Rehoboth Bans Private Holiday Displays On Public Property

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The Rehoboth Beach City Commissioners Thursday adopted a policy for the 2020 holiday season which states that no private displays will be permitted on public property.

At the same meeting, commissioners also authorized the expenditure of funds so the city could create a holiday display “that celebrates the cultural diversity of our great city,” according to a statement issued by the City of Rehoboth Beach. The display is expected to be assembled and set up in the near future.

Rehoboth Beach also faces a lawsuit over its previous decision to prohibit a Nativity scene from being set up at the bandstand. The Knights of Columbus / First Liberty Institute federal lawsuit was also discussed during an executive session Thursday, but no update was made public.

Highlights of the policy appear below:

Article I
Purpose
The purpose of the holiday display policy is to define the location, time
period, and terms under which holiday displays are permitted on City Property (as
defined herein).
Article II
Definitions

  1. Holiday Display
    Any symbol, statute, object or any combination or group of the same which
    are associated with or intended to relate to the holiday season.
  2. Holiday Season
    The period of time that runs from November 15 through January 15 in any
    given year.
  3. City Property
    Any parcel of land owned by, leased by, and/or deeded to the City of
    Rehoboth Beach. City Property does not include land owned by the City that is
    leased to a third party.
  4. Private Property
    Any parcel of land owned by, leased by, and/or deeded to, a private
    individual, company or organization.
    Article III
    Procedures
  5. City Displays
    The City of Rehoboth Beach may erect City owned, City leased, or City
    rented Holiday Displays on City Property. Holiday Displays on City Property must
    be erected and maintained by City personnel.
  6. Private Displays
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    The City of Rehoboth Beach does not permit private Holiday Displays (e.g.
    non City owned, City leased, or City rented Holiday Displays) on any City
    Property.
  7. Violations of the Holiday Display Policy
    If a Holiday Display is erected on City Property that is not a City owned,
    City leased, or City rented Holiday Display, the City will remove the display at the
    expense of the person or organization erecting the display.
    Article IV
    Private Property
    Nothing in this policy is intended to limit Holiday Displays on Private
    Property which are erected in compliance with applicable local, state and federal
    laws.
    Article V
    Reservation of Rights
    The City of Rehoboth City reserves the right to amend this policy as may be
    necessary from time to time.
    Initial publication date: October 27, 2020