TITLE 22

Municipalities

CHAPTER 18. SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS


In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

(1) "Bonds" or "bond" means a special obligation bond, revenue bond, note or other similar instrument issued by any municipality in accordance with this section.

(2) "Cost" includes the cost of:

a. Construction, reconstruction and renovation, and acquisition of all lands, structures, real or personal property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements and interests acquired or to be acquired by a municipality for a public purpose;

b. All machinery and equipment including machinery and equipment needed to expand or enhance municipal services to the special development districts created pursuant to § 1802(a) of this title;

c. Financing charges and interest prior to and during construction, and, if deemed advisable by the municipality, for a limited period after completion of the construction, interest and reserves for principal and interest, including costs of municipal bond insurance and any other type of financial guaranty, liquidity support and costs of issuance;

d. Extensions, enlargements, additions and improvements;

e. Architectural, engineering, financial and legal services;

f. Plans, specifications, studies, surveys and estimates of cost and of revenues;

g. Administrative expenses necessary or incident to determining to proceed with the infrastructure improvements; and

h. Other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the construction, acquisition, financing and operation of the infrastructure improvements including administrative expenses charged to collect and/or administer the tax revenues.

(3) "County" or "county" means New Castle County, Kent County or Sussex County.

(4) "Municipality" or "municipality" means any town or city located within the State with a population in excess of 50,000 people.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) Subject to the provisions of this section, and for the purpose stated in subsection (b) of this section, any municipality may:

(1) Create a special development district;

(2) Levy ad valorem or special taxes; and

(3) Issue bonds and other obligations.

(b) The purpose of the authority granted under subsection (a) of this section is to provide financing, refinancing or reimbursement for:

(1) The cost of the design, construction, establishment, extension, alteration or acquisition of adequate storm drainage systems, sewers, water systems, roads, bridges, culverts, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, lighting, parking, parks and recreation facilities, libraries, schools, transit facilities, solid waste facilities and other infrastructure improvements as necessary, whether situated within the special development district or outside the special development district if the infrastructure improvement provides service or benefit to the property within the special development district, for the development and utilization of the land, each with respect to any defined geographic region within the municipality; and

(2) To pay costs associated with tax increment financing undertaken with respect to TIF Districts pursuant to Chapter 17 of this title.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) In addition to other powers any municipality may have, and notwithstanding the provisions of any other public local law, or public general law, or the charter of any municipality, a municipality may borrow money by issuing and selling bonds for the purpose stated in § 1802(b) of this title, if a request to the municipality is made by both:

(1) The owners of at least 2/3 of the assessed valuation of the real property located within the special development district; and

(2) At least 2/3 of the owners of the acreage located within the special development district, provided that:

a. Multiple owners of a single parcel are treated as a single owner; and

b. A single owner of multiple parcels is treated as 1 owner.

(b) This section is self-executing and does not require the municipality to enact legislation or, if applicable, to amend its charter to exercise the powers granted under this section.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) Bonds shall be payable from the special fund required under § 1805 of this title.

(b) If the governing body of the municipality issues bonds under this chapter, the governing body may also:

(1) Establish sinking funds;

(2) Establish debt service reserve funds;

(3) Pledge other assets and revenues towards the payments of the principal, premium, if any, and interest; or

(4) Provide for municipal bond insurance or any other type of credit enhancement or liquidity support of the bonds.

(c) All proceeds received from any bonds issued and sold shall be applied solely to pay costs, including:

(1) Costs of design, construction, establishment, extension, alteration or acquisition of infrastructure improvements;

(2) Costs of issuing bonds;

(3) Payment of the principal and interest on loans, including developer loans, money advances or any indebtedness for any of the purposes stated in § 1802(b) of this title, including the refunding of bonds previously issued under this section;

(4) Funding of a debt service reserve fund or payment of interest prior to, during or for a limited period of time after construction; and

(5) Purposes described in § 1705 of this title.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) Before issuing bonds pursuant to this section, the governing body of the municipality shall:

(1) Designate by resolution an area or areas as a special development district;

(2) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, adopt a resolution creating a special fund with respect to the special development district; and

(3) Provide for the levy of an ad valorem or special tax on all real property within the special development district at a rate or amount designed to provide adequate revenues to pay the principal of, interest on, and redemption premium, if any, on the bonds, to replenish any debt service reserve fund, and for any other purpose related to the ongoing expenses of or security, including debt service coverage requirements, for the bonds. Ad valorem taxes shall be levied in the same manner, upon the same assessments, for the same period or periods, and as of the same date or dates of finality as are now or may hereafter be prescribed for general ad valorem real property tax purposes within the district, and shall be discontinued when all of the bonds have been paid in full. Special taxes shall be levied pursuant to § 1813 of this title.

