SENATE BILL NO. 552
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 17, OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DEDICATION OF SUBURBAN COMMUNITY ROADS FOR STATE MAINTENANCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend §508, Chapter 5, Title 17 of the Delaware Code by striking said Section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section to read as follows:
"§508. Dedication of New Roads for State Maintenance; Approval Required; Bond
(a) No person, firm or corporation shall construct, or cause to be constructed any new road or street outside the corporate limits of any city or town and Intended to be dedicated by the owner thereof to the public use, including the initial installation of traffic and street name signs, unless such road or street is in conformity with plans and specifications approved by the Department and with this Section. The new road or street shall be a continuation of an existing or proposed public road designed to be part of the general highway system of the State. Such construction shall be performed pursuant to a written agreement, signed by the Developer as hereinafter defined incorporating but not limited to the plans and specifications approved by the Department, the posted security for completion and whatever other terms the Department, in its sole discretion, determines may be necessary. The owner or person actually engaged in any development or construction of residential or commercial property as determined by the Department which will affect or require access onto State-maintained highways, streets and roads shall be known as the 'Developer' for purposes of this Section.
Pursuant to the terms of this Section and such rules, regulations, standards and/or regulations as may be adopted by virtue thereof, the Department shall accept such roads or streets constructed in compliance herewith into the State Maintenance System. Provided however, that with regard to any road or street constructed to serve any dwelling, building or facility, etc., other than single family residences, the Department shall have the sole discretion as to whether such road or street shall be accepted into the State Maintenance System.
(b) Before commencement of any construction undertaken pursuant to this Section, including the installation of utilities within the dedicated right of way, the Developer shall first post with the Department a good and sufficient bond, certified check, letter of credit or other form of security in a manner and form approved by the Department and in such amount as may be fixed, but not to exceed 10% of the estimated cost of such construction as approved by the Department, which bond, certified check, letter of credit, or the like, shall be conditioned on the faithful performance and satisfactory completion of the obligations imposed by subsection (a) of this Section. In the event the Developer, regardless of corporate name, has been adjudged by the Department to be in violation of this Section and/or has not maintained a satisfactory record of compliance on repair and construction completion as determined by the Department, then the Department may require a bond, certified check, letter of credit, or other form of security, consistent herewith In an amount not to exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of such construction.
(c) The Department shall inspect any new road or street being constructed in accordance with this Section as well as any construction including utilities within the road or street right of way to insure that the construction is in conformity with standards, plans and specifications approved by the Department. Upon dedication of the right of way to the public use and satisfactory completion of the street or road construction including its connection to an existing State maintained road within the sole judgement, discretion and approval thereof by the Department, the Department shall so notify the Developer that the new road or street has been accepted into the State Maintenance System and that the dedicated right of way has been accepted according to the terms of such acceptance.
The Department, upon acceptance, shall thereafter assume the sole and absolute care, management and control of the new road or street as a public road or street. Until such time as the Department accepts the new road or street, the Developer or his legal successor in interest shall be solely responsible for maintenance thereof.
(d) In order to carry out the purpose of this Section, the Department shall make and publish rules, regulations, standards and/or specifications for planning, designing, constructing and maintaining any new road or street.
(e) The bond, certified check, letter of credit, or other acceptable forms of security, posted with the Department shall be immediately due and owing upon failure of the developer to meet the obligations set forth in the agreement executed pursuant to this Section. Upon failure of the developer to comply with the standards, plans and specifications and/or with the terms of the said construction agreement, the Department may:
1. Withdraw any approval to construct such road or street which it has given pursuant to this Section and may thereafter notify the appropriate governmental agency to cease issuance of occupancy permits for dwellings in the construction area; and/or
2. Proceed to forfeiture of the bond, certified check, letter of credit, or other form of security; and/or
3. Move to fine violators pursuant to this Section; and/or
4. Seek specific performance of the developers agreement; and/or
5. Within its sole discretion, conditionally accept and satisfactorily complete the road or street and recover damages in the amount of completion costs and incidental expenses from the developer; and/or
6. Institute whatever other legal or equitable actions necessary to cause the streets to be completed.
(f) Any person, firm, corporation, developer and/or the like which does not comply with the provisions of this Section, shall within one hundred (100) days of written notification by the Department of such violation, be punished by fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each offense, and the further sum In an amount equal to the amount fined for the initial offense for each and every day such violation exists; provided that the total fine shall not exceed the total estimated cost of street construction and incidental expenses related thereto.
(g) Any funds received as the result of action taken pursuant to this Section shall be utilized by the Department to carry out the general purposes of Chapter 17.
(h) Any Developer who is found to be in violation of this Section by the Department shall thereafter be unable to conduct business in the State until all conditions created by such Developer constituting a violation have been corrected to the satisfaction of the Department.
(i) The provisions of this Section are declared to be separable, and should any word, phrase, sentence, subsection or particular application thereof be declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, the remainder of such provisions and other applications thereof shall not thereby be affected but shall remain in full force and effect.
(j) Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over violations of this Section to the extent that they are hereby granted the authority to order forfeiture of the security posted pursuant to this Section and may impose the fines set forth in subsection (g) hereof."
Approved July 8, 1980.