CHAPTER 184

AN ACT TO CREATE A STATE PLANNING OFFICE, TO PROVIDE FOR STATE PLANNING ACTIVITIES, TO ENCOURAGE THE INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE AND TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE PLANNING OFFICE TO PERFORM STATE AND INTERSTATE COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES, PLANNING FOR METROPOLITAN OR REGIONAL AREAS AND AREAS OF RAPID URBANIZATION INCLUDING INTERSTATE AREAS AND TO PROVIDE PLANNING ASSISTANCE TO TOWNS, CITIES, OTHER MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTIES, GROUPS OF ADJACENT COMMUNITIES, METROPOLITAN AND REGIONAL AREAS AND OFFICIAL GOVERNMENTAL PLANNING AGENCIES; AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DELAWARE STATE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT AND OTHER PLANNING AGENCIES AND LOCALITIES TO CONTRACT FOR AND ACCEPT AND EXPEND GRANTS FOR PLANNING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OTHER SOURCES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 29, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Chapter 49 as follows:

CHAPTER 49 — STATE PLANNING

§ 4901. Definitions

The term "comprehensive planning", as used in this Chapter includes but is not limited to (a) preparation of long-range general physical plans with respect to land use, traffic, transportation, and the provision of public facilities, together with long-range fiscal plans for such development, (b) programming and financing plans for capital improvements, (c) coordination of related plans, (d) intergovernmental coordination of related planned activities, and (e) preparation of regulatory and administrative measures in support of the foregoing.

§ 4902. Short Title

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Delaware Planning Act".

§ 4903. Findings and Purpose

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that statewide planning is essential to the orderly growths and development of the State; to promote the health, safety and general welfare of its citizens; to effectuate a balanced, integrated program for the effective employment of the natural and other resources of the State; to anticipate and to prepare plans for meeting problems in the areas of highways, housing, water supply, sewage, air and water pollution, recreation, agriculture, urban and metropolitan growth, air, water and surface transportation, education and culture, preservation of historical sites, industrial and commercial development, traffic safety, fishing, boating, and other matters; and to secure through planning the economical and efficient expenditure of tax revenue.

(b) The legislature further finds and declares that such state-wide planning can best be accomplished by the creation of a State planning office with powers and duties, as provided for in this Act.

§ 4904. State Planning Office

(a) There is created a State Planning Office in the executive department, responsible to the governor. The State Planning Office shall serve as the governor's staff agency in planning matters and it shall function as an advisory, consultative and co-ordinating agency (1) harmonizing its planning activities with the planning activities of other departments, boards, commissions, agencies or instrumentalities of State, county or municipal government, (2) rendering necessary planning assistance, and (3) stimulating public interest and participation in the orderly growths and development of the State.

(b) To facilitate the solution of urban and metropolitan and regional planning problems and comprehensive planning for the State, and its towns, cities, counties, metropolitan and regional and urban areas, the State Planning Office is authorized to perform State and interstate comprehensive planning, and research and other activities, related thereto, similar planning and research for metropolitan or regional or other urban areas, or areas where rapid urbanization has resulted or is expected to result from a Federal installation, including areas extending into adjoining States, and to provide planning assistance upon request to (1) any town, city, other municipality, or county, or (2) any group of adjacent communities, incorporated or unincorporated, having common or related urban planning or development problems, or (3) any metropolitan or regional or other urban areas or (4) any official governmental planning agency for an area where rapid urbanization has resulted or is expected to result from a Federal installation.

(c) Nothing contained in this Act shall operate in derogation of planning powers conferred by the Constitution or laws of this State or a local law upon departments, boards, commissions, agencies, or instrumentalities of State, county or municipal government.

§ 4905. Director of State Planning

(a) The State Planning Office shall be headed by a director of State planning. He shall be appointed by the Governor to serve at the governor's pleasure. The director during his term of office shall maintain a residency in this State. The director shall be qualified by training or experience in State or regional planning.

