(a) Regulations adopted by the county government, pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter, shall be in accordance with the approved comprehensive development plan and shall be designated and adopted for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morale, convenience, order, prosperity or welfare of the present and future inhabitants of Sussex County, including, amongst other things, the lessening of congestion in the streets or roads or reducing the waste of excessive amounts of roads, securing safety from fire, flood, and other dangers, providing adequate light and air, preventing on the one hand excessive concentration of population and on the other hand excessive and wasteful scattering of population or settlement, promoting such distribution of population and such classification of land uses and distribution of land development and utilization as will tend to facilitate and provide adequate provisions for public requirements, transportation, water flowage, water supply, water and air pollution abatement, drainage, sanitation, educational opportunities, recreation, soil fertility, food supply, protection of the tax base, securing economy in governmental expenditures, fostering the State’s agricultural and other industries, and the protection of both urban and nonurban development.
(b) The regulations shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of the particular district involved, its peculiar suitability for particular uses, the conservation of property values and natural resources and the general and appropriate trend and character of land, building and population development.
§ 9101 Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues.
(a) A Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues is established and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor. It shall be comprised of the following members or their respective designees:
(1) The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
(2) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
(3) The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
(5) The Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority.
(6) The Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
(7) Such others as the Governor may designate.
(b) The Governor shall designate 1 member to serve as Chairperson of the Committee.
(c) The Committee shall consider matters relating to the orderly growth and development of the State, including, but not limited to:
(1) Recommendations for the most desirable general pattern of land use within the State, in light of the best available information concerning topography, climate, soil and underground conditions, water courses and bodies of water and other natural or environmental factors, as well as in light of the best available information concerning the present and prospective economic bases of the State, trends of industrial, population or other developments, the habits and standards of life of the people of the State and the relation of land use within the State to land use within adjoining areas;
(2) The major circulation pattern recommended for the State, including major routes and terminals of transportation and communication facilities, whether used for movement of people and goods within the State or for movement from and to adjoining areas;
(3) Recommendations concerning the need for and the proposed general location of major public and private works and facilities, such as utilities, flood control works, water reservoirs and pollution control facilities, military or defense installations and other governmentally financed or owned facilities;
(4) Recommendations on land use planning actions that are subject to review and comment pursuant to Chapter 92 of this title;
(5) Preparing the Strategies for State Policies and Spending document and maps, which shall serve as the primary policy guide that summarizes the State’s land use goals, policies and strategies and directs state spending into investment levels that support the most efficient use of state resources, be they physical, fiscal, or natural, except that county and municipal governments shall retain their existing autonomy with respect to the land use designations set forth in their proposed and/or adopted comprehensive plans. The Strategies for State Policies and Spending shall be updated at least every 5 years, provided that the Governor may extend the deadline at his or her discretion; and
(6) Performing such other duties and responsibilities with respect to Downtown Development Districts as set forth in Chapter 19 of Title 22.
(d) The Cabinet Committee shall submit a report on its activities to the Governor and the General Assembly by October 15 of each year, together with the recommendations for legislative and/or administrative changes it deems desirable.
(e) The Cabinet Committee’s proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 100 of this title.
(f) The Cabinet Committee shall be assisted by staff designated by each participating agency, and shall work in cooperation with all federal, State and local agencies of government and with private organizations and individuals to obtain all necessary and relevant information for its assignments.
(g) There is hereby established the Office of State Planning Coordination within the Office of the Budget. The administrator and head of the Office of State Planning Coordination shall be the State Planning Coordinator who shall be qualified by training or experience to perform the duties of the office. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall assist in statewide planning matters, and it shall function as an advisory, consultative and coordinating office.
(1) The Office of State Planning Coordination shall provide staffing assistance to the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues.
(2) The State Planning Coordinator shall serve as the secretary to the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues.
(3) The Office of State Planning Coordination shall collect and coordinate the comments of state agencies regarding land use planning actions pursuant to Chapter 92 of this title. In carrying out this function, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall, to the maximum extent possible, reconcile differing opinions and conclusions among agency comments with the objective of providing consistent, timely and useful information to the local government. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall be authorized to represent and speak for the State on land use matters subject to Chapter 92 of this title.
(h) The Office of State Planning Coordination shall render local planning technical assistance. The Office of State Planning Coordination may serve as the lead agency to engage other state agencies, local governments, and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations for the purposes of coordinating planning activities, promoting liaison between various state agencies and local governments, building capacity through training and sharing of digital and other information, developing infrastructure plans and master plans, addressing specific growth and design issues, and such other actions as are appropriate to achieve the purposes of this chapter. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall develop and promote cooperation and coordination among state agencies and local governments to ensure effective and efficient planning and infrastructure investment. The Office of State Planning Coordination may make grants available to county and municipal governments to assist them in achieving any of the objectives outlined in this section, provided that funded activities and deliverables are in compliance and in harmony with the Strategies for State Policies and Spending. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall further have such authority and responsibility with respect to Downtown Development Districts as set forth in Chapter 19 of Title 22.