(b) The resolution creating a special fund under paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall:

(1) Pledge to the special fund the proceeds of the ad valorem or special tax to be levied as provided under paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and

(2) Require that the proceeds from the tax be paid into the special fund.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

When no bonds are outstanding with respect to a special development district:

(1) The special development district shall be terminated; and

(2) Any moneys remaining in the special fund on the date of termination of the special development district shall be paid to the general fund of the municipality, as the case may be.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) In order to implement the authority conferred upon it by this chapter to issue bonds, the governing body of the municipality shall adopt an ordinance that:

(1) Specifies and describes the proposed undertaking and states that it has complied with § 1805 of this title;

(2) Specifies the maximum principal amount of bonds to be issued;

(3) Specifies the maximum rate or rates of interest for the bonds; and

(4) Agrees to a covenant to levy upon all real property within the special development district, ad valorem taxes or special taxes in rate and amount at least sufficient in each year in which any of the bonds are outstanding to provide for the payment of the principal of, premium, if any, and the interest on the bonds.

(b) The ordinance may specify or may authorize its finance board or department or other appropriate financial officer, by resolution or ordinance, or its chief executive officer, by executive order, to specify any of the following as it deems appropriate to effect the financing of the proposed undertaking:

(1) The actual principal amount of the bonds to be issued;

(2) The actual rate or rates of interest for the bonds;

(3) The manner in which and the terms upon which the bonds are to be sold;

(4) The manner in which and the times and places that the interest on the bonds is to be paid;

(5) The time or times that the bonds may be executed, issued and delivered;

(6) The form and tenor of the bonds and the denominations in which the bonds may be issued;

(7) The manner in which and the times and places that the principal of the bonds is to be paid, within the limitations set forth in this chapter;

(8) Provisions pursuant to which any or all of the bonds may be called for redemption prior to their stated maturity dates; or

(9) Any other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter as shall be determined by the governing body of the municipality to be necessary or desirable to effect the financing of the proposed undertaking.

(c)(1) An ordinance authorizing the bonds required under this section, an ordinance, resolution or executive order passed or adopted in furtherance of the required ordinance, the bonds, the designation of a special development district, or the levy of a special ad valorem tax or special tax may not be subject to any referendum by reason of any other state or local law.

(2) The ordinance authorizing the bonds required under this section, any ordinance, resolution, or executive order passed or adopted in furtherance of the required ordinance, the bonds, the designation of a special development district, or the levy of a special ad valorem tax or special tax shall be subject to the request of the landowners as specified under § 1803(a) of this title.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

The principal amount of the bonds, the interest payable on the bonds, their transfer and any income derived from the transfer, including any profit made in the sale or transfer of the bonds, shall be exempt from taxation by the State and by the counties and municipalities of the State.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) All bonds shall be in fully registered form. — Each of the bonds shall be deemed to be a security as defined in § 8-102 of Title 6, whether or not it is either 1 of a class or series or by its terms is divisible into a class or series of instruments.

(b) All bonds shall be signed manually or in facsimile by the chief executive officer of the municipality, and the seal of the municipality shall be affixed to the bonds and attested by the clerk or other similar administrative officer of the municipality. If any officer whose signature or countersignature appears on the bonds ceases to be such officer before delivery of the bonds, the officer's signature or countersignature shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer had remained in office until delivery.

(c) All bonds shall mature not later than 30 years from their date of issuance.

(d) All bonds shall be sold in the manner, either at public or private sale, and upon the terms, as the governing body of the municipality deems best. Any contract for the acquisition of property may provide that payment shall be made in bonds.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

Bonds issued under this chapter are securities in which all public officers and public bodies of the State and its political subdivisions, all insurance companies, state banks and trust companies, national banking associations, savings banks, savings and loan associations, investment companies, executors, administrators, trustees and other fiduciaries may properly and legally invest funds, including capital in their control or belonging to them.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

The powers granted under this chapter shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers conferred by other laws, and may not be regarded as in derogation of any powers now existing.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the State and its residents, shall be liberally construed to effect the purpose stated in § 1802(b) of this title.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

(a) As an alternative to levying ad valorem taxes under this chapter, the governing body of the municipality may levy special taxes on real property in a special development district to cover the cost of infrastructure improvements.

(b) In determining the basis for and amount of the tax, the cost of an improvement may be calculated and levied:

(1) Equally per front foot, lot, parcel, dwelling unit or square foot;

(2) According to the value of the property as determined by the governing body, with or without regard to improvements on the property; or

(3) In any other reasonable manner that results in fairly allocating the cost of the infrastructure improvements.

(c) The governing body of the municipality may provide by ordinance or resolution for:

(1) A maximum amount to be assessed with respect to any parcel of real property located within a special development district;

(2) A tax year or other date after which no further special taxes under this section shall be levied or collected on a parcel; and

(3) The circumstances under which the special tax levied against any parcel may be increased, if at all, as a consequence of delinquency or default by the owner of that parcel or any other parcel within the special development district.

(d) The governing body by ordinance or resolution may establish procedures allowing for the prepayment of special taxes under this section.

(e) Special taxes levied under this section shall be collected and secured in the same manner as general ad valorem real property taxes unless otherwise provided in the ordinance or resolution and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure, sale, and lien priority in case of delinquency as is provided for general ad valorem real property taxes.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

Bonds issued under this chapter are a special obligation of the municipality and may not constitute a general obligation debt of the municipality, or a pledge of the municipality's full faith and credit or taxing power.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;

The use of lands in a special development district shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan for the area as certified pursuant to § 9103(f) of Title 29.

74 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 2.;