(b) The director of State planning shall exercise the powers of the State Planning Office and shall be responsible for the execution of its duties. The director shall also:

(1) Appoint and remove the staff of the office, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) Direct the activities of the office;

(3) Serve as secretary of the State Planning Council, created by this Chapter, or designate a staff member of the Office to act in his stead;

(4) Advise the State planning council of the activities of the Office and submit to the State Planning Council for its consideration and advice the Delaware development plan, or any substantial phase or part, amendment, revision or extension thereof or additions or repeals thereto, prior to filing the same in accordance with the provisions of Section eight hereof:

(5) Advise the governor and other officials of the State government on all matters of state-wide planning, and consult with them with respect to matters of planning affecting the duties and responsibilities of their offices;

(6) Have access, or designate staff members of the office who shall have access to information, reports and data which relate to State planning in the possession of departments, boards, commissions, agencies, or instrumentalities of the State, or in the possession of county or municipal or other local agencies and instrumentalities;

(7) Hold hearings on matters of State planning, after notice thereof to interested parties;

(8) Attend and participate in meetings of county or municipal planning bodies, interstate agencies and other planning conferences, and may co-operate with such instrumentalities in matters affecting the duty and responsibilities of the Office;

(9) Exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of his duties.

§ 4906. Delaware State Planning Council

(a) There is created within the State Planning Office a Delaware State Planning Council to advise and assist the director of State planning in the performance of his duties. The State planning council shall consist of fifteen members, appointed by the Governor, and to serve at his pleasure. Five members shall be residents of New Castle County, and at least 2 of them shall be residents of Wilmington; and five members each shall be residents of Kent and Sussex Counties, respectively. No member shall hold a salaried State, county or local office, and members shall be selected as far as possible, to reflect different economic, professional and social interests in the State. No more than eight members of the State Planning Council shall be from any one political party. The Governor shall appoint a chairman of the State planning council who shall serve for a period of two years. The Governor shall rotate the office of chairman among the three counties. The members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(b) The State Planning Council shall meet at least twice each year upon the call of the Governor. In addition, the chairman shall call a meeting of the council whenever requested to do so by the director of State planning or by any four members of the State Planning Council, or he may do so on his own initiative.

(c) The State planning council shall:

(1) Consider the Delaware development plan or any part thereof prior to its submission to the Governor, and advise the director of State planning in regard thereto;

(2) Request and consider special reports by the Office concerning activities of such office;

(3) Request information of the director concerning current programs which, in the opinion of the State Planning Council, are of public interest;

(4) Act in a general advisory capacity to the director and, when requested by him, make recommendations concerning the operation of the office;

(5) Study and report from time to time upon the effectiveness of planning in the State, to evaluate the effectiveness of this Act, and to urge its revision or amendment when, in the opinion of the Council, such action is necessary to assure the maximum effectiveness of planning activities covered herein;

(6) Advise and assist the director in fostering public awareness and understanding of the objectives and functions of State and local planning and in stimulating public participation and interest in the orderly, integrated development of the State;

(7) Hold hearings and sponsor public forums in any part of the State.

§ 4907. Staff

The director of State planning shall appoint and remove the staff of the Office. The director may from time to time, contract for professional or consultant service in connection with the work of the Office, and he may enter into agreements with departments, boards, commissions, agencies or instrumentalities of the State for temporary exchanges of personnel.

§ 4908. Powers and duties of office The State planning office shall:

(a) Prepare, and from time to time revise, amend, extend or add to, a plan or plans for the development of the State, which plan or plans collectively shall be known as the Delaware development plan. Such plan shall be based on studies of physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends and shall aim at the co-ordinated development of the State in order to promote the general welfare and prosperity of its people. In preparing the development plan or any part thereof, and in preparing, from time to time, revisions, amendments, extensions or additions, the State Planning Office may seek the co-operation and advice of appropriate departments, agencies and instrumentalities of federal, State, county and local governments, regional and metropolitan planning commissions, educational institutions and research organizations, whether public or private, and of civic groups and private persons and organizations. The development plan shall embody the policy recommendations of the State Planning Office in regard to the physical development of the State and shall contain:

(1) A statement of the objectives, standards and principles sought to be expressed in the plan;

(2) Recommendations for the most desirable general pattern of land use within the State, in the 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 the 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;

(3) The major circulation pattern recommended for the State, including major routes and terminals of transportation and communication facilities whether used for movement of peoples and goods within the State or for movement from and to adjoining areas;

(4) 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 and military or defense installations, which works or facilities, by reason of their function, size, extent, legal status, or for any other cause are of State as distinguished from purely local concern, or the authorization, location or construction of which are legally within the province or jurisdiction of State bodies or officials, or which for any other cause are appropriate subjects for inclusion in the development plan as distinguished from the local or regional public plans or programs.

