AN ACT TO PERMIT THE LEVY COURT OF SUSSEX COUNTY TO ADOPT PLANNING AND ZONING REGULATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new chapter to read :
CHAPTER 68. PLANNING AND ZONING
§ 6801. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the same shall be inconsistent with the context, the following terms shall mean--
"Commission" means "County Planning and Zoning Commission of Sussex County" created by this chapter ;
"County Engineer" means "County Engineer of Sussex County";
"District" means "Corporate boundaries of Sussex County including municipalities which choose to be included in the planning and zoning district";
"Highway Department" means "State Highway Department of the State of Delaware";
"Levy Court" means "Levy Court of Sussex County";
'Recorder's Office" means "Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County";
"Road" includes any "road", "street", "highway", "freeway", "parkway", or other public thoroughfare.
§ 6802. Statement of purposes
For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, prosperity and general welfare, as well as for the purpose of securing coordinated plans for land use, transportation, public facilities and
utilities and public works expenditures in that portion of Sussex County which is not included within the corporate limits of any city or town, unless any territory within such corporate limits is included upon request made by the governing body or authority of any such city or town and as well as for the purpose of preventing the unnecessary duplication of facilities or utilities, the body to be known as the County Planning and Zoning Commission of Sussex County is created and the area over which this commission shall have jurisdiction shall be known as the County Planning District.
§ 6803. Planning Commission; members; terms; qualifications; vacancies; compensation
(a) The Planning and Zoning Commission of Sussex County shall consist of ten members as follows :
(1) Five ex-officio members who shall have no vote consisting of one member of the Levy Court, the County Engineer, and three members to be appointed ; one of whom shall be appointed by the State Highway Department of the State of Delaware, one of whom shall be appointed by the State Board of Health, and one of whom shall be appointed by the State Water and Air Resources Commission.
(2) Five voting members all of whom shall be appointed by the Levy Court of Sussex County. A quorum consists of three voting members of the Commission.
(b) The term of the Levy Court member and the County Engineer of Sussex County shall come to an end at the end of the term for which they were elected or chosen respectively. The members of the Commission appointed by the State Highway Department, State Board of Health, and State Water and Air Resources Commission shall serve at the pleasure of the State Highway Department, State Board of Health, and State Water and Air Resources Commission respectively.
(c) The voting members appointed by the Levy Court shall be appointed as follows:
of any members theretofore appointed by the Levy Court expires, the Levy Court shall appoint members to the Commission. The terms of office shall commence on the first day of July following appointment. Each member shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified. Each member shall be appointed for a term of three years, except that a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring for any reason other than expiration of term, shall be appointed for the unexpired term. The appointed members shall be residents of Sussex County and no more than two members shall be appointed for the same Representative District.
(2) Each member shall be a freeholder and resident of Sussex County, four of whom shall live outside any incorporated city or town unless such incorporated city or town is included in County Planning. No more than three of the members of the Commission shall be of the same political party. Originally two members shall be appointed for three years, two members shall be appointed for two years and the remaining member for one year.
(3) Persons shall be appointed who shall be known to have knowledge and experience to pass upon planning and zoning problems in connection with urban and rural development, and who at the time of appointment are not candidates for or incumbents of an elective public office.
(d) When any vacancy occurs in the Commission, either by death, resignation, expiration of term of office, removal, or otherwise, of any person so appointed, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by the body or person which appointed the member to the office in which such vacancy occurred.
(e) The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
§ 6804. Organization; meetings; and office of Commission
(a) On the second Monday in July of each year the Commission shall convene and organize by selecting a chairman. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each member shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation as prescribed by the Constitution. The Commission may create and fill such other offices in
addition to Chairman as it may determine. It shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings, and determinations, which record shall be a public record.
(b) The Sussex County Levy Court shall provide suitable and convenient office space for the use and occupancy of the Commission, and the Levy Court of Sussex County shall furnish and supply all necessary equipment for the office.
§ 6805. Secretary of Commission and other personnel
(a) The Commission shall appoint a Secretary who shall serve for such time, and perform such duties and receive such compensation as the Commission may prescribe. He shall give bond if required by the Commission in such amount as the Commission may require.
(b) The Commission may appoint, discharge at pleasure and fix the compensation of such employees and staff or any contract for the services of such persons, firms, or corporations as, from time to time, in its judgment may be necessary to the exercise of its powers under this chapter ; provided, however, that all actions of the Commission under this subsection are subject to Levy Court approval, and the Levy Court may require any employee to give bond with surety approved by it in a sum to be fixed by the Commission.