(a) The comprehensive plan review and certification process is intended to compare planning goals and development policies among levels of government for the purpose of attaining compatibility and consistency among the interests of state, county and municipal governments. Plan review and certification are necessary to properly address potential burdens on the state government for future infrastructure and public services caused by local land use actions.
(b) Comprehensive plans and amendments or revisions thereto are subject to the provisions of § 9203 of this title. The Office of State Planning Coordination, in addition to soliciting state agency comments as provided therein, shall, within the 20-working-day review period provided in § 9204(d) of this title, also conduct a review and comparison of the proposed county or municipal comprehensive plan or amendment or revision with state goals, policies and strategies. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall prepare a report:
(1) Documenting the degree to which the county or municipal comprehensive plan has incorporated the State’s goals, policies, and strategies;
(2) Including a detailed list of findings, recommendations and objections, including adverse fiscal impacts;
(3) Identifying improvements, revisions or other actions desired to address and resolve inconsistencies;
(4) Setting forth a timetable and process for negotiations with the county or municipality for achieving consistency.
The state review shall include an assessment of the potential fiscal impacts of the proposed county or municipal comprehensive plan as they relate to state-funded infrastructure and services, including but not limited to transportation, water and sewer systems, public schools, affordable housing, and public safety. The State’s review shall be based on such statewide land development goals, policies and criteria as may have been adopted by the Governor or Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues, or as set forth in state law or regulation, or in provisions of the State’s most recent capital budgets.
(c) Proposed comprehensive plans or amendments or revisions thereto will be shared with other potentially impacted jurisdictions and the Office of State Planning Coordination will provide for such review and comment, pursuant to the provisions of § 9204 of this title. Other jurisdictions desiring to comment on any inconsistencies with a county or municipal comprehensive plan shall do so by an official action of said government setting forth the nature of any inconsistencies, concerns, issues, conflicts, agreement and recommended revisions.
(d) Should the Office of State Planning Coordination make objection to any proposed comprehensive plan or amendments or revisions thereto, then the Office of State Planning Coordination shall immediately enter into negotiation with the county or municipality in an attempt to solicit agreement and resolution. Any agreements reached during these negotiations shall be incorporated into the public record and considered by the governing body prior to final action on the comprehensive plan. If the Office of State Planning Coordination and the county or municipality fail to reach agreement after a period of 45 days, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall report the extent of agreement and areas of continued disagreement to the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues for dispute resolution.
(e) For municipal comprehensive plans, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall submit a final comprehensive plan report and recommendation to the Governor or designee for certification . . .
For county comprehensive plans, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall submit a final comprehensive plan report and recommendation to the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues. The Cabinet Committee shall consider the report submitted by the Office of State Planning Coordination, appropriate state land development goals and strategies, comments submitted by any impacted jurisdiction and such other information as it may determine to be appropriate and in the public interest. The Cabinet Committee may, in its discretion, conduct a public hearing on the proposed comprehensive plan or amendment or revision thereto, except that no hearing shall be held if the proposed plan, amendment, update or revision thereto is found to be consistent with the state goals, policies and strategies, and not in conflict with plans of other jurisdictions. Within 45 days of the receipt of the report from the Office of State Planning Coordination, the Cabinet Committee shall issue its findings and recommendations, and shall submit the proposed plan to the Governor or designee for certification. The State Planning Coordinator may not be the designee for the review and certification of county plans.
(f) Within 20 days of receipt of the findings and recommendations from the Cabinet Committee, the Governor shall certify the comprehensive plan or return the comprehensive plan to the municipality or county for revision. The municipality or county shall have the right to accept or reject any or all of the recommendations. The final decision on the adoption of the comprehensive plan is that of the municipality or county.
§ 9203 Local land use planning actions subject to review process.
(a) All projects meeting any 1 of the following criteria shall undergo a pre-application meeting and review process as set forth in this chapter:
(1) Major residential subdivisions with internal road networks and more than 50 units, excluding previously recorded residential subdivisions of any size which have not been sunsetted.
(2) Any nonresidential subdivision involving structures or buildings with a total floor area exceeding 50,000 square feet, excluding any previously approved and recorded non-residential subdivision regardless of floor area size, or any site plan review involving structures or buildings with a total floor area exceeding 50,000 square feet, excluding any previously approved and recorded non-residential site plan review regardless of floor area size.
(3) Rezonings, conditional uses, site plan reviews and/or subdivisions, within environmentally sensitive areas, as identified within any local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan as certified under § 9103 of this title.
(4) Annexations inconsistent with the local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan as certified under § 9103 of this title.
(5) Applications for rezoning if not in compliance with the local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan as certified under § 9103 of this title.
(6) Any other project which is required to be referred to the State for pre-application review by local jurisdiction regulations.
(7) Any local land use regulation, ordinance or requirement referred to the Office of State Planning Coordination by a local jurisdiction for the purpose of providing the jurisdiction with advisory comments. The land use regulations, ordinances or requirements that are to be referred to the Office of State Planning Coordination may be specified in a jurisdiction’s Memorandum of Understanding.
(8) County and municipal comprehensive plans as required by Titles 9 and 22.
