AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE VILLAGE OF ARDEN.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all Members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
NAME AND GENERAL POWERS
Section 1. (a) The inhabitants of the Village of Arden, in New Castle County, Delaware, and their successors within the limits hereinafter prescribed or hereafter established, are hereby constituted, created and established a municipal corporation and body politic forever, by the name and style of the "Village of Arden", hereinafter "the Village".
(b) Under that name they shall have perpetual succession; may have and use a corporate seal, which may be altered, changed or renewed at pleasure; may sue and be sued; for any public, municipal, educational or charitable purposes, may acquire by gift, grant, purchase, lease, demise, bequest or otherwise hold, real and personal property within and without the limits hereinafter prescribed; for the common benefit may dispose of real and personal property owned or held by it; and shall possess, in addition to the powers expressly enumerated or specifically mentioned in this Act, all powers, which under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it is now or in the future may be, lawful for this Act to enumerate. All powers of the village, whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised as prescribed by this Act. If no procedure or manner of exercise be prescribed herein the same shall be exercised as prescribed by an appropriate ordinance or resolution of the Commissioners of the Village or their successors.
Section 2. The corporate limits of the Village are hereby established and declared to be as follows:
(Grubb Landing Road) ; thence from said point of Beginning and along the said center line of Marsh Road, North 61 degrees, 35 minutes East, 1400 feet more or less to a point in the center line of Naamans Creek; thence thereby, by the various courses thereof in a generally South-easterly direction 3550 feet more or less to a point, said point being distant by a tie line of South 67 degrees, 17 minutes, 40 seconds East, 2785.59 feet from the last described point; thence along the North-westerly line of land formerly of Lewis B. Harvey, North 64 degrees, 42 minutes West, 2344 feet more or less to a point in the said center line of Grubbs Road and a corner for lands formerly of John A. Harris; thence along the North-westerly line of said land formerly of John A. Harris, South 56 degrees, 08 minutes West, 1684.32 feet to a point, a corner for land formerly of James Cochrane; thence along the Northeasterly line of said land formerly of James Cochrane, North 25 degrees, 07 minutes West, 2200 feet more or less to a point in the said center line of Marsh Road; thence along the said center line of Marsh Road, North 61 degrees, 13 minutes East, 742.5 feet to a point in the said center line of Grubbs Road and the point and place of Beginning. Containing within said described metes and bounds, 155.93 acres of land, be the same more or less.
STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
Section 3. The government of the Village and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Act, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in the Commissioners of the Village of Arden, hereinafter referred to as the "the Commissioners". The Commissioners shall consist of three members, each of whom shall be above the age of 21 years and a resident of the Village.
Section 4. The persons serving as trustees under a certain Indenture referred to in Section 15 hereof shall by this Act be appointed to serve and shall continue to serve and act as the Commissioners of the Village until their successors are duly chosen as hereafter provided. The Commissioners now and hereafter shall serve without compensation for the duties of Commissioners, as such. The Commissioners shall elect and appoint such officials, employees, agents, and committees or
commissions of the Village which the Commissioners may deem proper and necessary for the proper conduct and management of the Village and for the operation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act and of any ordinances or resolutions adopted hereunder. Any person so appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the Commissioners but in no event longer than two (2) years, unless reappointed. His or her compensation shall be fixed by the Commissioners.
Section 5. The general municipal election shall be held on the second Saturday in May of each odd numbered calendar year following the approval of this Act. The election shall be held at such public places in the Village as shall be determined by the Registration Committee, due notice of which shall be given by posting notices thereof in five public places within the Village not less than ten days before the day of the election. At such election three Commissioners shall be elected to succeed to the offices of the Commissioners and shall serve until their successors are duly chosen. A general municipal election shall be held and conducted in the following manner:
(a) Candidates for the office of Commissioner shall be nominated by petition signed by not less than twenty-five (25) nor more than forty (40) qualified voters of the Village, which petition or petitions shall be filed with the Registration Committee on or before 12:00 o'clock noon on the second Saturday preceding the general election;
(b) No nominating petition shall designate more than one person to be voted for as Commissioner of the Village;
(c) No qualified voter shall sign the nominating petition of more candidates than there are vacancies of the Commissioners to be filled at such general election.
(d) There must be attached to each nominating petition an affidavit of the circulator thereof stating: the number of signers; that each signature appended thereto was made in his presence; that each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be; and that all of the said signers are entitled to vote at the election referred to therein.
