TITLE 9

Counties

New Castle County

CHAPTER 25. BUILDING CODE


As used in this chapter unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(1) "Building" means a structure having a roof and intended to shelter persons, animals, property or a business activity. The word "building" shall be construed to include parts thereof and all equipment therein.

(2) "Building sewer system" means equipment, appliances, pipes, fittings, fixtures and other appurtenances that convey liquid and water-carried waste from the building or structure to a public sewer, private sewer, individual sewage disposal system or other point of disposal.

(3) "Construction," "construct" or "constructed" means the building, installation, alteration, repair, replacement, maintenance, removal or demolition of a building, structure, mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer or similar system, or the components thereof.

(4) "Contractor" means a person engaged in construction activity regulated by the New Castle County Building Code.

(5) "County Council" shall mean the County Council for New Castle County.

(6) "Department of Land Use" shall mean the New Castle County Department of Land Use.

(7) "Fuel gas system" shall mean natural or liquid gas appliances and related accessories, including gas piping extending from the point of delivery to the inlet connections of appliances.

(8) "Mechanical system" shall mean a system permanently installed and utilized to provide for the control of environmental conditions and related processes within buildings and structures, including equipment, appliances, fixtures, fittings, and appurtenances, including ventilating, heating, cooling, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, incinerators and other energy related systems.

(9) "Permit" includes any building permit, license, zoning permit, certificate of occupancy, certificate of use, certificate of completion, subdivision approval and any other official action of government having the effect of permitting construction, occupancy or use.

(10) "Plumbing system" means the equipment, appliances, pipes, fittings, fixtures and other appurtenances in or about a building or structure for bringing in the water supply and removing liquid and water-carried waste.

(11) "Structure" shall mean a man made object having an ascertainable stationary location on land or in water, whether or not affixed to the land.

75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The County Council, in order to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of New Castle County, shall promulgate rules and regulations, to be known as the New Castle County Building Code, controlling, regulating and supervising persons engaged in construction activities and providing for matters concerning, affecting or relating to home improvement contracts and to the construction, use or occupancy, location and maintenance of buildings and structures located in New Castle County and the mechanical systems, fuel gas systems, plumbing systems, building sewer systems or similar systems, or components thereof, within or about such buildings and structures.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 2; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8301; 50 Del. Laws, c. 204, § 1; 53 Del. Laws, c. 348, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 1.;

No provision as adopted by the County Council shall be construed to require any change in, alteration of or addition to a legally existing building or structure or the premises connected therewith, unless specially stated to so apply.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 4; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8302; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The County Council may promulgate rules and regulations requiring persons engaged in construction activity regulated by the New Castle County Building Code to register with the Department of Land Use and take such tests or examinations necessary to demonstrate that such persons are competent to complete regulated work in a safe and sanitary manner.

75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The County Council shall adopt rules and regulations providing for the charge of reasonable fees for the administration and enforcement of the New Castle County Building Code including fees for the issuance of permits, inspections and registration. The basis for establishing building permit costs shall be limited to the building or structure and its functional parts including its mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or any other similar system within or about such building or structure.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 13; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8312; 53 Del. Laws, c. 348, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The Department of Land Use shall have the power and authority to administer and enforce all provisions of the New Castle County Building Code as promulgated by the County Council except as otherwise provided for by this chapter or by rule and regulation adopted by County Council.

75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

Inspections required under the provisions, rules and regulations adopted by the County Council shall be made by the Department of Land Use. In the case of the inspection of elevators, fuel oil equipment or electric wiring, the Department of Land Use may accept reports of inspectors of casualty companies or of other recognized inspection services after investigation of their qualifications and reliability. Certifications required under the provisions, rules and regulations adopted by the County Council shall be in writing and certified over the signature of the person verifying that the provisions of the New Castle County Building Code are complied with and that there are no unsafe conditions.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 9; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8307; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

(a) The Department of Land Use shall keep a careful and comprehensive record of applications, of permits issued, of inspections made, of reports rendered and of notices or orders issued. The Department of Land Use shall retain on file copies or electronic versions of all papers in connection with building work so long as any part of the building or structure to which they relate may be in existence, except that construction plans for buildings or structures of less than $200,000 value need not be retained after work shown on such plans has been completed and has been approved and accepted. The Department of Land Use shall keep a record of all violations of any rules or regulations promulgated by the County Council, with the name of the owner or builder and the location where such violations are found.

(b) All records shall be open to public inspection at the discretion of the Department of Land Use and subject to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act [Chapter 100 of Title 29] but shall not be removed from the Department.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 10; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8308; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

(a) No building or structure shall be constructed by a registered contractor or an individual holding a permit as provided for in this chapter, nor shall the equipment and materials that are part of or related to the electrical system, mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or similar system in or about a building or structure, be constructed except in compliance with the provisions of the New Castle County Building Code as promulgated by the County Council.

