§ 3001 Definitions.
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated:
(1) "Commission" means Regional Planning Commission of New Castle County in § 3003 of this title but shall mean the Department of Land Use in all other sections.
(2) "County" means New Castle County.
(3) "District" means Regional Planning District of New Castle County, which comprises all that portion of the County not included within the corporate limits of any city or town, unless any territory within such corporate limits is included upon request made by the governing body or authority of any such city or town.
(4) "Plan" means the map, plat, or other document verbally or graphically illustrating or describing a plan of subdivision or land development.
(5) "Recorder of Deeds" means Recorder of Deeds in and for New Castle County.
(6) "Regulations" means land subdivision regulations.
(7) "Structure" means any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on land or in water, whether or not affixed to the land.
(8) "Subdivide" means the subdivision of land as defined in paragraph (10) of this section, or any act directed toward the present or future subdivision of land.
(9) "Subdivider" means any person, or agent thereof, who undertakes the subdivision of land; or any successor to the rights of said person in said land.
(10) "Subdivision" means:
a. The division or redivision of a lot, tract, or parcel of land, by any means, including by means of a plan or plat or a description by metes and bounds, into 2 or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, of the transfer of ownership or of building development, exempting, however, the division of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres not involving any new streets or easements of access, divisions of property by testamentary or intestate provisions, or divisions of property upon court order;
b. The division or allocation of land for the opening, widening or extension of any street or streets, or the division or allocation of land as open spaces for common use by owners, occupants or leaseholders, or as easements for the extension and maintenance of public sewer, water supply, storm drainage or other public facilities.
§ 3002 Power to regulate.
In order to provide for the orderly growth and development of the County, to promote the health, safety, prosperity, and the general welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the County, to insure the conservation of property values and natural resources, including the protection of the County's agricultural lands, water resources, and industrial 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 Commission may regulate the subdivision of all land in the County not within the corporate limits of any city or town.
9 Del. C. 1953, § 3002; 55 Del. Laws, c. 49.;
§ 3003 Land subdivision regulations.
In order to carry out the provisions of this chapter, the Commission shall adopt and administer regulations in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) Within 1 year from May 4, 1965, the Commission shall propose regulations pursuant to the purposes specified in this chapter, and shall hold at least 1 public meeting, notice of which shall have been given by publication at least 15 days before said meeting in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. Copies of the proposed regulations shall be available to the public without charge at a place or places stated in said notice. Within 120 days after said meeting, the Commission may adopt the regulations as proposed or may make any amendment, change or addition thereto, except that prior to the adoption thereof the same procedures shall be followed;
(2) Prior to the adoption by the Commission of any subsequent amendment, change or addition to said regulations, the same procedures shall be followed;
(3) No regulation adopted by the Commission shall become effective unless and until approved by the County Council.
§ 3004 Content of land subdivision regulations.
Any regulations adopted and approved under this chapter shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:
(1) Varying procedures for insuring the processing of 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 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 be provided for drainage and utilities, that reservations of areas designed for their use as public grounds shall be of suitable size and location for their designated uses, that sufficient and suitable monuments 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 for water supply 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.
9 Del. C. 1953, § 3004; 55 Del. Laws, c. 49.;
§ 3005 Issuance of building and occupancy permits.
§ 3006 Selling before approval; penalty; civil suits.
(a) No street, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main, or other improvements shall be constructed, opened, or dedicated for public use or for the common use of occupants of buildings abutting thereon, and no part of any land which has been subdivided after the adoption of regulations under this chapter, shall be sold, transferred or conveyed, except pursuant to an approval received for the land subdivision in accordance with the regulations adopted under this chapter.
(b) Whoever violates subsection (a) of this section shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both. Each lot or parcel so transferred or sold and each improvement so constructed, opened or dedicated shall be deemed a separate violation, and each and every day during which such violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of offenses under this section.
(c) The County Council, or any owner of real estate affected by such violation, may, in addition to utilizing other remedies provided by law, institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or other appropriate proceedings to prevent, enjoin, abate or otherwise correct such violation.
§ 3007 Recording unapproved plans; penalty.
(a) The Recorder of Deeds within the County shall not receive for filing any plan of land showing an arrangement of lots or parcels of lands, streets, easements or rights-of-way unless and until said plan shall have been submitted to, and approved by, the Commission and the County Council pursuant to the regulations adopted under this chapter, and until each such approval shall have been endorsed in writing on said plan by the Chairperson or the Executive Director of the Commission and the County Council by the President.
(b) Any plan received by the Recorder of Deeds for filing or recording without the approval of the Commission and the County Council endorsed thereon, shall be null and void and without legal effect and shall upon application of the Commission or the County Council, to the Superior Court, be expunged from the records of the Recorder of Deeds.
(c) Whoever causes any plan to be filed or recorded contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500. The Superior Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of offenses under this section.
§ 3008 Improvements private until dedicated.
The approval of a plan by the Commission and by the County Council shall, when recorded, be deemed and taken as acceptance of the intended dedication of the streets, grounds or other improvements appearing thereon to the public use by appropriate governmental body or agency. The approval of a plan shall not impose any duty or obligation upon the County Council or any other public agency to improve, repair, or maintain the streets, grounds or other improvements appearing on the plan. The Commission may adopt and the County Council may approve such regulations as are deemed advisable for the removal of snow from the streets appearing on the plan from the time the plan is recorded until the obligation to maintain such improvements is assumed either by a maintenance corporation or by an appropriate public agency.
§ 3009 Approved plan to be recorded.
The subdivider shall, within 120 days after the approval of a plan, record such plan in the office of the Recorder of Deeds. If such plan is not recorded within said time, the approval shall expire.
9 Del. C. 1953, § 3009; 55 Del. Laws, c. 49.;
§ 3010 Schedule of fees.
The Commission shall establish a uniform schedule of fees to be paid by the subdivider and to be proportioned to the cost of processing a subdivision submitted for review and approval of the Commission. No schedule established by the Commission shall become effective unless and until approved by the County Council.
§ 3011 Effect of approved plan on official map.
After a plan has been approved and recorded as provided under this chapter, all public streets and public grounds on such plan shall be, and become, a part of the official map of the County without public hearing.
9 Del. C. 1953, § 3011; 55 Del. Laws, c. 49.;
§ 3012 Notice to local school districts of residential subdivision plans or changes in residential subdivision plans that increase density.
With respect to the initial approval of a residential subdivision plan or any change in a residential subdivision plan that increases residential density, the County Council shall notify the local school district for the area at least 7 days prior to any such approval process.
§ 3013 Effect of open space acquisition.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, upon the acquisition by the county government of areas of land, whether by sheriff's sale or otherwise, previously shown as open space on the recorded plats of the county, such lands shall be deemed as dedicated and available for public use. Such acquisition shall not impose any duty or obligation upon the county government or other public agency to improve, repair or maintain the open space.