The form of the nominating petition shall be substantially as follows:
"We, the undersigned, qualified voters of the Village of Arden, hereby nominate for the office of Commissioner, to be voted for at the general election to be held in the Village of Arden upon the
day of in the year ; and we individually certify that we are qualified to vote for a candidate for Commissioner as aforesaid and that we have truly designated the capacity in which we sign this petition as such qualified voter.
QUALIFIED VOTER ADDRESS
(e) Whenever a petition nominating a person for the office of Commissioners of the Village shall have been filed as above prescribed, the name of such person shall be printed on the ballot prepared by the Registration Committee for the general election.
(f) Every election shall, be held under the supervision of the Registration Committee. The Registration Committee shall appoint one Inspector of Election and two Judges of Election. The Judges and Inspector shall be qualified voters of the Village and shall be appointed for that purpose by the Registration Committee at least two weeks before such election.
(g) At any such election every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the Village for a period of six months immediately preceding such election shall have one vote. The term "qualified voter" used hereinbefore and hereinafter in this Act shall refer to any such person. All votes shall be offered in person. No voter shall vote for more candidates than there are offices to be filled at the election, and in voting shall mark an "X" in a
box opposite the name of each candidate for whom the voter decides to cast his or her vote.
(h) The Judges and the Inspector shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered. If a majority of the Judges and the Inspector shall not be satisfied that any person offering to vote at the election is qualified to do so, they shall receive the ballot but shall not count on it, and shall return it in a separate package to the Registration Committee with the name of the person presenting the ballot. The Registration Committee shall have final and exclusive jurisdiction over the right to vote of any person offering to vote at the election.
() Upon the closing of the election, the votes shall be read and counted publicly and the three candidates having the highest number of votes shall be declared by the Registration Committee to be duly chosen as Commissioners and they shall continue in office until their successors are duly chosen.
(a) The Registration Committee referred to in this Charter is and shall at all times consist of those persons serving as and on the "Registration Committee" appointed and empowered under the By-Laws of the Town Assembly of Arden now and hereafter in effect.
Section 6. In case of vacancy in the office of Trustee either by death, resignation or failure to remain a resident of the Village, the remaining Trustees shall appoint a duly qualified person as Trustee to fill the remainder of the term.
MEETINGS OF THE TRUSTEES
Section 7. All meetings of the Commissioners shall be held in some public room in the Village and shall be open at all times to the qualified voters in the Village excepting during such time or times as the Commissioners shall deem it advisable to discuss any matter in executive session; provided, however, that no vote or ballot shall be taken by the Commissioners upon any question or matter coming before them except in open, public session and any vote or ballot taken by the Commissioners upon any matter or subject while in executive session shall be absolutely null and void. The Commissioners shall hold their first meeting within sixty (60) days after the approval of this Act. Notice of the time, date and place of such meeting shall be mailed to all qualified voters of the Village. At such meeting the Commissioners by resolution shall appoint a time, date and place for their regular meetings which shall be held no less than once every three months. A copy of such resolution shall be mailed to all qualified voters of the Village. Special meetings of the Commissioners shall be called by the Clerk of the Commissioners upon the written request of any two Commissioners stating the date, hour and place of such meeting. Notice of such call shall be posted in three public places in the Village at least forty-eight hours before the time of such special meeting and the Clerk shall mail a copy of such notice to all the Commissioners at least five days before the time of such special meeting.
Except for the resolution hereinabove referred to, no ordinance or resolution shall be voted upon by the Commissioners unless submitted to or by the Commissioners in writing and read at the two consecutive meetings, whether regular or special, next preceding the meeting at which any such ordinance or resolution shall be passed upon.
Section 8. A majority of the Commissioners shall constitute a quorum. The Commissioners shall determine their rules and order of business and shall appoint a person, not a Commissioner, as Clerk of the Commissioners to keep a journal of their proceedings. The Yeas and Nays shall be taken upon the passing of every ordinance or resolution. A majority of the Commissioners shall have the power and authority to enact all ordinances, adopt all resolutions, pass all motions, make all orders and transact all business at any meeting of the Commissioners.
CLERK OF THE COMMISSIONERS
Section 9. The Clerk appointed by the Commissioners shall have charge and custody of the books, journal, records, papers and other effects of the Village and shall keep the same in a safe and secure place. He or she shall keep a full and complete record of all the transactions of the Commissioners. He or she shall file and keep in a safe place the seal of the Commissioners of the Village and all papers and documents arising out of the proceedings of the Commissioners and relative to the affairs of the Village. He or she shall deliver the same to his or her successor in office. He shall attest the seal of the Commissioners of the Village when authorized by the Commissioners and shall perform such duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by ordinance.