(5) Such other recommendations of the director of State planning concerning current and impending problems as may affect the State as a whole.

(b) Make studies and investigations, insofar as may be relevant to State planning, of the resources of the State and of existing and emerging problems of agriculture, industry, commerce, transportation, population, urban and suburban development, housing, urban renewal, public service, local government and of allied matters affecting the development of the State, and in making such studies, seek the cooperation and collaboration of the appropriate departments, boards, commissions, agencies, and instrumentalities of federal, State and local government, educational institutions and research organizations, whether public or private, and of civic groups and private persons and organizations.

(c) Act as the Governor's principal staff agency in planning matters concerning the resources and development of the State and, in this capacity, undertake special studies and investigations, submit reports and render advice to the Governor whenever he may request it.

(d) Provide information to and co-operate with the State Legislature or any of its committees in connection with studies as relevant to State planning.

(e) Prepare the State's program of public works and major capital improvement projects in collaboration with the Budget Commission and assist in the preparation of the annual capital budget, as well as study all capital projects proposed to be undertaken by State departments and agencies, and render advice thereon, in accordance with the provisions of Section 4909 of this Chapter.

(f) Prepare and from time to time revise inventory listing of the State's natural resources, and of major public and private works and facilities of all kinds which are deemed of importance to the development of the State as a whole.

(g) Co-operate with, and provide planning assistance, including but not limited to surveys, land use studies, urban renewal plans, technical services and other planning work, to county, municipal or other local governments, instrumentalities or planning agencies; and co-operate with and assist departments and other agencies or instrumentalities of federal, State and local government; as well as regional, metropolitan, county, municipal or other local or private planning agencies in the execution of their planning functions with a view to harmonizing their planning activities with the development plan. The State Planning Office shall also co-operate and confer with, and upon request, supply information to federal agencies, and to local or regional agencies created pursuant to a federal program or which receive federal support, and shall co-operate and confer, as far as possible, with planning agencies of other States or of regional groupings of States. Whenever co-operation or assistance under this subsection includes the rendering of technical services, such services may be rendered free or in accordance with an agreement for reimbursement.

(h) Advise, and supply information, as far as available, to civic groups and private persons and organizations who may request such information or advice, and who study or otherwise concern themselves with the State's problems and development in the fields of agriculture, urban growth, business and industry, labor, natural resources, housing, and public service activities such as public health and education, insofar as such problems and development may be relevant to State planning.

(i) Provide information to officials of departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities of State and local government and to the public at large, in order to foster public awareness and understanding of the objectives of the development plan and of the functions of State and local planning, and in order to stimulate public interest and participation in the orderly, integrated development of the State.

(j) Accept and receive, in furtherance of its function, funds, grants and services from the federal government or its agencies, from departments, agencies and instrumentalities of State or local government or from private and civic sources.

(k) Co-operate, in the exercise of its planning functions, with federal and State agencies in planning for civil defense.

(1) Exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of its duties.

§ 4909. Filing of Delaware development plan

Upon the preparation of the State development plan or of any substantial phase or part thereof, or upon the preparation of an amendment or revision of the plan or of any part thereof, or upon the preparation of any extension of or addition to the Delaware development plan, the director of State planning shall first submit the plan, phase, or functional part, amendment, revision or extension thereof or addition thereto to the Delaware State Planning Council for its consideration and advice. Thereafter, the director shall submit the same to the Governor, who may file it, together with his comments, in the office of the Secretary of State. Upon filing it, the Governor shall transmit copies thereof, together with copies of his comments, to the heads of all departments, boards, commissions, agencies, and instrumentalities of State government and to the State Legislature. If the Governor files such plan or part of a plan, the State Planning Office shall make copies thereof available for general distribution or sale.