§ 6806. Assistance to Commission by county
The Levy Court of Sussex County, may, from time to time, upon request of the Commission and for the purpose of special surveys, assign or detail to the Commission any members of the administrative staffs or agencies of the County, or direct any such staff or agency to make for the Commission special surveys or studies requested by the Commission.
§6807. Comprehensive development plan of the district
(a) The Commission shall prepare a Comprehensive Development Plan of the District as expressed in maps, figures, and text which shall, among other elements, include : statements of objectives, standards, principles and policies pertaining to the
physical development of the District ; existing and proposed patterns and intensity of land use ; existing and proposed traffic circulation and transportation systems ; existing and proposed public facilities, programs and utilities. Such a plan shall include such other features and programs as may come wholly or partially within County jurisdiction ; and in addition, include those planning elements existing and proposed within a City or Town as are likely to bear an important relationship to the physical development of the district. Such plan shall be a public record, but its purpose and effect shall be solely as an aid to the Commission in the performance of its duties. A copy of the Plan shall be forwarded to the State Planning Office and all municipalities within the County for review. After the Commission adopts the Comprehensive Development Plan or amendments thereto, the Plan shall be forwarded to the Sussex County Levy Court for formal action.
(b) The Commission may also prepare a recommended six year capital improvements program including an annual capital budget and various codes and ordinances intended to implement the Comprehensive Plan.
(c) The Commission may, from time to time, amend, extend or add to the Comprehensive Development Plan under the provisions of §6307 (a).
(d) The Comprehensive Development Plan may cover areas within the corporated limits of any city or town in Sussex County, to the extent that such areas shall be deemed, in the judgment of the Commission, to be related to the planning of the District. The Comprehensive Development Plan shall have no legal effect in such areas except when such areas request inclusion within the District as provided for in §6302 of this title.
(e) The Commission shall encourage the cooperation of the cities and towns within Sussex County in any matter concerning the Comprehensive Development Plan and, if requested, shall advise the governing body or authority of any city or town in Sussex County with respect thereto.
gations, maps, and reports of the resources, condition and needs of the District as it deems desirable. Upon completion of such reports, the Commission shall submit the same to the Sussex County Levy Court with its recommendations. The Commission shall report annually to the Levy Court on the activities of the Commission during the preceeding year.
§ 6809. Official map of the county
(a) There is established an official map of the County. The Commission shall be the maker and custodian of such map. The map shall show the location and lines of the public roads, easements, water courses and public lands within the County existing and/or established by law at the time of the preparation and setting up of the map by the Commission ; also the location of the lines of the roads, easements, water courses and public lands on plats which shall have been approved by the Commission at or previous to that time.
(b) Whenever the Commission has prepared an approved official map or any amendment, extension or addition thereto, after public hearing it shall submit the approved official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto, to the Levy Court for its adoption. If the official map or amendment, extension or addition thereto shall pertain to the road system of or any road in Sussex County, the official map or any amendment, extension or addition thereto shall also be submitted to the Highway Department for its review and recommendation. Upon receipt of the recommendaion from the Highway Department of the official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto, it shall be returned to the Levy Court for its adoption. If adopted by the Levy Court, the map shall be recorded in the Recorder's Office within thirty (30) days after such action.
(c) The Commission may, from time to time, amend, extend, add to or remove from the official map all roads established or vacated by law, or as established by §6309 (b).
§ 6810. Road plats; submission to Commission; recording; fees; regulations
(a) The location, proposed grades and drainage of all roads intended to be dedicated by the owner thereof to the public use or
for the use of owners of property abutting thereon or adjacent thereto within the limits of the District, shall be submitted to the Commission for its approval and the adoption of the Levy Court and no person shall record any plan or map showing the location of any new or proposed road, in any public office in Sussex County unless such plan or map shall show thereon by endorsement its approval by the Commission and its adoption by the Levy Court. The approval of such plan or map by the Commission and the adoption thereof by the Levy Court endorsed upon such plan or map shall, when recorded, be deemed and taken as an acceptance of the intended dedication of the roads appearing thereon, but shall not impose any duty upon the Levy Court or upon the Highway Department respecting the maintenance or improvement thereof. Such plan or map shall, when recorded, become a part of the official map.
