HOUSE BILL NO. 279
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 339, VOLUME 62, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TOWN OF SMYRNA.
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 paragraph (1) of subsection (b) ("Alteration of Boundaries") of Section 1 ("Boundaries and Town Plot") of Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by adding, at the end thereof, a new paragraph to read as follows:
"The Council may, in the resolution proposing the inclusion of territory(s) and calling for a special election, or by separate resolution, propose the zoning classification(s) of the territory(s) (or portions thereof) proposed to be annexed, and direct the taking of such actions (including the publication of notice and the holding of public hearings) prior to the holding of the special election, as necessary to enable the Town Council to designate the zoning classification(s) of the annexed territory(s) (or portions thereof) contingent upon a majority of the votes cast in the special election being in favor of such annexation."
Section 2. Amend paragraphs (7) and (8) of Section (b) ("Alteration of Boundaries"), Section 1 ("Boundaries and Town Plot"), Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by redesignating the same as paragraphs (8) and (9) respectively, and inserting a new paragraph (7) as follows:
"(7) In the event that, prior to the special election, the Town Council shall have designated the zoning classification(s) of the territory(s) (or portions thereof) proposed to be annexed, such designation being contingent upon a majority of the votes cast in such special election being in favor of such annexation, all as provided in Section 1 (b) (1) above, the Town Council shall, in the resolution annexing such territory pursuant to Section 1 (b) (6) above, or by separate resolution adopted contemporaneously therewith, designate the zoning classification(s) of any territory(s) (or portions thereof) being annexed into the Town. Such zoning classification(s) so designated shall not be amended or changed by the Town Council, without written consent of the record owner(s) of such lands, for a period of three years following the date of the final annexation resolution adopted pursuant to Section 1 (b) (6)."
Section 3. Amend subparagraph (2) ("Contracts with the Town"), of paragraph (d) ("Prohibitions"), of Section 3 ("Mayor, Town Council"), Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by deleting the words "$250.00" and substituting in place thereof the words "one thousand dollars ($1,000.00)".
Section 4. Amend subparagraph (d) ("Duties of Secretary") of Section 4 ("Organization of Council"), Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by inserting the words ", during the temporary absence or disability of the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, act as Mayor and while so acting be vested with all the powers, duties, and authority of the Mayor;" after the word "... of Council at all meetings...".
Section 5. Amend subparagraph (2) of paragraph (b) ("Chief of Police") of Section 6, Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by striking the same in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"(2) The Chief of Police shall employ all personnel as necessary to fill those positions within the police department as authorized and funded by the Town Council. Subject to all applicable state statutes and subject to any applicable Town personnel rules, regulations, policies or ordinances, the Chief of Police shall also be authorized to discipline, suspend, with or without pay, layoff, and/or terminate and discharge any employee within the Smyrna Police Department. The Chief of Police shall have operational control of the daily routine of the Police Department. The Chief of Police shall be subordinate and answerable to the Town Manager."
Section 6. Amend subparagraph (4) of paragraph (a) ("Assessments") of Section 7 ("Assessment, Appeals"), Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by deleting the words "first Council meeting in April" and substituting in place thereof the words "first Monday in March".
Section 7. Amend paragraph (c) ("Assessment Appeals") of Section 7 ("Assessment, Appeals") Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by deleting the same in its entirety and substituting in place thereof the following:
"(c) Assessment Appeals.
The Town Council shall annually fix the sum to be assessed upon each and every citizen owning taxable real property within the limits of said Town, and the sum so fixed shall be one and the same for every class and description of citizens. A Committee composed of two or more Council members shall, after receiving the three copies of assessment from the Board of Assessment as hereinbefore provided and after assessing the real estate of the members of the Board of Assessment, cause two of the copies of the assessment to be hung up in two such public and convenient places as Council shall designate in said Town where they shall remain for at least ten days prior to the first Monday in April for public inspection, and hold a Court of Appeals on Appeal Day which shall continue open from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. of said day at the Town Manager's office in said Town or at such other place as may be designated in the two copies of the assessment hung up as aforesaid at which time and place the Committee of two or more Council members shall hear appeals from the said assessment and may make recommendations to Council on such corrections, additions to, or alterations in said assessment as the Committee determines to be proper. The Committee may adjourn the Court of Appeals to the following day if all appeals cannot be heard on the regular Appeal Day above provided for. At the next ensuing regular or special meeting the Town Council will review the recommendation(s) of the Committee and make such corrections, authorize such additions to or alterations in said assessments as they determine to be proper. Notice of the hanging up of said two assessment lists, and also at the same time, notice of the time and place of hearing appeals, shall be given by posting notices in at least five public places in the Town of Smyrna and advertising at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least ten days prior to the first Monday in April. The determination and decision of the Town Council upon any appeal or upon any matter relating to such assessment shall be final and conclusive. No member of Council shall sit to hear his own appeal but such appeal shall be heard and determined by the other members of Council."
Section 8. Amend subparagraph (2) ("Tax Lien") of paragraph (c) ("Collection") of §8 ("Taxation of Collection") of Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware, by deleting the same in its entirety and substituting in place thereof the following:
"(2) Lien for Taxes and Charges, All taxes laid and imposed under the provisions of this Charter, as well as charges, costs, and/or other assessments added to the assessment list under §8(b)(2) above shall be, constitute, and continue as a lien against such real property from the time such list is approved by the Council under §8(b)(3) for a period of ten years from the date prescribed by this Charter for the delivery of the assessment or duplicate to the Town Manager; provided that if the real estate remains the property of the person(s) who was/were the owner(s) at the time it was so assessed, the lien shall continue until the same is collected in full. The lien of such taxes shall have priority over all other liens except as provided under 29 Del. C §2906(b) or any future corresponding provision of law.
