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The Secrets of Successful Communities



What is it that makes great communities the kind of place where people want to live, vacation, and build a business?

On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Ed McMahon, noted urban planner,  addressed a "the sense of place": those elements that make one city or town different from another, and also make our physical surroundings worth caring about. People want to spend time in a special place like Rehoboth Beach, not one that looks and feels like every other city. In his talk, McMahon set forth the compelling argument for the economic, psychological and social value of uniqueness.

Sussex County provides a clear example of the difference uniqueness makes. Driving down Route One, you could be in any city in America. But once you cross the canal into our city, you know you are in a place unlike any other, with the unique character we all love.

Mr. McMahon, who holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute, has become well known across the country for his TED Talk and many writings on the important subjects related to building and preserving unique communities.

What a thought-provoking presentation of the special nature of Rehoboth Beach! See news coverage here.

Cape Gazette: Ed McMahon: No place special by accident

Cape Gazette Editorial: Rehoboth: Build a bridge to the future

Cape Gazette column: Boomers, Millenials, Ed McMahon and Rehoboth

If you missed it,  videos are available here.




Rehoboth Neighbors United is a coalition of full- and part-time residents and organizations formed to support measures that respect the rights of all residents and visitors, provide common sense rules for development, and preserve the character of the city we love. 

We are concerned about growing threats to the special charm of Rehoboth Beach, which blends unique residential neighborhoods and abundant green space with a vibrant business district, and a famed boardwalk and beach. Our residential neighborhoods, peaceful enjoyment of our homes, trees and green spaces have come under assault as developers and investors have built over-sized houses that are out of scale in our community. At the core of our concerns is the exponential growth in new large houses, often used as mini-hotels, many with swimming pools which are frequently used by many guests. This kind of development leads to overcrowding, increased noise and trash, congested parking, overtaxed city infrastructure, and other detrimental effects that jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of residents and guests alike. 

We believe that this trend towards commercialization of our residential neighborhoods threatens the very nature of our city. We seek to balance respect for the rights of all, including the right to enjoyment of our own homes. We will continue to keep our neighbors informed about these and other critical issues facing our city, and invite all to join us in our efforts.


Click on any of the topics above to learn more about current issues in the City

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