(b) No plat of land within the District shall be received or recorded by the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County or filed for recording in the Recorder's Office until the plat shall have been submitted to and approved by the Commission after public hearing and the Levy Court, and such approvals be endorsed in writing on the plat by the Chairman or Secretary of the Commission and President of the Levy Court. The filing or recording of a plat without the approval of the Commission and the Levy Court shall, upon application of the Commission or the Levy Court, to the Superior Court in and for Sussex County, Delaware, be deleted from the records.
On the basis of the estimated cost of the services including filing fees and cost of legal notice to be rendered by it in connection with the consideration of such plats and the work incident thereto, the Commission may fix the scale of fees to be paid to it and may from time to time amend such scale. In the case of each plat submitted to the Commission, the fee thus fixed shall be paid before the plat is approved or disapproved.
() Every such plat shall be prepared by a registered Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor and shall be prepared upon stabilized plastic film of such size and character, with such notations, information as the Commission may, by regulation prescribe, and shall have such monuments, permanent markers, boundary stones or stations as the Commission shall prescribe,
which shall be shown and designated on the plat thereof. The Commission shall also require a certification by the registered Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor that the monuments, permanent markers, boundary stones or stations have been properly installed and verified as to final location at the completion of the project. The Commission shall prescribe the procedure for the submission of such plat and action in respect thereto.
§ 6811. Approval or disapproval of plat by Commission
The Commission shall approve or disapprove a plat within forty-five (45) days after the submission thereof; otherwise such plat shall be deemed to have been approved and a certificate to that effect shall be issued by the Commission upon demand. Such period may be extended by mutual agreement between the Corn-mission and the applicant for the Commission's approval. The grounds of disapproval of any plat shall be stated upon the records of the Commission and a copy of such statement shall be furnished to the applicant. No plat shall be acted upon by the Commission without affording a hearing thereon as outlined in §6312 and notice of the time and place of which shall be sent by registered mail to such applicant not less than five (5) days before the date fixed therefor. Any approval or disapproval may be appealed to the Levy Court of Sussex County within thirty (30) days of the official action of the Levy Court.
§ 6812. Public hearing and notice
(a) Any public hearing required by this chapter shall be held within the county and notice of the time and place such a hearing shall be published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county ; such publication shall be in two successive weeks, the first notice to appear at least fifteen (15) days before the date of the hearing. In addition, notice of the hearing shall be posted in at least four (4) public places within the county. Such notice shall state the place at which the text and maps as certified by the Planning Commission may be examined.
(b) Legal public notice of any formal action taken in regard to public hearings as required by this chapter shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county within fifteen (15) days of such action.
§ 6813. Recording unapproved plat; penalty for
Any Recorder who formally files or records any plat or map contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00.
§ 6814. Cooperation with other agencies
(a) Upon the request of the Levy Court, the Commission shall, or upon the request of the Highway Department, the State Board of Health, the State Water and Air Resources Commission, or any other State, County, or municipal agency, board, department, commission or authority, the Commission may, upon such terms as may mutually be agreed upon, prepare plans and supply information relating to any of the matters set forth in this chapter.
() In exercising the powers conferred by this chapter, the Commission is empowered to act in conjunction and cooperation with representatives, agencies, or officers of the United States Government, this State, any other State, or any County, City or Town within or without this State.
§ 6815. Entry upon land; access to records
(a) In the performance of the functions and duties of the Commission, any member thereof or any employee or agent thereof shall have the right to enter into and upon, at reasonable times (Sundays and holidays excluded) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. any lands in the District, either public or private, and to make surveys and to place and maintain necessary monuments and markers thereon, but such entry shall be made with due care and regard for the protection and preservation of property.
(b) In the performance of the functions and duties of the Commission, any member thereof, or any employee or agent thereof shall have free access, without expense, to all State, County, municipal and other public records.
§ 6816. Appropriation; authority to make
The Levy Court may appropriate out of the general county fund such monies, otherwise unappropriated, as it may deem
fit to finance the work of the Commission and may enforce the regulations and restrictions which are adopted pursuant to this chapter, and may accept grants of money and service for these purposes, and other purposes, in accordance with this chapter, from either private or public sources, State or Federal.
§ 6817. Powers and duties of State Highway Department
Nothing contained in this chapter shall change, alter, affect, or modify the rights, powers and duties elsewhere conferred upon the State Highway Department.
§ 6818. Powers and duties of municipal corporations not affected
Nothing contained in this chapter shall change, alter, affect, or modify the rights, powers and duties heretofore conferred upon any municipal corporation over, in or upon any lands lying outside of the corporate limits of the municipal corporation.
Approved July 13, 1967.