JMHO, but I think the Town of Bethany Beach needs to re-think their new parking policy as it seems to discriminate against the large majority of the people that regularly patronize their town — those who live just outside the corporate limits! I would like to offer another option.
If you know me, I’m a huge supporter of businesses in the local area. Over the last two months, my Facebook Live concerts have helped raise nearly $30,000 for out-of-work restaurant employees from Rehoboth to Fenwick, including over $5,000 in Bethany alone! I live in Ocean View and, yes, Bethany’s new parking rules cause a problem for me. I want to support local businesses, but the restrictions make it much more difficult!
I don’t think the Town of Bethany realized how much of an affect these restrictions would have on its neighbors. Many people have said over the years they avoid the town during the season, but many, many more love it and all it offers, including jobs!
I propose that anyone may be eligible to buy one residential parking pass for the price of $100 (maybe $150, but that is a reasonable starting point). Or, instead of anyone being allowed to purchase, an option may be to make this available to 19930 (outside of corporate Bethany limits) and 19970 residents. I set this limit at 19970, for this example (before others get bent out of shape) as that much of Ocean View is closer to downtown Bethany than a lot of 19930 is!
I live a little over 2 miles away from the beach. Going into Bethany during the summer is a regular part of our lives, it is so close. As neighbors, we are not the people that the Town of Bethany is trying to slow from coming into the town at this time. We are one of you! We are the ones owning and working in the businesses and supporting our friends’ businesses — why are you effectively blocking us out from the amenities we help to make possible?
So here is an option for non-residential, residential parking that allows non-residents to pay a much higher seasonal fee to compensate for non-residential tax payments. The Town, next year, could restrict purchases by non-residents to a short period for the upcoming season. They can easily figure out this season.
If they sell out too fast, raise the price, it cuts demand. I don’t even want to get into town residents abusing their parking pass privileges with their empty driveways, self-painted extended restriction yellow lines, and multiple cars taking up spots in the residential spots.
Dewey and Rehoboth have parking passes available for purchase, why not Bethany? Their ways seem to work, and Dewey is smaller than Bethany and has fewer parking spaces. When a weekend is crowded, it is first-come, first-served for spaces — tough luck if no space is available.
So come on, Bethany, this isn’t just about you! Don’t be the neighbor everyone won’t forgive.