the area. Meanwhile, discussion earlier this summer focused on a uniform appearance of the shops and restaurants along Garfield Parkway.
It’s a tricky situation.
Bethany Beach, by nature, is a quaint beach town. Though impacted by vacationers and summer residents four months a year, the town has managed to maintain a quiet and welcoming feel. Restaurants have succeeded, and become extremely positive additions to the town, without becoming noisy distractions and the bandstand has been a welcomed addition with the performances of family- and adult-oriented entertainment. It’s nice for the visitors and residents alike.
However, age does indeed effect us all, and towns are no exception.
The age has caused some of the older and historical homes to show some wear and tear, and it is an expensive proposition for the owners of these homes to continue to dump money into trying to keep the place alive on CPR. Often times, the frustration alone causes the owner to sell the property or rebuild — projects that rarely maintain the original look of the home.
This is where the sheer importance of the CHAC comes in regarding this issue.
With help, the CHAC can assist in finding federal help and/or tax breaks for work to be done on historical homes. The problem is identifying which homes should be considered historical, and then figuring out which of these homes’ owners wish the home to even be labeled historical.
Bethany Beach just learned of millions of federal dollars coming to town for beach renourishment. That’s huge for the future. Now it’s time to help the CHAC preserve the past.
Go to the town Web site and submit your suggestions for preserving the look and feel of the town, or find a committee member and volunteer to help in identifying potential historic homes.
Times are good right now in Bethany Beach. Let’s all try to keep the ball rolling in what is an anchor town for our entire community.