AboutThe Rehoboth Beach Homeowners Association was established in 1971. The purpose of the organization is stated in the RBHA By-Laws. In part it states:
The RBHA is operated to promote the common good and general welfare of the homeowners and residents of the City of Rehoboth Beach for their mutual enjoyment and benefit, preservation of quality of life, fostering its spirit of community and to provide a forum for the full and free discussion of all matter of interest.
Although the community has changed dramatically in the 33 years since the RBHA was founded, the concerns of the organization have for the most part remained constant. A 1972 edition of the RBHA Newsletter enumerated the problems the community faced: overcrowding, building codes, zoning, water resources, beach erosion, ocean dumping, pollution and traffic congestion.
In 1971 Rehoboth Beach was faced with increasing pressures from developers for more high rise construction. Concerned citizens came together and formed this organization to oppose further high rise development. Incorporated in October, 1971, the RBHA became a moving force in the passage of a revised building height ordinance to reduce limits from 85 feet to 42 feet in the commercial zones. There were other accomplishments including participation by members in City committees to deal with issues such as parking permits and cable television franchise contracts.
Over the years the organization has used a variety of tools to educate and inform its members as well as the community as a whole. The Newsletter which is published four times per year is an important part of the communication process. General Meetings, held four times per year, also provide an occasion for airing concerns about community issues, receiving input from members and citizens, and providing a platform for speakers from all areas of City, County and State government, civic organizations, and other persons of interest. The highlight of each year is the July meeting at which the RBHA hosts the annual "Meet the Candidates" forum. This is an opportunity for all members of the community to hear and question those persons seeking to be elected to the position of Mayor or City Commissioner.
Although many of the characteristics of the organization are the same, the RBHA does evolve. For many years the association had a practice of endorsing candidates for Mayor or City Commissioner. However, in October, 2001, the membership voted to modify the By-Laws to prohibit the endorsement of political office-seekers. Subsequently, a number of other changes were made to the organization, both structurally and in its By-Laws, to strengthen the association.
Today the RBHA is engaging in a number of initiatives to serve our members and the community; for example, it is investigating the application and enforcement of building codes. In addition, the RBHA has several active committees studying a variety of issues such as the environment, City ordinances, liaison with other civic organizations in the area, and internal matters like the By-Laws, communications and the organizations budget. Currently, members are involved as official representatives in a regional traffic congestion study and unofficially in several city committees.