Section 10. All books, records and journals of the Village in the custody of the Clerk may, in the presence of the Clerk, or any one of the Commissioners, be inspected by any qualified voter of the Village desiring legitimate information at any time or times as may be convenient, but only during ordinary business hours on business days of the week. All records, books, papers and documents in the custody of the Clerk shall at all times be open for the inspection of any of the Commissioners. The compensation of the Clerk for his duties as such, shall be determined by the Commissioners.
Section 11. The Commissioners are empowered to appoint an Alderman who shall be sworn or affirmed to perform the duties of his office with fidelity. The Alderman shall serve at the pleasure of the Commissioners, but in no event longer than two (2) years, unless reappointed by the Commissioners. In his absence or disability or otherwise, the Commissioners, at any meeting, may appoint a resident to serve as acting Alderman. The Alderman shall have all powers of a Justice of the Peace within the Village, and shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other offenses committed within the limits of the Village as far as to arrest and hold to bail, or fine and imprison offenders; of all fines, penalties and forfeitures prescribed by this Charter, ordinances enacted hereunder, or any law of the State of Delaware ; provided, that he shall impose no fine or penalty in excess of that fixed by the ordinance and shall not commit to prison for a longer term than thirty (30) days. The New Castle County Correctional Institution may be used for imprisonment under the provisions
of this Charter provided that the Commissioners shall pay for the board of persons committed for breaches of ordinances which are not breaches of the general law.
The Alderman shall also have jurisdiction in suits of civil nature, for the collection of ground rents, recovery of amounts due and payable for the construction of sidewalks, curbs or pavements, expenses of abatement of nuisances, and all other matters which may arise in the proper government and control of the Village under the provisions of this Charter ; and within his jurisdiction he shall have all the powers and authority and shall be subject to all the limitations of the Justice of the Peace of New Castle County, except as herein otherwise provided. For any service or duty for which no fee is provided by law, such fee shall be established by ordinance.
Upon the expiration of his term of office, or upon resignation or removal from office, the Alderman shall forthwith deliver to his successor all books, papers, documents, and other things belonging or appertaining to his office, and shall pay over to the Commissioners all moneys in his hands belonging to the Village. Upon the failure to make such delivery or payment for the space of five (5) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Delaware, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than one year or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.
Upon the request of the Commissioners, the Alderman shall report in writing all fines imposed by him, and all fines and penalties and other moneys received by him during the preceding month or months belonging to the Village. He shall pay all such moneys to the Commissioners within ten days after making report thereof to the Commissioners and failure to make report to the Commissioners or for failure to make payment to the Commissioners for the space of ten days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished upon conviction as hereinabove provided.
The Alderman shall keep a docket in which all his official acts shall be entered which shall be open to public inspection and examination at all times.
Section 12. The Commissioners shall appoint a police force consisting of such person or persons as the Commissioners may deem wise and advisable; and the Commissioners shall, from time to time make rules and regulations as may be necessary for the organization, government and control of the police force. The members of the force shall be subject to the direction of the Commissioners, and may be removed by the Commissioners at any time. They shall preserve peace and order and shall compel obedience within the Village limits to the ordinances of the Village and the laws of the State, and they shall have such other duties as the Commissioners shall from time to time prescribe.
Each member of the police force shall be vested with all powers and authority of a constable of New Castle County within the Village limits and within one mile outside said limits, and in the case of the pursuit of an offender, his power and authority shall extend to all parts of the State of Delaware.
Every person sentenced to imprisonment by the Alderman shall be delivered by a member of the police force to the New Castle County Correctional Institution, to be there imprisoned for the term of the sentence. In the case of any arrest at a time when the Alderman shall not be available to hear and determine the charge, the person arrested may be delivered to the New Castle County Correctional Institution for imprisonment until such reasonable time thereafter as shall enable the Alderman to hear and determine the charge against such person.
It shall be the duty of the police to suppress riotous, disorderly or turbulent assemblages of persons in the streets and public places of the Village, or the noisy conduct of any person in the same, and upon view of the above, or upon the view of the violation of any ordinances of the Village relating to the peace and good order thereof, the police shall have the right and power to arrest without warrant and to take the offender before the Alderman for hearing.
