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 2-17-1973 by Ord. No. 63; amended in its entirety 1-19-1990 by Ord. No. 238 (Ch. 85 of the 1992 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Commercial activities and concessionaires — See Ch. 123.
Alcoholic beverages — See Ch. 217.

§ 102-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ESTABLISHMENT or PLACE OF BUSINESS
Any building or part thereof or each motor vehicle or each stand at or from which any merchandise or commodity is dispensed or facilities or services are provided to members of the general public or members of an association, club or other body or the like.
[Amended 10-15-2010 by Ord. No. 458]
PERSON or PERSONS
Individuals, partnerships, firms, associations and corporations.

§ 102-2 Annual license required; applicability.

[Amended 10-15-2010 by Ord. No. 458]
No person shall engage in or carry on or aid or assist as employee, clerk or otherwise, in the Town of Bethany Beach, Delaware, any business, occupation or activity or use any wagon, vehicle stand, store or other place or thing without first having paid the prescribed fee and taxes and having obtained from the Town of Bethany Beach an annual license for such business, occupation or activity. Specifically included are all persons, firms and corporations engaged for profit in selling any and all merchandise and/or given commodities and/or in providing facilities, services, rental units and/or food service within the Town limits.

§ 102-3 Required information; license fee; rental tax.

A. 
The application for a license required by § 102-2 hereof shall be made on the prescribed form to the Town Manager of the Town of Bethany Beach in the Town Hall, and no license shall be granted until the license fee and prior rental tax due, if any specified, shall have been paid in full. Each such license and such application shall specify to whom it shall be issued and give the following information:
(1) 
The home or business address of the applicant.
(2) 
If the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of the individuals composing the partnership.
(3) 
The names and addresses of the principal officers of a corporation.
(4) 
A full description of the nature of the business or enterprise for which a license is desired.
(5) 
The specific location of the business, occupation or activity, giving lot and block number if located within the Town limits.
(6) 
If license application relates to § 102-7A and B (apartments, cottages, rooms, etc.), specify the number of sleeping rooms or bedrooms in each rental unit.
(7) 
Premises engaged in the sale of alcoholic liquor for on-premises consumption.
[Added 4-24-1992 by Ord. No. 273]
(a) 
Commercial establishments selling or proposing to sell alcoholic liquors for on-premises consumption. If the license application is for any business or commercial activity engaged in or proposing to engage in the sale of alcoholic liquor for on-premises consumption, the applicant shall submit scaled floor plans, architectural drawings or other detailed documentation as reasonably required by Town officials to ascertain whether or not the premises do or will conform to the standards contained in the definition of a "restaurant" as set forth in Chapter 217, Alcoholic Beverages, Article III, Licensing of Commercial Establishments. Such application shall contain a statement, under oath, that the business or establishment for which said license is sought does and/or will, at all times during which the license is in effect, conform to the documentation so submitted.
(b) 
In the event that any applicant having obtained a license under this Subsection A(7) subsequently desires to enlarge, revise, alter, modify or otherwise change the configuration, floor plan or physical operation of a premises previously engaged in the sale of alcoholic liquor for on-premises consumption in such manner as to alter the patron area or the portions of the patron area previously designated for seated dining and/or for stand-up consumption of alcoholic liquors, such applicant shall first obtain written confirmation from the Town Manager's office that such revision, alteration or other change conforms to the standards set out in the definition of "restaurant" as contained in Chapter 217, Alcoholic Beverages, Article III, Licensing of Commercial Establishments.
B. 
No rental license shall be issued for any rental unit under § 103-3A(6) of this chapter until the applicant submits to the Town a signed notarized form certifying that minimum safety requirements are met. At the applicant's request, the Town will provide the services of a notary public at no cost to the applicant. The applicant must certify that:
[Amended 1-16-2009 by Ord. No. 444]
(1) 
A minimum of one battery-operated smoke detector is present on each level of the structure and one smoke detector is present in each bedroom/sleeping quarters. Fresh alkaline energy or lithium-ion batteries are installed in each smoke detector at the time of the application for the issuance or the renewal of a rental license.
(2) 
All exterior doors equipped with a deadbolt lockset are easily opened from the inside without the use of a key.
(3) 
GFCI protection is present for all outdoor receptacles, bathroom receptacles, garage wall outlets, kitchen receptacles and all receptacles in crawl spaces.
(4) 
Address numbers are a minimum of four inches high and are clearly visible from the street.
(5) 
Secure locks are present for all windows within 12 feet of grade and for second-story windows accessible by fire escapes or stairs.

§ 102-4 Investigation of applicants.

A. 
The Town Manager or his or her representative may, when cause appears, investigate and review all applications for license to do business within the limits of the Town of Bethany Beach to determine:
(1) 
If the activity for which a license has been requested is prohibited by any ordinance of the Town or law of the State of Delaware.
(2) 
Whether or not a functioning smoke detector device is located within a rental unit.
B. 
The Town Manager shall not issue any license if it is found that the applicant does not comply with the requirements of Subsection A hereof.

§ 102-5 Appeals from decisions of Town Manager.

[Amended 9-18-1992 by Ord. No. 279]
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Town Manager may within five days take an appeal to the Town Council of Bethany Beach by giving written notice of his or her election to do so to the office of the Town Manager and upon payment of a fee as provided by the fee schedule on file in the Town Office. The Town Manager shall notify the Mayor of the Town of Bethany Beach, who shall call a meeting of the Town Council of Bethany Beach to hear the appeal after giving notice of the hearing in a newspaper of local circulation for 10 days.

§ 102-6 Payment of license fees.

