Delaware Code > Title 9 > Chapter 49 > Subchapter II > § 4956. Required and optional elements of comprehensive plan; studies and surveys
Current as of: 2011
(a) The comprehensive plan shall consist of materials in such descriptive form, either written or graphic, as may be appropriate to the prescription of principles, guidelines and standards for the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental and fiscal development of the area.
(b) Coordination of the several elements of the local comprehensive plan shall be a major objective of the planning process.
(c) A capital improvements plan covering at least a 5-year period shall be developed in accordance with the adoption of, and be consistent with, the comprehensive plan. The capital improvements plan shall be designed to consider the need for and the location of public facilities in order to encourage the efficient utilization of such facilities and set forth:
(1) Principles for construction, extension or increase in capacity of public facilities, as well as principles for correcting existing public facility deficiencies, which are necessary to implement the comprehensive plan.
(2) Estimated public facility costs, including a delineation of when facilities will be needed, the general location of the facilities and projected revenue sources to fund the facilities.
(3) Standards to ensure the availability of public facilities and the adequacy of those facilities.
(4) To the extent provisions of the capital improvements plan anticipate State financial assistance, involvement or cooperation, such provisions shall be developed in conjunction with the state capital improvement plan and annual capital budget.
(d) The capital improvements plan shall be reviewed on an annual basis and modified as necessary. Corrections, updates and modifications concerning costs, revenue sources, acceptance of facilities pursuant to dedications which are consistent with the plan, or the date of construction of any facility enumerated in the capital improvements plan may be accomplished by ordinance and shall not be deemed to be amendments to the local comprehensive plan. All proposed improvements to public facilities shall be consistent with the capital improvements plan.
(e) Coordination of the comprehensive plan with the comprehensive plans of municipalities within the County, adjacent counties and applicable state regulations and policy shall be an objective of the comprehensive planning process. To that end, in the preparation of a comprehensive plan or element thereof, and in the comprehensive plan or element as adopted, the planning agency shall include a specific policy statement or coordinated mapping element indicating the relationship of the proposed development of the area to the comprehensive plans of municipalities within the County, adjacent counties and applicable state regulations and policy as the case may require. Such policy statement or coordinated mapping element shall specifically identify the coordination process undertaken and the official action taken by affected municipalities regarding the county comprehensive plan. Such statement or element shall also set forth the procedures to be followed to ensure continuing coordination with municipalities, regional agencies and the State. In addition, the comprehensive plan shall provide for coordination with state agencies regarding land use and development policies and shall provide for review and consideration by the Governor's Advisory Council on Planning Coordination at such times as required by this subchapter.
(f) The comprehensive plan and its elements shall contain policy recommendations for the implementation of the plan and its elements.
(g) The comprehensive plan shall include:
(1) A future land use plan element designating proposed future general distribution, location and extent of the uses of land for such activities as residential uses, commercial uses, industry, agriculture, recreation, conservation, education, public buildings and grounds, other public facilities and other categories of the public and private uses of land. The plan shall include standards to be followed in the control and distribution of population densities and building and structure intensities. The proposed distribution, location and extent of the various categories of land use shall be shown on a land use map or map series which shall be supplemented by goals, policies and measurable objectives. Each land use category shall be defined in terms of the types of uses included and standards for the density or intensity of use. The future land use plan shall be based upon surveys, studies and data regarding the area, including the amount of land required to accommodate anticipated growth, the projected population of the area, the character of undeveloped land, and the availability of public services. The future land use plan may designate areas for future planned development use involving combinations of types of uses for which special regulations may be necessary to ensure development in accord with the principles and standards of the comprehensive plan and this subchapter. The land use maps or map series shall generally identify and depict historic district boundaries and shall designate historically significant properties meriting protection. Population, demographic, environment, oil economic data and projections used to determine present conditions, future land use, and public facility requirements shall be developed in conjunction with the State and municipalities, and shall, as a minimum, be consistent with projections officially adopted by the Delaware Population Consortium. The sources and assumptions used to develop such projections shall be clearly identified.