Section 13. Revenues of the Village, in addition to any fines, penalties or other assessments specifically provided for in this Charter, shall be collected in the manner provided for in this Section, that is to say,
By indenture made the 31st day of January, 1908, certain lands in Brandywine Hundred, New Castle County, State of Delaware were conveyed to three persons therein named as trustees, upon certain trust. All the lands within the boundaries described in Section 2 of this Charter are subject to the provisions of the aforesaid Indenture and are held by the Successors of the persons therein named as trustees on the trusts therein set forth. The aforesaid Indenture empowered and directed said persons and their successors to lease such portions of the lands therein conveyed as may seem good to such persons and their successors, the lease in each case to reserve, as rent, the full rental value of the premises demised by said lease. The aforesaid Indenture further empowered and directed said persons to pay all State and local taxes out of and from the rents received, and, to apply all sums of money received as rents, in excess of the amount needed for the purposes of paying the taxes, to such common uses, desired by the majority of the residents, as in the judgment of the persons therein named as Commissioners and their successors are properly public, in that they cannot be left to individuals without giving one an advantage over others.
The Commissioners serving under the provisions of this Charter may, from time to time, as they deem wise and advisable, request the use of any excess of such rents as hereinabove described, for any governmental and municipal purposes authorized hereunder. Any such request shall be made in writing to the persons serving as trustees under the aforesaid Indenture. Such persons shall not be obliged to honor any such request, but if they do so, any appropriation of said rents to the Commissioners under this Charter and any disposition thereof shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be in compliance with the provisions of the aforesaid Indenture, that is to say, for the common good and use.
SPECIFIC POWERS OF THE COMMISSIONERS
Section 14. Not by way of limitation upon the power vested in the Commissioners to exercise all powers delegated by this Charter to the municipal corporation of the Village, except as may expressly appear herein to the contrary, but, rather, by way of enumeration and for purposes of clarity, the Commissioners are vested by this Charter with the following powers, to be exercised by said Commissioners in the interest of good government and the safety, health and welfare of the Village, its inhabitants and affairs, that is to say,
1. To prevent vice, drunkenness and immorality.
2. To provide for and preserve the health, peace, safety, cleanliness, ornament and good order of the Village and its inhabitants.
3. To prohibit all gaming and fraudulent devices.
4. To prohibit, restrain, license or regulate all public sports, exhibitions, shows, parades, productions, circuses or other public performances, amusements, and games.
5. To ascertain, locate, lay out, establish, open, change, alter, widen, abandon, regulate the use and enjoyment of, prevent or remove any obstruction of, level, grade, flag, dress, macadamize, pave, gravel, shell, improve, dredge, erect, remove, repair or replace any new or present street, highway, lane, alley, watercourse, park, lake, strand, crosswalk, drain, aqueduct or pipe line, or portion thereof, or any new or present sidewalk, curb or gutter, or portion thereof, in the Village; to specify the grade thereof, the materials to be used in the doing thereof and the manner in which the same shall be done; and to enter into contracts or agreements for the doing thereof, including contracts or agreements with the State Highway Department of the State of Delaware for the permanent maintenance, repair and upkeep of any street, lane, alley, roadway or other highway within the Village.
6. To establish and regulate pounds and to restrain, prohibit and impound any domestic or wild animal, beast, bird or
fowl running at large, and to authorize the destruction of the same, and to impose license fees on the owners of dogs.
7. To locate, regulate, license, restrain or require the removal of slaughter houses, wash houses, laundries, canning establishments, phosphate, fish, fertilizer or manure plants or establishments, swine pens, privies, water closets and any businesses or buildings or conditions detrimental to the public health or constituting a public nuisance or of an offensive or noxious nature.
8. To enforce the removal of snow, ice, dirt or other foreign substance from sidewalks and gutters by owners or abutting owners.
9. To prohibit, remove, or regulate the erection and maintenance of, any stoop, step, platform, bay window, cellar door, gate, area, descent, sign, post, or any other erection or projection in, over, upon or under any street, highway, alley, lane, watercourse, park, lake, strand, sidewalk, crosswalk, sewer, drain, aqueduct or pipeline of the Village.
10. To define, prevent, abate or remove nuisances, obstructions or any condition detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare.
11. To provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control a sewer system and/or a sewage treatment and disposal plant and facilities for the health, sanitation and convenience of the inhabitants of the Village; to regulate and prescribe for what private or public purposes the system may be used, the manner of its use, the amount to be paid by the users thereof, the means whereby such amounts shall be collected and the fines or penalties, or both, for any wilful or negligent injury or damage to, or interference with the said system, plant or facilities; to furnish or refuse to furnish, sewer disposal service from the Village system to places and properties outside of the Village limits; in the interest of the public's health, to compel any and all properties in the Village to be connected to the sewer system of the Village; and to contract for and purchase sewer disposal service and to resell the same to users within or without the Village with the same full powers as though such service had been initially provided by the facilities therefor of the municipal corporation itself.