(b) No building or structure shall be constructed in any manner that would be in violation of the New Castle County Building Code as promulgated by the County Council or of any authorized order or rule of the Department of Land Use made and issued thereunder.

(c) No building or structure shall be used or occupied, in whole or in part, and no change to the existing use or occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the Department has issued an occupancy or use permit.

(d) No equipment or material that is part of or related to the electrical system, mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or similar system, in or about a building or structure, and for which a permit is required for the construction of said equipment, material or system, may be put into use or operation until the Department has issued a permit or certificate allowing its use or operation.

(e) No building or structure shall be constructed using public financial assistance in a manner that violates Chapter 42 of Title 31, and no occupancy or use permit shall be issued unless such building or structure complies with Chapter 42 of Title 31.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, §§ 3, 4; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8310; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 1.;

No person shall commence construction of a building or structure, or any electrical system, mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or similar system, or component thereof, within or about a building and structure, where such construction is regulated by the New Castle County Building Code, without first filing with the Department of Land Use an application in writing for such issuance of the building permit. The Department of Transportation, through the Office of Aeronautics, shall respond to the Department of Land Use regarding any objections to the issuance of a building permit, within 30 days of the Department of Transportation's receipt of such permit for review.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 12; 16 Del. C. 1953, §§ 3005, 8311; 55 Del. Laws, c. 49; 57 Del. Laws, c. 754, §§ 3, 4; 60 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 182, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 575, § 19; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

(a) No person shall maintain, occupy or use a building or structure or part thereof that has been constructed in violation of this chapter or of any of the provisions, rules or regulations delineated in the New Castle County Building Code as adopted by the County Council of New Castle County pursuant to the purpose of this chapter or constructed in violation of any permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department or in violation of any order of the Department.

(b) A person who has constructed or is maintaining such a building or structure or constructed a mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or similar system, or component thereof, shall remove the building, structure or system or cause the same to be removed. If such person fails to do so, the Department of Land Use may remove such unlawful building, structure or system or cause the same to be removed or altered to comply with the law. Whatever expense shall be incurred in relation thereto shall be paid by the Office of Finance out of the moneys in the Treasury; and the owner or owners shall be jointly and severally liable to New Castle County for the full amount so expended. New Castle County may maintain an action at law against such owner or owners to recover the sums of moneys so expended, plus lawful interest and costs.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 5; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8314; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

(a) For the purpose of enforcing compliance with the provisions of the New Castle County Building Code, the requirements of any permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department of Land Use, or to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to secure the necessary safeguards during construction or to require adequate exit facilities in existing buildings, the Department of Land Use shall issue such rules, notices or orders as may be necessary.

(b) Whenever the Department of Land Use is satisfied that a building or structure, mechanical system, fuel gas system, plumbing system, building sewer system or similar system, or component thereof, or any work in connection therewith, the construction of which is regulated, permitted or forbidden by any of the rules or regulations as adopted by the County Council, is being constructed in violation or rules, regulations or requirements as promulgated by the County Council or in violation of a permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department of Land Use, or order of the Department of Land Use, the Department of Land Use may serve a written notice or order upon the person responsible therefore directing discontinuance of each illegal action and the remedying of the condition which is in violation of the provisions, regulations or requirements as adopted by the County Council or required by permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department of Land Use or by order of the Department of Land Use.

(c) No person having been served with such a notice or order shall fail within 5 days to comply with the requirements thereof unless the Department of Land Use determines that such violation cannot be cured within such time and clearly delineates additional time for compliance.

(d) Whenever in the opinion of the Department, by reason of defective or illegal work in violation of a provision or requirement adopted by the County Council of New Castle County, or in violation of any permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department of Land Use or in violation of any order of the Department of Land Use or the continuance of a building operation is contrary to public welfare, the Department may order, in writing, that all further work be stopped immediately and may require suspensions of work until the condition in violation has been remedied.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8313; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The owner of a building, structure or premises in violation of this chapter or the rules or requirements as promulgated by the County Council or in violation of any permit, certificate, detailed statement or plan accepted or approved by the Department of Land Use, or in violation of an order of the Department of Land Use, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith and who has participated or assisted in the commission of such violation shall each be fined not more than $1,000 for each offense and each and every day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 15; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8315; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

The imposition of the penalties in this chapter shall not preclude the Attorney General, County Attorney or Code Enforcement Constable from instituting appropriate actions or proceedings to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use, or to restrain, correct or abate a violation, or to prevent the occupancy of a building, structure or premises, or to prevent an illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about any premises.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 16; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8316; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;

This chapter shall not apply to buildings or structures devoted to agricultural use as defined in Chapter 26 of this title, nor to properties, buildings or structures located within any incorporated city or town in New Castle County unless the responsibility for the local service function has been duly transferred to New Castle County.

44 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 17; 45 Del. Laws, c. 111, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 8317; 53 Del. Laws, c. 348, § 3; 58 Del. Laws, c. 277; 75 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 5.;