Town of South Bethany, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of South Bethany 6-9-1990 by Ord. No. 25-90; amended in its entirety 2-9-1991. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 30.
Boating — See Ch. 37.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 100.
This chapter is authorized by § C-4B of the Town Charter.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for public safety on the beach.
A. 
Activities allowed. It shall be lawful for any person to carry or use a body board in the ocean waters contiguous to the beach within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany unless the lifeguard on duty prohibits the use of body boards due to conditions which, in his judgment, are unsafe or otherwise hazardous.
B. 
Definition. For the purposes of this chapter, a "body board" is a board made of reinforced plastic foam or other buoyant material used as an adjunct to body surfing.
[Amended 9-8-1995 by Ord. No. 50-95]
Activities prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or use an inner tube, plastic ring or life jacket in the ocean waters while lifeguards are on duty.
A. 
Activities prohibited. The use of surfboards, windsurfers and canoes in the ocean waters contiguous to the beach within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany is prohibited while the lifeguards are on duty, except as authorized.
(1) 
The carrying of a surfboard, windsurfer or canoe within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany, with the intent of use in the ocean waters contiguous to the beach of said town, during authorized times, shall not constitute a violation of this chapter. Actual use in such waters shall be conclusive in determining intent for the purposes of this section.
(2) 
During inclement weather and such other times as the lifeguards on duty determine, the use of surfboards, windsurfers or canoes may be permitted.
B. 
Definition. For the purposes of this chapter, a "surfboard" is a long, narrow board made of wood, fiberglass-covered foam or other buoyant material, designed for the sport of surfing. A "windsurfer" is a surfboard with a sail. A "canoe" is a long, light, narrow, open or closed vessel propelled by hand-driven paddles.
A. 
Activities prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person from May 15 to September 15 of each year while lifeguards are on duty or in a manner that would endanger the public safety to portage over the town walkways and/or to launch, beach, operate or swim to or from any watercraft, except as permitted in § 34-5, on the beach within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany except for emergency purposes or for official town activities. It shall be unlawful to keep or anchor any such watercraft within 500 feet of the beach.
[Amended 1-11-1992]
B. 
This chapter shall apply to powered, wind-driven or manually propelled watercraft. It is not the intent of this chapter, however, to prohibit town property owners from storing boats on their property.
Activities prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to fish from the beach within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany while the lifeguards are on duty. A special exemption may be made by individual lifeguards to allow fishing in a designated area.
A. 
Containers. It shall be unlawful to carry onto any beach, strand or dune within the jurisdiction of Town of South Bethany certain types of containers. Glass containers are prohibited. Any hazardous material must be in an approved container.
B. 
Pets. It shall be unlawful for pets to be on any beach, strand or dune within the jurisdiction of Town of South Bethany from May 15 to October 15.
[Amended 9-8-1995 by Ord. No. 50-95; 12-10-2004 by Ord. No. 129-04]
C. 
Litter. It shall be unlawful to litter on any beach, strand or dune within the jurisdiction of Town of South Bethany.
D. 
Beach closing. Any of the following may close the beach to ensure the public safety: the Mayor, Town Manager, lifeguards, town police officers or the acting Civil Defense Coordinator.
[Amended 4-7-2017 by Ord. No. 186-17]
The Mayor or his designee is authorized to issue a beach party permit to a resident of the town over the age of 18 years.
A. 
Such permits shall be limited to an area, not closer than 75 feet to any dwelling or any sand dune. The person to whom a permit is issued shall be charged with the responsibility that the party does not create or lead to disorderly behavior. The party area shall be cleaned by the person obtaining the permit, in accordance with cleanup procedures issued by the town.
B. 
Every person who is issued a permit shall give the town a deposit of $50. The deposit of $50 shall be refunded if the cleanup procedures issued by the town are complied with. If the cleanup procedures are not complied with, the deposit shall be forfeited.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 10, regarding beach fires, was deleted 9-8-1995 by Ord. No. 50-95.
C. 
Activities prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to build and/or light any fires on the beach within the jurisdiction of the Town of South Bethany.
[Added 3-10-2000 by Ord. No. 90-99]
Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $25, nor more than $100, plus court costs. Each day of continued violation shall be considered as a separate offense.
[Added 3-10-2000 by Ord. No. 90-99]
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the South Bethany Beach Patrol and South Bethany Police Department, as required. The lifeguards shall be responsible for maintaining public safety on the beach and monitoring beach activities. The Captain of the lifeguards shall be responsible for conducting an orientation/training program annually for all guards on public relations and beach safety. The Chief of Police shall assist the Captain of the lifeguards in the development and conduct of such training and serve as a resource throughout the beach season.
[Added 3-10-2000 by Ord. No. 90-99]
Activities prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to walk, climb or jump on the protective dunes within the jurisdiction of South Bethany.
[Added 4-7-2017 by Ord. No. 186-17]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
SMOKING
The smoking, burning, heating, inhaling, or exhaling of substances, including but not limited to tobacco, herbs, weeds, marijuana, or vaporized liquid or other substances used with electronic smoking devices, using any pipe, cigar, cigarette, hookah, electronic smoking device [as defined in 16 Del. C. § 2902(3)], or any other similar device.
BEACH
The area defined to the north and south by the Town of South Bethany north and south boundary lines, to the west by the east property line of the oceanfront private property, and to the east by a line that is 100 yards to the east of the high-water line of the Atlantic Ocean.
B. 
Smoking is prohibited in the following areas:
(1) 
The beach.
(2) 
Beach access walkways from the eastern edge of Ocean Drive to the beach, and from the eastern edge of Sea Side Drive to the beach, and all handicapped walkways.