12. To fully control within the Village the drainage of all water and, to that end, to alter or change the course and direction of any natural water course, runs or rivulet within the Village, to regulate, maintain, clean and keep the same open, clean and unobstructed, and to provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control a surface water drainage system and facilities for the health, sanitation and convenience of the inhabitants of the Village.
13. To grant franchises or licenses to any responsible person, firm, association or corporation, for such period of time, upon such terms, restrictions, stipulations and conditions and for such considerations as the Commissioners shall deem wise, to use the present and future streets, highways, lanes, alleys, water courses, parks, lakes, strand, sidewalks, crosswalks, and other public places of the Village for the purpose of furnishing heat, light, power, gas, water, sewer, drainage, electric current, telephone, telegraph, railroad excepting railroads or railways engaged in interstate commerce, bus, taxi or other transportation, carrier or public service to the Village and to the persons, firms, or corporations residing or located therein and for the purpose of transmitting the same from or through the Village to points outside the limits thereof, and for the purposes of vending any article of merchandise or service upon, or from any vehicle upon, any such present and future street, highway, lane, alley, etc.; provided, that no exclusive franchise or license shall be granted for any such purpose to any person, firm, association or corporation whomsoever.
0. To regulate and control the exercise of any license or franchise mentioned in Section 16 (13) of this charter or intended so to be.
0. To direct, regulate and control the planting, rearing, treatment and preserving of ornamental shade trees in the streets, highways, avenues, parks and grounds of the Village and to authorize or prohibit the removal or destruction of said trees.
16. To direct the digging down, draining, filling up, cleaning, cutting or fencing of lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of ground in the Village which may be deemed dangerous or unwholesome or necessary to carry out any improvements authorized by this Charter.
17. To provide for or regulate the numbering of houses and lots on the streets, and the naming of streets and avenues.
18. To regulate, control or prevent the use or storage of gunpowder, firewoods, tar, pitch, resin and all other combustible materials and the use of candles, lamps and other lights in stores, shops, stables and other places; to suppress, remove or secure any fireplace, stove, chimney, oven, broiler, or other apparatus which may be dangerous in causing fire.
19. To acquire, build, erect and maintain buildings and facilities necessary or required for housing and equipping offices of the Village.
20. To regulate or prevent the use of guns, air guns, spring guns, pistols, sling shots, bean-shooters, and any other devices for discharging missiles which might cause bodily harm or injury to property; and to regulate or prevent the use of fireworks, bombs and detonating works of all kinds.
21. To provide for the punishment of a violation of any ordinance of the Village by fine or imprisonment, or both, not exceeding $100 or thirty (30) days, and for working any person sentenced to such imprisonment or any person who shall refuse to so work when ordered.
22. To license, tax and collect fees annually for any and all municipal purposes (including the cost and expense of advertising the Village) of such various amounts as the Commissioners from time to time shall fix, from any individual, firm, association or corporation carrying on or practicing any business, profession or occupation within the limits of the Village; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be so construed as to make it mandatory upon any resident of the State to apply for a license in order to sell in the Village any farm produce or products grown upon a farm owned by the vendor or any member of his family with whom he resides.
23. To provide for the collection of and disbursement of all moneys to which the Village may become entitled by law, including licenses and fines, where no provisions for the collection and disbursement thereof is otherwise provided in the Charter.
0. To acquire, and/or to vacate the use of, lands, tenements, personalty, property, easements, rights of way, or any interest in property, either within or without the limits of the Village, by way of condemnation and eminent domain, for any proper and lawful municipal purpose or whenever required properly to carry out, exercise or fulfill any power conferred upon or delegated to the municipal corporation by this Charter. Notwithstanding any statute, act or law of the State of Delaware to the contrary, the power to acquire and/or to vacate the use of lands, tenements, personalty, property, easements, rights of way or any interest in property within the limits of the Village, as descrbed in Section 2 hereof, by way of condemnation and eminent domain shall be and is vested exclusively in the Commissioners; provided, however, that the Commissioners may, but are not obliged to do so, consent to the exercise of any such power by an agency, commission or department of the State of Delaware for any lawful public purpose.
1. To appropriate money to pay the debts, liabilities and expenditures of the Village, or any part or item thereof, from any fund applicable thereto, and to transfer temporarily money from one fund to another fund of the Village in case of emergency.
