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Council to consider library reopening, short-term rentals

Emily Lytle * Delaware
elytle@doverpost.com
Dover Post

The city manager’s office will present a proposal to reopen the Dover Public Library at the Council Committee of the Whole July 14.

The library closed in mid-March to carry out planned security improvements. Some of those changes include more cameras, visible security monitors and a keypad to replace the bathroom keys, said Assistant City Manager Matt Harline.

“There are a lot of people who have expressed concerns about coming to the library, so we want to make sure they understand that it’s even safer than it has been in the past,” Harline said.

These changes follow ongoing efforts to prevent people from using the library for sleeping, eating or other inappropriate behaviors. On rare occasions, people have brought alcohol into or near the library or argued loudly when entering, Harline said. Since hiring the firm Sunstates Security in January, he said the city has been tracking any misbehavior, and the extra cameras and monitors should help with that.

The library closed along with all others around the state as pandemic infections mounted. The library has removed some computers and placed markers on the floors for social distancing. A possible opening in late July or early August depends on action July 14.

Short-term rental regulations

The Legislative, Finance and Administration Committee will consider approving the city’s first ordinance that specifically addresses short-term rentals, any home where a renter stays for less than 30 days.

City council referred the latest version of the ordinance back to staff for further revisions May 11. Director of Planning and Inspections Dave Hugg agreed to make changes after more discussions around landlord-tenant law before bringing it back to council.

In an earlier interview, Hugg said the biggest problem is when people buy a house for the sole purpose of renting it out and have no intention of living there. “Our ordinances addressing rentals simply don’t address the issue adequately,” he said.

Some of the new regulations include short-term rental licenses and limits on the number of guests can stay and how often. For the full meeting agenda, visit www.cityofdover.com/meetings.