SENATE BILL NO. 320
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3, AND 4
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 17 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SCENIC AND HISTORIC HIGHWAY PROGRAM FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101 by adding a new definition to read as follows:
“(11) A ‘Scenic and Historic Highway’ or ‘Scenic Byway’ is a transportation route which is adjacent to or runs along or next to an area that has particular intrinsic scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, or archaeological qualities and for which such transportation route is managed in order to protect such characteristics and to encourage development of tourism and recreational resources.”
Section 2. Amend Title 17, Chapter 1 by inserting a new Subchapter VI to be known as “Scenic and Historic Highways” and to read as follows:
“Subchapter VI. Scenic and Historic Highways
§190. Statement of Intent
The General Assembly finds that certain portions of the state highway system are notable for their scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, or archaeological value and worthy of designation as scenic and historic highways to provide special consideration of their unique features and special role in the highway system.
The General Assembly further finds that the public interest would be served by the formation of a coordinated scenic highway program to enhance recreational, cultural, and archaeological resources, encourage development through tourism, and educate residents and visitors on the history, culture, and natural beauty of this state.
§ 191. State Scenic and Historic Highways Program.
The Secretary shall establish within the Department a program to be known as the Delaware Scenic and Historic Highways Program (hereinafter referred to as “scenic and historic highways program” , “scenic byways program” or “program”) to encourage and coordinate state actions and the activities of others which relate to the development, protection, promotion, operation and management of scenic and historic highways. In order to carry out the purposes of the program, the Secretary is authorized to:
(a) Plan, design, and develop the Scenic and Historic Highways system and to designate such highways as the Department may deem appropriate as “Scenic and Historic Highways”. The process for such designation shall ensure that scenic and historic highways are selected and managed through a process that balances equity for property owners with the desire of the community to have a specific highway designated under this program;
(b) Ensure to the extent possible that all scenic and historic highway designations are continuous;
(c) Make safety improvements to a highway designated as a scenic and historic highway under this article to the extent such improvements are necessary to accommodate increased or reduced traffic as well as any changes necessary as a result of the types of vehicles using the highway due to such designation;
(d) Construct along such scenic highways such improvements as may be necessary for the use and enjoyment of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists;
(e) Improve the highway to enhance access to areas utilized for the purpose of recreation, including, but not limited to youth-related activities and water-related recreation;
(f) Protect scenic, historical, natural, archaeological and cultural resources in areas adjacent to the highway;
(g) Develop and provide tourist information to the public, including interpretive information about the scenic and historic highway;
(h) Apply for funding from any appropriate source to further the purposes of the scenic or historic highway program; including but not limited to federal grants or private contributions; and
(i) Enter into contracts with qualified and responsible not-for-profit organizations involved in scenic highway activities for services relating to the development of the scenic highways program or services relating to the operation, development or promotion of a specific scenic and historic highway.
§ 192. Regulations
(a) The Secretary is authorized to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary or desirable to implement the scenic and historic highways program, consistent with departmental policy and this Subchapter. Such regulations may also:
(1) Encourage counties, towns and municipalities to work with the Department to designate scenic and historic highways within their jurisdictions and to petition for the inclusions of these highways into the scenic highway program. Such inclusion shall enable the municipality to participate in federal funding that may be available under the National Scenic Byways Program of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century of 1998 (23 USC § 162).
(2) Develop criteria for scenic and historic highway designation based upon its scenic, historic, natural, recreational, cultural or archeological qualities;
(3) Encourage and assist in fostering public awareness, understanding, and participation in the objectives and functions of the scenic and historic highways program;
(4) Provide participants with tools and ideas for enhancement and protection of designated scenic and historic highways;
(5) Provide operation and management standards for highways designated as scenic and historic highways, including strategies for maintaining or improving the qualities for which a scenic and historic highway is so designated, for protecting and enhancing the landscape and scenic view and for minimizing traffic congestion as much as possible on such highways;
(6) Provide standards for scenic and historic highway-related signs, including those which identify scenic and historic highways;
(7) Develop and implement a scenic and historic highway corridor management plan that specifies the actions, procedures, controls, operational practices and administrative strategies to maintain the scenic, historic, cultural, recreational, archaeological and natural qualities of the scenic highway; and
(8) Develop planning and design standards for development of official scenic and historic highways.
§ 193. State Scenic and Historic Highway Advisory Board
The Secretary shall appoint a State Scenic and Historic Highway Advisory Board consisting of public and private parties, including not-for-profit organizations to assist and recommend in the designation, development, operation, management and promotion of scenic and historic highways. Members of the Advisory Board created pursuant to this Section shall include, but not be limited to, the Secretaries, chief administrative officers or representatives of the:
(a) Department of State;
(b) Department of Agriculture;
(c) Delaware Economic Development Office;
(d) Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; and
(e) Such other public or private members as the Secretary may determine would be of assistance in this process. These members would include, but not be limited to, representatives from: federal, state and local governments; environmental groups, planning agencies; the real estate and outdoor advertising industries, business, farming and nature organizations and such other groups which may be affected by a scenic and historic highway designation.
§194. Outdoor advertising exemptions
(a) Nothing in this Subchapter shall authorize any removal or restriction on outdoor advertising erected or approved by the appropriate governmental authority to be erected before the effective date of this Subchapter.
(b) For the purposes of this section ‘outdoor advertising’ has the same meaning as defined by §1102(b)(1) of this Title.”
Approved July 18, 2000