(b) Any applicant may voluntarily request to participate in the pre-application review process and shall make such requests in writing to the Office of State Planning Coordination.
§ 9204 Pre-application review process.
(a) Pre-application reviews shall be conducted and concluded, unless otherwise provided for herein, prior to the formal submission of any document required by the first step under any local jurisdiction’s land use review regulation, including, but not limited to, a “preliminary” or “sketch” subdivision or site plan, or a written request for a re-zoning, conditional use, or annexation by an applicant to the local jurisdiction. The applicant may elect to initiate the pre-application review process simultaneously with the formal submission or application to any local jurisdiction with an approved Memorandum of Understanding as provided for in § 9205(c) of this title. The applicant is responsible for complying with any and all local regulations and is strongly encouraged to meet with local officials prior to initiating the pre-application review process. The applicant shall be responsible for requesting a pre-application review under this chapter.
(b) The Office of State Planning Coordination shall develop an application and procedures for review and shall be responsible for scheduling and coordinating all pre-application review meetings. Meeting dates shall be designated for 1 or more days certain each month and held in accordance with procedures outlined by the Office of State Planning Coordination. Projects shall be heard at a pre-application meeting within 45 calendar days of receipt of a request by the Office of State Planning Coordination. The Office of State Planning Coordination shall give public notice of all pre-application review meetings by following the requirements of § 10004(e) of this title.
(c) Within 20 business days following the date of the pre-application meeting with the applicant, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall furnish to the applicant and the local jurisdiction a written compilation of all comments received at the meeting. Failure of Office of State Planning Coordination to meet the 20-business-day requirement will result in the State forfeiting the opportunity to comment on the local land use planning action. The length of review may be extended by mutual consent of the Office of State Planning Coordination and the applicant. The local jurisdiction shall be notified immediately of any mutually acceptable delays.
(d) Following the pre-application review process and upon filing of an application with the local jurisdiction, the applicant shall provide to the local jurisdiction and the Office of State Planning Coordination a written response to comments received as a result of the pre-application process, noting whether comments were incorporated into the project design or not and the reason therefore.
§ 9205 State agency authorities, roles and responsibilities.
(a) All state agencies shall participate in the pre-application review process if requested by the Office of State Planning Coordination and shall provide such assistance and advice as requested by the Office of State Planning Coordination.
(b) In special circumstances, the Office of State Planning Coordination may waive the pre-application requirements of this chapter. Where such waiver is granted, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall provide a written explanation of the causes for the waiver to the relevant local jurisdiction and the applicant. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, local governments that impose a more stringent review of projects enumerated in § 9203(a) of this title than required by this chapter, or for projects which will provide an extraordinary benefit to the State and the local jurisdiction through economic development, job creation, educational opportunities, public services or facilities, agricultural preservation or protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
(c) In order to more effectively coordinate with the local land-use process, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall, through a memorandum of understanding agreed to by both parties, exempt the local jurisdiction from the provisions of this chapter or modify the pre-application review process specified herein when the local jurisdiction has a Certified Comprehensive Plan and imposes a more stringent review of projects enumerated in § 9203(a) of this title than required by this chapter.
(d) The Office of State Planning Coordination shall coordinate, where possible, the other state review processes including but not limited to the transportation agreements specified in Title 9, and other state land use review and permitting processes.
§ 9206 Local jurisdiction authorities, roles and responsibilities.
(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to deny local jurisdictions their final decision-making authority over proposed local land use planning actions.
(b) The local jurisdiction shall, in accordance with this chapter, make its final decision and notify the Office of State Planning Coordination of such decision as soon as possible.
Current through Register Vol. 23, September 1, 2019
Delawareans are concerned about the threat of sprawl, traffic congestion, loss of farmland and open space, diminished air and water quality, and a shortage of affordable housing.
Strategies for State Policies and Spending was adopted by Governor Ruth Ann Minner and published by the Office of State Planning Coordination to coordinate land use decision-making with the provision of infrastructure and services in a manner that makes the best use of Delaware's natural and fiscal resources. There are two fundamental policies that guide the State Strategies:
Strategies for State Policies and Spending includes a map that serves as a graphic representation of the areas favored for growth. The map depicts four investment levels, of which the first three are appropriate locations for the application of these regulations: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 3, however, is intended for longer term phased growth or land preservation. For a full description of the investment levels as well as the map, please visit:
www.state.de.us/planning/strategies. The strategies of the State's Livable Delaware initiative complement the Strategies for State Policies and Spending. They are intended to support growth in areas that the State has agreed are most appropriate for and capable of accommodating this growth in an efficient and cost-effective manner, with a focus on existing communities and growth areas. Through these regulations, detailed herein, DelDOT is empowered to secure right-of-way for roadway improvements that are consistent with and support this key objective of Livable Delaware.
§ 6084 Source Water Protection Citizen and Technical Advisory Committee.
The Secretary shall consult a citizen and technical advisory committee, as established by the Delaware Source Water Assessment Plan, on matters related to the implementation of the Source Water Assessment Plan and the requirements of this statute.