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GreeNCC Environmental Legislative Agenda  

Transportation Capacity: Ordinance No. 19-005

Since 2017, the New Castle County Department of Land Use, has sought input from transportation experts from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), and the community to examine how travel capacity is reviewed and how its guidelines and regulations are applied.  Review of these regulations to ensure community character and direct economic growth have been central themes of this discussion. 

After a thorough discussion with interested parties, the Department of Land Use has asked County Council to consider legislation which will focus how we review and apply development applications.

This ordinance was also considered by the Planning Board as Application number 2019-0050-T.  The Department of Land Use's presentation at the Board's Business Meeting on April 16, 2019 may be viewed here.  Information on the multiple public meetings held for this initiative is available below. Also, you may click here for more information pertaining to the Planning Board application.  

Our viewpoint:

  • Fact Sheet detailing the ordinance may be reviewed by clicking here. 
  • News Journal Op/Ed coauthored by County Executive Meyer and former Civic League of New Castle County President Jordyn Pusey may be read here. 
  • News Journal Op/Ed coauthored by Jennifer Kmiec, Executive Director of the Committee of 100, and Bryon Short, Executive Vice President of the Delaware Contractors Association may be read here.

Learn more about Transportation Improvement Districts by viewing these sites:

Unified Development Code (UDC) Revisions

  1. What is it?
  2. What's Happened So Far?

New Castle County, Delaware adopted its Unified Development Code (UDC) in December 1997. The purpose of the UDC is to establish standards, procedures, and minimum requirements, consistent with the Comprehensive Development Plan, which regulate and control the planning and subdivision of lands; the use, bulk, design, and location of land and buildings; the creation and administration of zoning districts; and the general development of real estate in the unincorporated areas of New Castle County, Delaware. Since 1998, the UDC has had 112 Amendments and increased the number of code pages from 374 to 515.

Third Level of Service (LOS) Forum - 10/1/18:

The third and final public meeting regarding transportation regulations was held on October 1, 2018 in the New Castle County Gilliam Building Multi-purpose Conference Room.  The Department, with input from transportation experts, the community and DelDOT have been examining how travel capacity is reviewed and how its guidelines and regulations are applied.  Reviewing these regulations to ensure community character and direct economic growth have been central themes of this discussion.  This dialog continued with a focus on transportation improvement districts (TIDs), their value as an economic tool, and the community safeguards that would accompany a defined geographical area.  Please see the documents below for additional information.20181001_181750 crop

LOS Forum Agenda - 10/1/18    10/1/18 sign in   Presentation Slide Show  

US 40 West TID - Safeguard Sports - TID Exercise       US 40 East TID - Direct Distributors - TID Exercise    

Churchmans Crossing TID - Advanced Labs - TID Exercise     LOS FORUM 10-1-18 TID Exercise Report-out Summary   

LOS FORUM 10-1-18 TID Exercise Questions-Notes from Report-outs

Community Open House - 3/1/18:

As part of its community outreach and engagement efforts, the New Castle County Department of Land Use hosted a Community Open House on the evening of March 1, 2018 at the James Gilliam Building in New Castle, Delaware.  The Department discussed with nearly 100 residents and community stakeholders the following key timely items:

 Approach for updating the New Castle County Comprehensive Plan;

Updating certain sections of the Unified Development Code; and

Attendees also participated in a Level of Service group exercise where they played the role of a New Castle County official who was tasked with balancing economic development and job creation considerations with real-world traffic capacity concerns.  (Spoiler alert: TIDs ruled the day!)

View the summary report

Sign in sheet

Panel Discussion on Traffic Impact Requirements for Land Development in New Castle County - 10/18/17:Panel Discussion

A panel discussion on the topic of Level of Service (LOS) with representatives from New Castle County’s Department of Land Use and the transportation, economic, civic, and engineering communities was held on October 18, 2017, at the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center in New Castle. A complete report on the event is available (PDF).

Panelists included transportation, economic and engineering professionals and civic leaders. The event kicked off with a review of how New Castle County considers the vehicular traffic impact of proposed development (known as Level of Service standards) in the planning review process, issues with its implementation, and information on what other jurisdictions do and potential ideas to consider for addressing some of criticisms of the law. This was followed by a panel discussion, questions from the audience, and an interactive polling of the audience. 

Residents are also encouraged to review the  Level of Service White Paper (PDF) commissioned by the Department of Land Use, which explores the Level of Service standard in New Castle County and in other jurisdictions. A list of additional information related to the presentation/discussion is also available below, followed by a *video of the meeting. *Please note that the video may not function properly in some web browsers; we recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox.

Traffic Impact Panel Discussion - 10/18/17:

*Please note that the video below may not function properly in some web browsers; we recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox.


*Please note that certain features on this page may not function properly in some web browsers; we recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox for the best experience.

UDC Public Workshop regarding Process & Site Design standards held June 28, 2017 

Over the past year, the Department of Land Use has been working on potential revisions to the Unified Development Code (UDC) in order to improve its readability, organization, and usability for the public and applicants for various development proposals. In an effort to solicit additional public input, the Department hosted a workshop to discuss proposed code language changes. Please see below for the presentation and information from this event.

5th UDC Public Workshop regarding Process & Site Design standards held June 28, 2017
20170628_182112 cropThe Department of Land Use hosted a workshop at Christiana Fire Hall on June 28, 2017 to discuss proposed code language changes regarding Process and Site Design standards. This workshop was attended by more than 50 people, including members of the public, local professionals, and New Castle County staff, as well as County Executive Matt Meyer. The meeting kicked off with an introduction and opening remarks from Land Use General Manager, Rich Hall, followed by presentations by consultants Mark White and Andrew Bing. Also included was a question and answer session, a live interactive survey poll, and an opportunity to review Process and Site Design story boards with Land Use staff.  View the presentation slideshow by clicking here. Additional information from this event will be posted on this page shortly. You may direct any questions regarding Part 2 of the UDC Revision Project to Brad Shockley (Process) at bshockley@nccde.org or Marco Boyce (Site Design) at mkboyce@nccde.org.

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June 28 Workshop Story Boards and Comments


Direct Questions or Comments to:

Brad Shockley (Process):  bshockley@newcastlede.gov
Marco Boyce (Site Design):  mkboyce@newcastlede.gov

Previous Presentations, Fact Sheets and Documents:

UDC Update Project - Part 1 Effort and Accomplishments:

On Monday, January 23, County Executive Matt Meyer signed three ordinances creating a new appendix containing Guiding Principles for new development, the standards for creating neighborhood preservation overlay districts and a new zoning district for economic empowerment.
View the video of County Executive Meyer's signing ceremony here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zPbq7s3zHM

Please see below for additional information regarding the evolution and accomplishments of Part 1.
Economic Empowerment Districts
Signed Legislation
Contact: Brad Shockley, Planner III

Neighborhood Preservation Overlay Districts
Signed Legislation
Contact:  Janet Vinc, Planner III

Appendix 7 - Guiding Principles
Signed Legislation
Contact: Marco Boyce, Planner III