Except as provided otherwise herein, the provisions of 9 Del C. Chapter 87 ("Collection of Delinquent Taxes"), as it may from time to time hereafter be amended, shall be deemed and held to apply to all taxes laid and/or imposed, and to all charges, costs, or other assessments added to the assessment list delivered to the Town Manager for collection under §8(b)(4) above;"
Section 9. Further amend paragraph (c) ("Collection") of Section 8 ("Taxation and Collection") of Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by adding a new subparagraph (3) to read as follows:
"(3) Costs and Attorneys Fees In any proceeding (including but not limited to attachment, monition, tax sale, or debt action) by the Town Manager for the collection of taxes and/or charges owed to the Town which have been added to the assessment list pursuant to §8 (b)(2) above and which thereby constitute a lien against said 'property under §8 (c)(2) hereafter, the Town Manager shall be entitled to collect, in addition to the amounts due and the penalties thereon, all documented court costs, attorneys fees, and other reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the Town in such collection proceedings."
Section 10. Amend paragraph (a)("Police") of §19 ("Police and Jail") of Chapter 39, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by adding a new third paragraph to read as follows:
"Each member of the police force shall be vested with all power and authority within the Town limits and within one mile of said limits (and, in case of the pursuit of an offender, without limit) of a State Police Officer."
Section 11. Amend Section 20 ("Contracts to be Advertised") of Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by deleting subparagraphs (b) and (c) in their entirety and by deleting the "(a)" in the first paragraph.
Section 12. Further amend Section 20 ("Contracts to be Advertised") of Chapter 68, Volume 70, Laws of Delaware by deleting the words "ten thousand dollars ($10,000)" and in place thereof inserting the words "fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)".
Section 13. Amend Section 21 ("Transitional Provisions, Separability") of Chapter 339, Volume 62, Laws of Delaware by redesignating such section as "Section 22" and inserting a new Section 21 to read as follows:
"21. Subdivision and Land Development.
21.1 Power to Regulate, In order to provide for the orderly growth and development of the Town, to promote the health, safety and prosperity, and general welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the Town, to insure the conservation of property values and natural resources, including the protection of the Town's open lands, water resources, and recreational potential, and to afford adequate provisions for public utilities, water supply, drainage, sanitation, vehicular access, educational and recreational facilities, parkland and open space, among other and related activities, the Town may regulate the subdivision of all land in the Town. Such regulation may, through ordinance, include:
(1) Varying procedures for insuring the processing of combining, partitioning, or land subdivision plans, within a reasonable period of time, relative to the number of lots or parcels and the extent of improvements required.
(2) Procedures for insuring that the arrangement of the lots or parcels of land or improvements thereon shall conform to the existing zoning at the time of recordation and that streets, or rights-of-way, bordering on or within subdivided land shall be of such widths and grades and in such locations as may be deemed necessary to accommodate prospective traffic, that adequate easements or rights-of-way shall e provided for drainage and utilities, that reservations of areas designed for their use of public grounds shall be of suitable size and location for their designated uses, that sufficient and suitable monuments and signage shall be required, that land which might constitute a menace to safety, health or general welfare shall be made safe for the purpose for which it is subdivided, and that adequate provision is made for water supply, fire protection, sanitary sewage and drainage is made.
(3) Procedures for encouraging and promoting flexibility and ingenuity in the layout and design of subdivisions and land development, and for encouraging practices which are in accordance with contemporary and evolving principles of site planning and development.
(4) Requiring, through dedication of land, and/or improvements, money in lieu of land and/or improvements, 'impact fees', or otherwise, those subject to such regulation to provide, at their own expense, such municipal or public improvements (including enlargement, expansion, improvement, or enhancement of existing municipal or public improvements) either on-site within the proposed subdivision or off-site and outside the proposed subdivision, which have a rational nexus to the proposed land subdivision, combining, or partitioning, including, by way of example and not in limitation, the paving and/or widening of streets, installation of sidewalks, curbs, storm sewers, water lines, sanitary sewer lines, electric distribution lines, street signs, traffic signals, access roads, traffic lanes for turning, acceleration, and deceleration, playgrounds, parks, and open areas. In imposing such requirements, the Town may consider and take into account future as well as immediate needs, and potential as well as present population factors affecting the neighborhood in question.
(5) Procedures for insuring that any improvements to be constructed on such lands are in compliance with all appropriate Town ordinances and that the placement and location of such improvements will not have a significant negative impact on adjoining properties.
(6) Procedures for securing financial guarantees from the developers of such lands to insure satisfactory completion of all such required improvements, which may include extending the term of such guarantee for a reasonable period of time (not exceeding three years) beyond the actual completion of such improvements by the developer or acceptance of such improvements by the Town.
21.2 Recording Unapproved Plans, In the event an ordinance of the Town so provides, no plat, plot, or plan of land shall be received for filing or recording by the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County unless and until such plat, plot, or plan shall have been approved by the Town body so authorized to grant such approvals and the fact of such approval shall have been endorsed in writing upon such plan. If such ordinance so provides, any plat, plot or plan recorded without approval in writing from the Town body so authorized to grant such approval shall be voidable by any court of competent jurisdiction."
Approved June 30, 1997