Town of Bethany Beach, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Bethany Beach 2-18-1983 by Ord. No. 111 (Ch. 30 of the 1992 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Ordinances — See Charter § 6.8.2.

§ 45-1 Amendment or repeal of existing ordinances.

No existing ordinance shall hereafter be amended or repealed, except by an ordinance specifically amending or repealing the existing ordinance. The adoption of such an ordinance repealing or amending an existing ordinance shall be dealt with as the adoption of a new ordinance, except where otherwise stated herein.

§ 45-2 Preparation of ordinances.

[Amended 1-17-1986 by Ord. No. 165; 9-18-1992 by Ord. No. 279]
Ordinances may be prepared by the Town Solicitor, by the Town Manager or by or for any member of Town Council (hereinafter called "Council"), but no ordinance shall be presented for final passage until reviewed by the Town Solicitor as to form and legality and by the Town Manager for administration where there are substantial matters of administration involved.

§ 45-3 Introduction of ordinances.

A proposed ordinance must be introduced and sponsored by a member of the Council.

§ 45-4 Adoption of ordinances.

[Amended 7-20-1984 by Ord. No. 137; 1-17-1986 by Ord. No. 165]
A. 
Except as provided under § 45-5, Suspension of rules, no ordinance shall be adopted by the Council on the same day it is introduced, and all ordinances shall have two separate readings before passage.
B. 
The first reading shall consist of the introduction of the ordinance by its sponsor during a regular meeting of the Council at which a quorum is present. The ordinance shall be read by title and synopsis only unless a reading of the body of the ordinance is requested by the majority vote of the Town Council. Following the introduction of an ordinance by its sponsor, the Town Council may engage in full discussion or debate concerning the merits of the ordinance, but no vote shall be taken thereon except under § 45-5 hereof, Suspension of rules. At or before the first reading, a written copy of the proposed ordinance shall be distributed to each member of the Council, the Town Solicitor and the Town Manager. Whenever reasonably possible, a rough draft of the proposed ordinance shall be provided to the Town Council, the Town Manager and the Town Solicitor at least one week before the first reading.
[Amended 12-11-1987 by Ord. No. 196]
C. 
Immediately following the first reading, the proposed ordinance may but need not be referred to either an ad-hoc committee or to a workshop meeting of the Council, where the Council shall serve as a committee of the whole. Such decision shall be made by the Mayor with approval of a majority of the Council. The title of the ordinance shall be published in the issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the Town next following the date of the first reading and shall also be posted in the Town Hall. Copies of the proposed ordinance shall be made available to the public upon request at the Town Manager's office.
[Amended 10-15-2010 by Ord. No. 458]
D. 
If referred to an ad-hoc committee or to a committee of the whole, such committee may take such action as it deems appropriate in order to make a recommendation to the Council, including but not limited to advertising, holding public hearings or holding workshop discussions.
[Amended 10-15-2010 by Ord. No. 458]
E. 
If referred to an ad-hoc committee or committee of the whole, such committee shall report back to the Council at a regular meeting at which a quorum is present within three months of the first reading (if an earlier time shall not have been appointed). At such time, the ordinance may be presented for a second and final reading. If not having been referred to an ad-hoc committee or committee of the whole, a proposed ordinance may be presented for a second and final reading at any regular meeting at which a quorum is present held within three months of the first reading. At such second reading, further discussion by the Council and public comment may be had and any final amendments shall be in order, provided that they fairly fall within the title and subject of the ordinance as first introduced. The Council shall make a final vote on the proposed ordinance, in its final form, at the meeting during which it was presented for the second and final reading. If a proposed ordinance is not presented for a second and final reading within three months of its first reading, it shall expire and cease to have any force or effect as if it had never been introduced.
[Amended 10-15-2010 by Ord. No. 458]
F. 
No action on any proposed ordinance shall be taken unless posted on the agenda of the meeting in accordance with the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.

§ 45-5 Suspension of rules.

[Amended 1-17-1986 by Ord. No. 165]
Whenever it becomes desirable to adopt or amend a particular ordinance in less than two readings, the procedure set forth in § 45-4 hereof may be suspended by the affirmative vote of at least five Council members, provided that the reason for suspending the rules shall be publicly stated and recorded in the minutes. In such case, the ordinance in question may be enacted at the same meeting at which it was introduced.

§ 45-6 Form of ordinance.

A. 
Each new ordinance shall contain the following:
(1) 
The number of the ordinance.
(2) 
The title, which shall clearly express the subject of the ordinance. No ordinance shall relate to more than one subject.
(3) 
An enacting clause, stating that the ordinance has been duly adopted by a majority of a quorum of the Council.
(4) 
The body of the ordinance.
(5) 
The penalty, if any.
(6) 
The effective date.
B. 
Each amendment to an existing ordinance or the repeal of an existing ordinance shall, in addition to the items listed in Subsection A above, contain the title and section and number of the ordinance being amended or repealed.

§ 45-7 Authentication; recording; publication.

A. 
Upon the adoption of any ordinance, the Mayor and Secretary of the Council shall sign one copy of the ordinance (dated as of its adoption) to authenticate that document as a true and correct record of the action taken by the Council.
B. 
The Town Manager shall maintain a file of all ordinances passed, repealed or amended by the Council, which shall be organized according to title and ordinance number. The original signed copy of the ordinance shall be placed in this file and shall be an official record of the action taken by the Council.
C. 
Except for valid emergencies, no penal ordinance nor any amendment to a penal ordinance shall be enforceable until the title and synopsis of the ordinance, the date of adoption and the effective date have been published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town and a copy of the ordinance has been posted at the Town Hall for seven days from the date of its adoption.
[Amended 5-15-1987 by Ord. No. 187]

§ 45-8 Exemptions.

[Amended 3-20-1987 by Ord. No. 185; 6-18-2010 by Ord. No. 457]
Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, this chapter shall have no application to adopting, amending or repealing Chapter 425, Zoning, or the Town Zoning Map. (See §§ 425-109 and 425-110 for adopting, amending or repealing ordinances in Chapter 425, Zoning, or the Town Zoning Map.) and/or any action adopting, amending or repealing Chapter 410, Subdivision of Land. (See §§ 410-48 and 410-49 for actions that involve adopting, amending or repealing sections and/or parts of Chapter 410, Subdivision of Land.)

§ 45-9 Strict compliance not required: no standing to challenge noncompliance except by members of Council.

[Added 6-18-1999 by Ord. No. 339]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an orderly procedure for the internal convenience and benefit of the Town Council in adopting, amending or repealing ordinances. Substantial compliance with this chapter shall be sufficient. The failure of the Town Council to strictly comply with any or all of the provisions of this chapter shall not invalidate any ordinance adopted by the Town Council that is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of the Town Charter, nor shall any such noncompliance give any citizen, other than a member of the Town Council, any right or standing to object to the Council's failure to strictly comply with the terms and provisions of this chapter.