§ 4910. Preparation of capital program; assistance in preparation of annual capital budget

The State Planning Office shall prepare, amend and keep up to date a six-year program of State public works and major capital improvement projects undertaken or recommended to be undertaken by the State. Such program, to be known as the capital program, may also contain major projects undertaken or recommended to be undertaken with State aid or under State regulation. In preparing the program, the State Planning Office shall have the collaboration of the Budget Commission. The program shall classify projects in regard to the urgency and need for their realization, and shall recommend a time sequence for their construction. The program shall also contain estimated cost of each project and shall indicate probable operating and maintenance costs and probable revenues, if any, as well as existing sources of funds or the need for additional sources of funds for the construction and operation of each project. The capital program shall, as far as possible, be based on existing information in the possession of the State planning office, the Budget Commission and other appropriate departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities of State government. Heads of departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities of State government shall transmit to the director of State planning a statement of all capital projects proposed to be undertaken by their departments or agencies for study, advice and recommendation by the State Planning Office and for consideration for inclusion in the capital program of the State. Upon request, the department or agency heads shall also submit such information to the State Planning Office and to the Budget Commission as may be required in the preparation of the program. The State Planning Office shall assist the Budget Commission in the preparation of the annual budget.

§ 4911. Assistance to local planning agencies

The State planning office may render financial or other planning assistance to county, municipal or other local governments, instrumentalities or planning agencies and to regional or metropolitan planning commissions. Such assistance may be conditioned on equal, larger or smaller contributions by the agency which requests such assistance, but in any case in which funds or services are requested and received by the State Planning Office from any federal agency for planning assistance to county, municipal or other local governments, instrumentalities or planning agencies, or to regional or metropolitan planning commissions, the condition imposed by federal law or regulation shall be carried out. Whenever federal laws or regulations condition such grants upon equal, larger or smaller contributions without specification as to whether the State, or the locality receiving planning assistance shall make such contribution, the State Planning Office may supply such contribution or any part thereof. Whenever the State Planning Office is requested to render financial assistance to a regional, metropolitan, county, municipal or other local planning agency, the director of State planning shall first consider the adequacy and competence of the particular agency. All local governments, instrumentalities or planning agencies receiving financial or other planning assistance from the State Planning Office shall, at the request of the director of State planning, submit copies of their budgets for planning purposes to him. He may also require an annual audit of their financial operations related to planning by an appropriated State agency, or by auditors or accountants legally qualified to perform municipal audits. When a local government, instrumentality or planning agency receives financial or other planning assistance from a federal agency, the director of State planning may accept such federal agency's audit.

§ 4912. Reports

(a) The State Planning Office shall submit an annual report to the Governor on or before the 1st day of November. The annual report shall contain summaries of those sections of the Delaware development plan which have been amended, revised, added or deleted during the year which have previously been filed by the Governor in accordance with Section 4909 of this chapter, and the nature of all such amendments, revisions, additions and deletions shall be clearly indicated. The annual report shall also contain summaries of important studies partially or entirely completed by the State Planning Office and summaries of the work of the office and of the Delaware State Planning Council.

(b) The State Planning Office shall also submit special reports upon the request of the Governor or the General Assembly, or of the Council, or at the discretion of the director, on those aspects of the State Planning Office's work which may be deemed of current interest. Special reports on major research and planning projects, as distinguished from mere compilations of current data, shall be made available as soon as practicable after completion.

(c) The State Planning Office shall distribute copies of its annual report to the members of the Legislature, to the heads of all State departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities and all local, regional and metropolitan planning agencies in the State, and upon request, to interested federal agencies. The special reports of the State Planning Office shall be distributed in the same manner as the annual report unless the Governor directs otherwise. The Office shall make copies of special and annual reports available for general distribution or sale.

§ 4913. Authority to seek Federal aid

The State Planning Office, official metropolitan and regional planning agencies, official governmental planning agencies for areas where rapid urbanization has resulted or is expected to result from a Federal installation, towns, cities, other municipalities, and counties are authorized to apply for, and to accept and expend grants from the Federal Government and any other public or private sources for the purposes of this Chapter, to contract with reference thereto, and to enter into other contracts (including interstate compacts with respect to planning work involving an adjoining State or States where such compacts have been authorized by law by the adjoining State or States), and to exercise all the other powers necessary to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.

Approved September 5, 1961.