A. 
All license fees (see § 102-7A, B and C) shall be due and payable to the Town of Bethany Beach not later than the first day of June in each year, and all licenses shall expire on the 31st day of May following.
B. 
All taxes on rental income (see § 102-7A and B) shall be due and payable twice annually as follows:
[Amended 1-21-1994 by Ord. No. 284]
(1) 
For income received from October 1 through April 30, tax shall be due and payable on or before the following June 1 but not later than issuance of the following year's license.
(2) 
For income received from May 1 through September 30, tax shall be due and payable on or before the following November 1. Payment shall be the responsibility of the owner except where rental is handled by a real estate broker or agent, in which case the latter shall collect and pay the tax.

§ 102-7 License fees and rental taxes.

[Amended 1-19-1990 by Ord. No. 241; 9-18-1992 by Ord. No. 279[1]]
License fees and rental taxes as set forth in the fee schedule on file in the Town office shall be paid to the Town of Bethany Beach, Delaware, for the following:
A. 
Apartments, cottages, cabins or private houses or other establishments offering rooms for public rental.
B. 
Motels, rooming houses, boardinghouses, motor courts, inns or other establishments offering public rental which are subject to paying the State of Delaware accommodations tax.
C. 
Stores, garages, warehouses or any other commercial buildings or structures which rent or lease space or other facilities.
D. 
All others engaging in businesses, occupations or activities within the corporate limits.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 102-8 Display of license required.

Each license shall be conspicuously displayed on the licensed premises or, as the case may be, shall be carried upon the person of the licensee.

§ 102-9 Suspension or revocation of license.

[Amended 1-21-2005 by Ord. No. 390; 5-15-2015 by Ord. No. 512]
A. 
Notwithstanding the specific provisions applicable to particular licenses or permits in this chapter, the Town, through the Town Manager, may suspend or revoke any license or permit issued under this title after it has been issued, when any one or more of the following grounds are found to exist or to have existed:
(1) 
Illegal issuance of the permit or license.
(2) 
Issuance of the permit or license without authority or power.
(3) 
Issuance under an unauthorized ordinance or under an ordinance illegally adopted.
(4) 
Issuance in violation of an ordinance.
(5) 
When the license or permit was procured by fraud, false representation of facts, misleading statements, evasions or suppression of material facts.
(6) 
When issued through mistake or inadvertence.
B. 
Other grounds for revocation in addition to those stated in Subsection A of this section are as follows:
(1) 
Violations of the terms and conditions on which a license or permit is issued.
(2) 
Violation of ordinances or laws authorizing or regulating the license or permit, or regulating the business activity or purpose for which the license or permit is issued.
(3) 
Conviction of infractions of or offenses under such an ordinance or law.
(4) 
Wrongful behavior of a substantial character and of a public concern in relation to the licensed activity.
C. 
Before any license or permit shall be suspended or revoked, the holder of such license or permit shall be given written notice of a hearing to be held by the Town Council, at which time the holder of such license or permit must show cause why such license or permit should not be suspended or revoked. The notice to be given to the holder of such license or permit must state the grounds and the reasons for the suspension and/or revocation, and must also state the date on which the hearing is set. The hearing shall be heard within 15 calendar days after receipt of the show cause notice sent by the Town; provided, however, that the Town Manager may immediately revoke the initial license or permit of any business or activity for any of the grounds set forth in Subsection A of this section when any such license or permit has been issued for a period of less than 72 hours, and any such determination by the Town Manager shall be deemed conclusive unless the holder of the license or permit appeals to the Town Council within 15 calendar days of the notice of revocation. The appeal hearing shall be heard within 15 days of the date that the Town receives the written request for appeal. Pending any such appeal to the Town Council, the license or permit shall remain revoked.

§ 102-10 Charitable organizations.

No license fee or tax shall be charged for a license issued to any charitable or public service institution, association, club or body not organized or conducted for private gain nor shall the Town of Bethany Beach be charged for licenses.

§ 102-11 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 9-18-1992 by Ord. No. 279; 2-17-2006 by Ord. No. 407; 2-17-2012 by Ord. No. 473]
A. 
Any person violating any part of this chapter shall, on conviction thereof, pay such fine as set out in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, and each separate day in which any of the provisions of this chapter are violated shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
B. 
In addition to the penalties set forth above in Subsection A, the Town Manager shall have the authority to order a place of business to cease/shut down operations and terminate all municipal service to a place of business, including water service and trash/recycling collection, after notice of and opportunity to remedy the failure to obtain/renew a business license. No business will be required to cease/shut down its operations unless written notice of the failure to obtain/renew a business license shall be provided to the operator of such place of business either by personal delivery, by commercial carrier (e.g., Federal Express, UPS) or by U.S. Mail, certified return receipt requested, addressed to the last address provided to the Town by the business, proper postage affixed, affording the place of business or the persons operating such place of business to obtain/renew a business license or to request a hearing before the Town Manager, within 10 days of receiving said notice, to contest the order to cease/shut down operation of the business and terminate all municipal services to such business. The Town Manager shall schedule and hold the hearing within five business days of receiving the request. The Manager may waive the five-day hearing requirement upon request. In any case, a hearing will be held no later than 10 business days after formal notice of the closure. Any business or persons operating such business aggrieved by the decision of the Town Manager may appeal to the Town Council in accordance with § 102-5.

§ 102-12 Exceptions.

[Amended 6-15-1990 by Ord. No. 248]
A. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to make it mandatory upon any resident of the State of Delaware to apply for a license in order to sell in the Town any form of produce grown upon a farm owned by the vendor or any member of his or her family with whom he or she resides.
B. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to make it mandatory for anyone to apply for a license in order to perform grass cutting and lawn mowing.