2. To provide for the payment of any tax, fine, penalty, license, forfeiture, assessment, fee, charge or other amount due the Village by the performance of labor or service for the Village by any person owing the same.
3. To inquire into and investigate the conduct of any office, officer, agent, or employee of the Village or any municipal affair, and for any such purpose or purposes to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths or affirmations, and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of books, papers or other evidence by summary process.
28. To make, adopt and establish all such ordinances, regulations, rules and by-laws, as the Commissioners may deem necessary to carry into effect any of the provisions of this Charter or any other law of the State relating generally to municipal corporations or which they may deem proper and necessary for the good government of the Village, the protection and preservation of persons and property and of the public health and welfare of the Village and its inhabitants; provided, that any ordinance relating to the public health of the Village and its inhabitants, or designed to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases, or to prevent nuisances affecting the same, shall apply not only within the corporate limits of the Village but as well to all areas and persons outside the Village within one mile from said limits.
USE OF VILLAGE FUNDS
Section 15. The Commissioners of the Village shall have full power and authority to use the money in the Treasury of the Village or any portion thereof, from time to time, for the improvement, benefit, protection, ornament and best interest of the Village, as the Commissioners may deem proper, and to use Village money to accomplish and carry into effect all acts and things which the municipal corporation has power to do by virtue of the laws of Delaware, this Charter and all lawful ordinances and resolutions of the Village. In the general performance of their duties and particularly in the expenditure of moneys of the Village, the acts, doings and determinations of the majority of the Commissioners shall be as good as the acts, doings and determinations of all of the Commissioners. In case of the absence or other incapacity of any of the Commissioners, or in case of a vacancy in the Commissioners, the remaining members, provided they constitute a majority of the Commissioners, are empowered to do all things which the Commissioners may legally do, but no funds of the Village shall be used for any purposes without the affirmative action of a majority of the Commissioners.
Section 16. The Commissioners shall have power and authority to locate, lay out and open new streets and to widen or abandon streets or parts thereof, whenever they shall deem it for the best interest of the Village. The procedure in every case as aforesaid, shall be as follows: The Commissioners shall, by a majority vote, adopt a resolution favorable to the opening of the new street or to the widening or altering of a street or to the vacating or abandoning of a street, or any part thereof, as the case may be, and giving a general description of the street to be opened or widened, or altered or of the street or part thereof to be vacated or abandoned, as the case may be. The said resolution shall also state the day, hour and place when the Commissioners will sit to hear objections and to award just and reasonable compensation to anyone who will be deprived of property. A copy of such resolution shall be posted in five or more public places in the Village at least ten days before the day fixed for the hearing aforesaid.
At the time and place fixed in the said resolution the Commissioners shall hear such residents of the Village or owners of the property affected as shall attend, and they shall at said meeting, or at a subsequent day, as they shall deem proper, adopt a resolution by a majority vote, to proceed with or to abandon as they shall deem for the best interest of the Village, the opening of the street or streets or the widening, altering, vacating or abandoning of the existing street or streets or part thereof as the case may be, as contemplated in their prior resolution. And in case the determination of the Commissioners shall be to proceed with the plan contemplated by the resolution first aforesaid, the Commissioners shall award just and reasonable compensation to anyone who will be deprived of property in consequence thereof. Such compensation, if any be awarded, shall be paid by the Commissioners upon delivery of a document conveying to the Commissioners all of the right, title and interest of the person or persons deprived of property. If anyone who will be deprived of property as aforesaid be dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the Commissioners, the Commissioners shall proceed to condemn the property in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 61, Title 10, Delaware Code.
The word "street" shall be deemed and held to comprehend and include sidewalks, lanes and alleys for all the purposes of this Section.
The word "property" shall be deemed and held to comprehend and include leases, leaseholds, personality, fee simple interests, and all interests in real and/or personal property affected by any resolution of and action taken by the Commissioners pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
SIDEWALKS, CURBS AND GUTTERS
Section 17. The Commissioners shall have the power to pave or repave the sidewalks of the Village or any part or portion thereof, and shall have power to have existing curbs or gutters or both, repaired or relaid, or new curbs or gutters, or both, constructed or any part or portion thereof, in the Village, with such materials and of such width or size, and subject to such specifications as the Commissioners shall determine. Before the exercise of such power in any particular instance, the Commissioners shall adopt an ordinance or resolution stating in effect that on a named day and at named hour and place the Commissioners will meet to consider the question of paving or repaving the sidewalks with a specified material or materials, or repairing existing curbs, gutters, or both, or altering existing curbs or gutters, or both, with any specified material or materials and according to the stated specifications on a named street in front of the property of named leaseholders and of assessments of the costs thereof against such leaseholders. The said ordinance or resolution shall be published at least one week prior to the meeting aforesaid in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the Village or in a newspaper published elsewhere in New Castle County, if there be none in the Village published. The Commissioners shall hold a meeting in the Village in accordance with said ordinance or resolution and there at shall hear the aforesaid leaseholders of the property and other residents of the Village appearing on the question referred to in the said ordinance or resolution.
