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Top Delaware court upholds ruling against homeless shelter

February 26, 2019

LEWES, Del. (AP) — The Delaware Supreme Court has confirmed a lower court’s decision that local land rules don’t allow for a special zoning exemption for what would have been the first year-round homeless shelter around the state’s beaches.

The News Journal reports that advocates for the homeless worry last week’s ruling could make it difficult to establish new shelters in eastern Sussex County.

The nonprofit Immanuel Shelter operates a cold-weather shelter from September to April in a church outside Rehoboth Beach, but it wanted to expand services. With the help of a benefactor, the organization bought an empty church just outside Lewes.

The county’s board of adjustment granted the shelter an exemption in 2017, but neighbors sued. Neighbors’ objections included fears of increased traffic, lowered property values and panhandling.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com