SENATE BILL NO. 377
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BEACH PRESERVATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend Section 6802(1) Title 7 by deleting the following:
“, and along the perimeter of Rehoboth, Indian River, Little Assawoman and Assawoman Bays (excluding tributaries) which extend from the mean high water line landward 20 feet and bayward 300 feet, respectively”.
Section 2. Amend Section 6802(4) Title 7 of the Delaware Code by deleting that Section in its entirety and replacing it with the following:
“(4) “Building Line” means a line generally paralleling the coast, seaward of which construction of any kind shall be prohibited without a permit or letter of approval from the Department. The Building Line shall be set forth on maps prepared by the Department with reference to a vertical datum commonly used by land surveyors, the Delaware State Plane Coordinate System and topographical surveys. Within the corporate limits of Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach, in commercial areas containing boardwalks and where no natural dune exists, the building line shall be along the westerly edge of the boardwalk. In those cases where the mapped building line either transects or is landward of lots that, in turn, are landward of lots with existing habitable structures, the building line will not be used to modify either location or dimension of buildings on the more landward lot. On those ocean and Delaware Bay front lots, where existing buildings are either partially or completely seaward of the building line, the Department is directed to consider beach nourishment work that has enhanced the beach and dune when determining the location and size of reconstruction of those existing buildings if they are destroyed by acts of God or other accidental events. Furthermore, in any such case, property owners shall be permitted to rebuild in the same footprint where federal or state agencies have constructed and continue to maintain a beach and dune that conforms to coastal engineering standards of storm protection.”
Section 3. Amend Section 6802 Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding the following definition:
“(11) “Regulated Area” is the specific area within the defined beach that the Department is directed to regulate construction to preserve dunes and to reduce property damage. The Regulated area shall be from the seaward edge of the beach to the landward edge of the third buildable lot in from the mean high water line.”
Section 4. Amend 6802 Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding the following definition:
“(12) “Substantial Damage” means the damage or destruction of any structure by an act of God to the extent that, in the judgment of the Department, 75% or more of the original structure, or if a building, more than 50% of the original foundation pilings, are unsuitable for incorporation into reconstruction of the structure.”
Section 5. Amend Section 6805(a)(1) Title 7 of the Delaware Code by deleting the word “repair”.
Section 6. Amend Section 6805(d) Title 7 of the Delaware Code by deleting the words “in whole or in part” as they appear in the second sentence and by adding the following sentence at the end of 6805(d):
“ Notwithstanding any provision of Section 6805 Title 7 or regulations adopted by the Department, no property owner shall be prevented within the Regulated Area from repairing, modifying, modernizing, updating, or improving their property, or, by performing such actions, be required to relocate or reduce in size so long as these repairs, modifications, or improvements are within the property’s foot print.”
Section 7. The Secretary of the Department shall produce maps, available for public inspection at the offices of the Department, that identify, within the regulated area, zones subject to (1) erosion and wave damage during severe coastal storms, and (2) overwash and flooding with wave velocity impacts during severe coastal storms.
Approved July 20,2006