After such hearing, the Commissioners either at said meeting or at a subsequent meeting, shall decide whether or
not to proceed with the improvements referred to in said ordinance or resolution, and if they shall decide to proceed, they shall determine whether the whole or some specified portion of the cost of the improvements aforesaid in front of the property of a leaseholder or leaseholders named in the aforesaid ordinance or resolution shall be borne by said leaseholders. If said determination shall be that the whole or specified proportion of said cost shall be borne by such leaseholders, then and in such case the said leaseholder shall be compelled to pay the whole or specified proportion of the cost aforesaid, as the case may be, the amount to be paid by the leaseholder of each parcel of property effected to be determined by the lineal frontage of the parcel on the sidewalk to be paved or repaved or the gutter to be repaired or laid or on the curb to be repaired or constructed, or any or all of said improvements, as the case may be.
When the said paving or repaving, curbing or recurbing, guttering or reguttering, or any or all of them, have been done and the costs thereof ascertained, the Commissioners shall ascertain the amount that the leaseholder or each parcel of property aforesaid shall pay as hereinbefore stated, and shall give written notice thereof to such leaseholder, or one of the coleaseholders, by mailing the same to his or her last known address. If such leaseholder shall fail to pay the specified amount within thirty (30) days after the mailing of such notice, the same may be collected by the sale of his aforesaid leasehold. Such sale shall be made by the Alderman who shall advertise the leasehold for sale in at least two issues of a newspaper published in New Castle County, before the day and sale and shall post five such notices in the Village at least ten days before the date of sale. Such advertisements shall give such general description of the day, hour and place in the Village at which the sale will be held.
Unless a sum of money, for the payment of which the said leasehold is to be sold as aforesaid, together with the cost of advertisements of the sale, shall be paid prior to the sale, the said leasehold shall be sold by the Alderman at public sale on the day and at the hour and place named in the advertisement for the sale to the highest and best bidder for the same.
Upon the payment to the Alderman of the price for which the leasehold is sold at such sale, an assignment of the leasehold sold shall be executed in the name of the Village by the Commissioners and bearing an imprint of the corporate seal of the Village and delivered to the purchaser. Such assignment of lease shall vest in the purchaser the same estate or interest in the leasehold sold as the leaseholder or leaseholders of the parcel at the time of the sale had therein or thereto, subject to the same liens and encumbrances of record against said leasehold at the date of the first appearance of the newspaper advertisement of the sale as aforesaid.
The money paid to the Commissioners by the Alderman as the price of the leasehold sold as aforesaid shall be dealt with by the Commissioners as follows:
They shall first deduct the costs of the sale which shall include the cost of the advertisements of the sale, the charges of any auctioneer, and all other expenses incident to the sale and also 10% of the amount that the leaseholder of the property had failed to pay for the costs of the improvements aforesaid, which 10% shall be paid to the Alderman as his fee for the sale.
The Commissioners shall then deduct the amount that the leaseholder of the property failed to pay to the Village aforesaid and shall pay the same so deducted into the Village treasury.
Any balance remaining shall be paid by the Commissioners to the person or persons who were the leaseholders of the property sold or, if this be not possible for any reason, the Commissioners shall deposit said balance to their credit in any bank in New Castle County.
CONTRACTS OF THE COMMISSIONERS
Section 18. The Commissioners are vested with authority on behalf of the Village to enter into contracts for the rendering of services to the Village and/or the purchase of supplies and doing of work for any municipal purpose of the Village, provided:
(a) No contract shall be made by the Commissioners for any purposes, the contract price of which is in excess of $5,000 without public competition bidding. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to apply to contracts for the provision of utility service at rates regularly on file with the Public Service Commission of Delaware or any federal regulatory body.
(b) The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, but the Commissioners may reject any and all bids for any cause by them deemed advantageous to the Village.
(c) All formal contracts shall be signed by the Commissioners with the seal of the Village attached, attested by the Clerk of the Commissioners.