(2) A mobility element which is consistent with the approved area-wide transportation plan and has been developed in conjunction with the Department of Transportation. The mobility element shall provide a balanced transportation system addressing the movement of people and goods while showing existing and proposed rights-of-way, sidewalks, bikeways, rail facilities, terminals and related facilities. The mobility element shall include recommendations for land use regulations that promote a range of sustainable transportation choices for future transportation needs. The mobility element shall be consistent with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality attainment.
(3) A water and sewer element correlated to principles and guidelines for future land use, indicating ways to provide for future potable water, and wastewater disposal for the area. County government, in conjunction with the State, shall assess their current, as well as projected, water needs and sources. The element shall describe the problems and needs and the general facilities that will be required for solution of the problems and needs. The water and sewer element shall be developed in consultation with and reviewed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The water and sewer element shall include an assessment of fiscal considerations and shall be consistent with approved area-wide wastewater treatment plans.
(4) A conservation element for the conservation, use and protection of natural resources in the area and which results in the identification of these resources. At a minimum, the element shall consist of such natural area classifications as wetlands, wood uplands, habitat areas, geological areas, hydrological areas, floodplains, aquifer recharge areas, ocean beaches, soils and slopes. The land use map or map series contained in the future land use element shall generally identify and depict natural areas classifications, such as those enumerated in this section. The land uses identified on said maps shall be consistent with applicable state laws and regulations. Identification and depiction of the above shall be based on the best topographic maps and other information available from state and federal agencies or other sources that the County deems appropriate. The conservation element shall also consider areas most suited for agricultural uses, silvacultural uses and watershed protection. The conservation element shall be developed in consultation with and reviewed by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
(5) A recreation and open space element indicating a comprehensive system of public and private sites for recreation including, but not limited to, nature preserves, parks and playgrounds, parkways, water bodies including beaches and public access to beaches, open spaces and other recreational facilities. A county recreation and open space plan is acceptable in lieu of a recreation and open space element. The recreation and open space element shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The element shall be developed in consultation with and reviewed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and shall reflect the State's open space preservation and outdoor recreation planning activities.
(6) A housing element that is consistent with county housing plans, standards and principles. Such housing plans shall be in accordance with state and federal rules and regulations and the housing plan or housing element of the comprehensive plan shall include the following:
a. The provision of housing for existing residents and the anticipated growth of the area.
b. The elimination of substandard dwelling conditions.
c. The structural and aesthetic improvement of existing housing.
d. The provision of adequate sites for future housing, including housing for low-income and moderate-income families, group home facilities and foster care facilities, with supporting infrastructure and public facilities.
e. Provision for relocation housing and identification of historically significant and other housing for purposes of conservation, rehabilitation or replacement.
f. The formulation of housing implementation programs.
g. Demonstrated coordination with the State Housing Authority including but not limited to guidelines to insure that sites for publicly assisted housing are located where adequate transportation opportunities, health and social services and other community services are available.
(7) An intergovernmental coordination element of the comprehensive plan shall demonstrate consideration of the particular effects of the plan, when adopted, upon the development of municipalities within the County, adjacent counties or on the applicable state regulations.
(8) A recommended community design element to assist in the achievement of the objectives of the comprehensive plan which may consist of design recommendations for land subdivision, neighborhood development, neighborhood redevelopment, design of open space locations and similar matters. To that end, such recommendations may be made available as aids and guides to developers in the future planning and development of land in the area.
(9) An historical preservation element which sets out plans and programs for those structures or lands in the area having historical, archaeological, architectural or similar significance. The historical preservation element shall be developed in consultation with and reviewed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State.
(10) An economic development element setting forth principles and guidelines for the commercial and industrial development, if any, and the employment and personnel utilization within the area. The element may detail the type of commercial and industrial development sought while correlating the present and projected employment needs of the area to other elements of the plan and may set forth methods by which a balanced and stable economic base will be pursued. The economic development element shall include a general area redevelopment component consisting of plans, criteria and programs for community redevelopment, including reuse of housing sites, business sites, industrial sites, central business districts, public building sites, recreational facilities and other locations. The economic development element shall be developed in consultation with and reviewed by the Economic Development Office.
(h) The comprehensive plan may include such other elements as may be peculiar to and/or necessary for the area concerned and as are added by the governing body upon the recommendation of the local planning agency.
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