TITLE 22

Municipalities

CHAPTER 3. MUNICIPAL ZONING REGULATIONS

Subchapter I. General Provisions


For the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals or the general welfare of the community, the legislative body of cities and incorporated towns may regulate and restrict the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures, percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, residence or other purposes.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 2; Code 1935, § 6228; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 301.;

For any or all of the purposes provided in § 301 of this title, the legislative body may divide the municipality into districts of such number, shape and area as may be deemed best suited to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and within such districts it may regulate and restrict the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or use of buildings, structures or land. All such regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of buildings throughout each district but the regulations in 1 district may differ from those in other districts.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 3; Code 1935, § 6229; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 302.;

The regulations shall be made in accordance with a comprehensive plan and designed to lessen congestion in the streets, to secure safety from fire, panic and other dangers, to promote health and the general welfare, to provide adequate light and air, to prevent the overcrowding of land, to avoid undue concentration of population, to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements. Such regulations shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, as to the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout the municipality.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 4; Code 1935, § 6230; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 303.;

The legislative body of the municipality shall provide for the manner in which the regulations and restrictions and the boundaries of the districts shall be determined, established and enforced and from time to time amended, supplemented or changed. However, no such regulations, restriction or boundary shall become effective until after a public hearing in relation thereto, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. At least 15 days' notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in an official paper or a paper of general circulation in such municipality.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 5; Code 1935, § 6231; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 304.;

The regulations, restrictions and boundaries may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified or repealed. In case, however, of a protest against such changes signed by the owners of 20 percent or more, either of the area of the lots included in such proposed change or of those immediately adjacent thereto extending 100 feet therefrom or of those directly opposite thereto extending 100 feet back from the street frontage of such opposite lots, such amendment shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three fourths of all the members of the legislative body of the municipality; provided, however, that in any municipality of this State with a population in excess of 50,000 persons, the foregoing provisions regarding a protest shall not be applicable to any such change which is proposed in connection with the construction of federally assisted multi-family housing for the elderly and handicapped, in all instances of which such change shall become effective by the favorable vote of a simple majority of all the members of the legislative body of the municipality. The provisions of § 304 of this title, relative to public hearings and official notice, shall apply equally to all changes or amendments.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 6; Code 1935, § 6232; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 305; 67 Del. Laws, c. 183, § 1.;

In order to avail itself of the powers conferred by this chapter, the mayor or the chief executive of cities or incorporated towns shall appoint a commission to be known as the zoning commission of 3 members, the appointments to be confirmed by the legislative body, to recommend the boundaries of the various original districts and appropriate regulations to be enforced therein. The commission shall consist of not more than 2 members from 1 party and appointments shall be made for 2, 4, and 6 years, and for 6-year terms thereafter. Such commission shall make a preliminary report and hold public hearings thereon before submitting its final report. The legislative body shall not hold its public hearings or take action until it has received the final report of such commission.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 7; Code 1935, § 6232; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 306.;

Wherever the regulations made under authority of this chapter require a greater width or size of yards or courts, or a lower height of building or less number of stories, or a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied, or impose other higher standards than are required in any other statute or local ordinance or regulation, the regulations made under authority of this chapter shall govern. Wherever any other statute, local ordinance or regulation requires a greater width or size of yards or courts, or a lower height of building or a less number of stories, or a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied, or imposed other higher standards than are required by the regulations made under authority of this chapter, such statute, local ordinance or regulation shall govern.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 10; Code 1935, § 6236; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 307.;

In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained or any building, structure or land is used in violation of this chapter or of any ordinance or other regulation made under authority conferred thereby, the proper local authorities of the municipality, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of the building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.

39 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 9; Code 1935, § 6235; 22 Del. C. 1953, § 308.;

(a) For purposes of all local zoning ordinances a residential facility licensed or approved by a state agency serving 10 or fewer persons with disabilities on a 24 hour-per-day basis shall be construed to be a permitted single family residential use of such property.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "persons with disabilities" includes any persons with a handicap or disability as those terms are defined in the Delaware Fair Housing Act Chapter 46 of Title 6.

62 Del. Laws, c. 390, § 4; 74 Del. Laws, c. 149, §§ 9-11.;

For any or all the purposes provided in § 301 of this title, the legislative body of the municipality is expressly granted the authority to develop and adopt regulations governing the transfer of development rights from identified districts, zones or parcels from any unincorporated area in any county to districts, zones, or parcels designated to receive such development rights, and to enter into agreements with counties for such purposes. Whenever a municipality exercises its authority to provide for the receipt of development rights it shall:

(1) Have adopted a comprehensive plan as required by this chapter and conform thereto;

(2) Provide for the transfer of development rights as an option to the use and development of the subject property according to the otherwise applicable zoning requirements;

(3) Limit designation of receiving areas to locations where the municipality has determined that growth should be encouraged and where a transfer of development rights would not result in the inability of either existing or planned public facilities which serve the area to accommodate such growth;

(4) Demonstrate that the creation and regulation of receiving districts are otherwise consistent with promotion of the policies expressed by the comprehensive plans of the municipality and the statewide planning goals and objectives established pursuant to Chapter 91 of Title 29; and

(5) Provide for appropriate incentives for the transfer of development rights, including bonuses for the use of transferred development rights and intergovernmental agreements with counties which would permit the transfer and use of development rights between counties and municipalities.

72 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 5.;

The zoning ordinance and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter shall provide that newly constructed buildings of 25,000 square feet of gross floor area or more, shall be designed, constructed and/or equipped in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 2616 of Title 9.

76 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 4.;

For any or all of the purposes provided in § 301 of this title, the legislative body of a municipality may amend its zoning regulations for parcels of land as part of a Complete Community Enterprise District established in §§ 2103 and 2104 of Title 2. However, no such regulations shall become effective until after a public hearing in relation thereto, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. At least 60-days' notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in an official paper or a paper of general circulation in such municipality.

80 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 5.;