FINES AND PENALTIES
Section 19. The Commissioners shall have the power to enact ordinances, rules and regulations and to fix the penalties for violations thereof, relating to the use of streets, highways, lanes and alleys, the parking of vehicles thereon, with the power to prohibit parking on streets, or portions thereof, entirely or within certain hours, or for certain lengths of time.
FIRE, ZONING AND HOUSING CODES
Section 20. For protection against fire and for the preservation of the beauty of the Village and the health of the inhabitants, the Commissioners may adopt ordinances to zone or district the Village and to make particular provisions for particular zones or districts with regard to buildings and building materials; to prohibit the use of building materials that may be deemed to create a fire hazard, and this power shall embrace new buildings or additions to or alterations of existing structures of every kind, to condemn and/or vacate buildings or structures, or portions thereof, that constitute a fire and/or health menace and to require or cause the same to be torn down or removed or so altered as to eliminate the menace of fire or danger to health; to prescribe the height and thickness of walls of any building and the kind and grade of materials used in the construction thereof ; and to establish a building line for buildings to be erected.
The Commissioners may adopt zoning ordinances limiting and specifying districts and regulating thereon buildings, structures and uses according to their construction and according to the nature and extent of the use or business to be carried on therein.
The powers to be exercised under and by virtue of this Section shall be deemed to have been exercised under the police power and for the general welfare of the inhabitants of the Village.
The Commissioners may create a Village Zoning Commission for the development, improvement and beautification of the Village and may prescribe its powers and duties.
The Commissioners may provide for the issuance of building permits and may forbid the construction of any new building or the addition to, or alteration, or repair of any existing building unless a building permit has been obtained therefor.
The Commissioners may adopt a housing code to regulate and govern the occupancy of residential structures in the Village, the structural requirements of residential and commercial properties for the health, safety, welfare and comfort of occupants thereof, and to appoint a commission to carry out and enforce the provisions of the housing code.
COMPILATION OF LAWS
Section 21. It shall be the duty of the Commissioners, at reasonable time or times, to compile the ordinances, codes, orders, and rules of the Commissioners of the Village. The Commissioners shall have a reasonable number of copies printed for the use of the officials of the Village and for public information. From time to time, upon the enactment of new ordinances, codes, rules and regulations, or upon the enactment of amendments for the same, the Commissioners shall enroll the same in the journal of the Commissioners and shall keep copies of the same in a book to be provided for that purpose so that the same may be readily examined.
Section 22. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed, held or construed to limit, impair or otherwise adversely affect the powers, functions, acts and doings of the Town Assembly of Arden, any committees appointed pursuant to the by-laws of said Town Assembly, or any provisions of the by-laws of said Town Assembly now and hereafter in effect.
Section 23. If any part of this Act shall be held unconstitutional, such holding shall not in anywise invalidate the remaining provisions of this Act.
Section 24. This Act shall be deemed and taken to be a public Act.
Section 25. This Act to incorporate the Village of Arden or any section or provision hereof shall not take effect or be deemed to have changed or altered in any respect whatever any existing law or laws of the State of Delaware until it shall have been accepted by the electors residing within the metes and bounds of the Village of Arden as described in Section 2 hereof.
The persons serving as trustees under the Indenture referred to in Section 15 hereof shall be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to call and provide for a referendum election ; provided, that such referendum election shall not be held within thirty (30) days after the approval of this Act by the Governor.
adopted and approved by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware. This Act shall not be deemed to have been accepted by the electors in any other manner whatsoever save by a majority vote in favor of its acceptance cast at such referendum election by the electors residing within the boundaries of the Village as prescribed by this Act. The Registration Committee shall provide ballots, at least as many in number as the number of qualified electors entitled to vote at such referendum election. The ballots shall be in such form as the Registration Committee shall deem fit and proper. If a majority of votes cast shall be in favor of the acceptance of this Act, the Registration Committee shall declare this Act to be in full force and effect. If a majority of the votes cast at such referendum election shall be for the rejection of this Act, the Registration Committee shall so certify.
If a majority of votes cast at such referendum election shall be in favor of the acceptance of this Act, the Registration Committee, upon declaring this Act to be in full force and effect, shall likewise make and cause a written Certificate to that effect to be signed by all or a majority of the members of such Registration Committee and to be duly acknowledged by them and the same to be delivered to the persons serving as trustees under the aforesaid Indenture, who shall then cause such Certificate to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for New Castle County, and such Certificate, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of such record shall be evidence in all Courts of Law or Equity in this State.
Approved December 22, 1965.