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An act to amend Chapter 1 of Title 9 of the Delaware Code

Submitted by: C.M. Weymouth, AIA

DRAFTSponsors

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
STATE OF DELAWARE
HOUSE BILL NO ____________

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 1 OF TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE BY ADDING THERETO A NEW SUBCHAPTER III RELATING TO LAND USE RESTRICTION WITHIN THE VARIED GOVERNED JURISDICTIONS OF THE STATE, WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH POLICY THRU RESTRICTED CAPITAL UNDERWRITING OF PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND, FURTHER, WITH THAT INCORPORATED PROVISO THEREIN FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT GROWTH BE JUSTIFIED ONLY UPON A PREREQUISITE, EXPANDED ECONOMIC BASE.

Synopsis of Proposed Legislation: Subject Legislation denies new residential development growth within State Jurisdictions unless there exists prerequisite economic growth requiring proximate residential housing. For permitted residential growth, provision is herein made for direct fiscal responsibility for initial construction and anticipated maintenance of all necessary infrastructure to be borne by those immediate user beneficiaries. Such designated infrastructure shall include, but shall not be limited to: roads, sewers, lighting, and, substantially, capital and maintenance costs of schools, and that proviso for the existent private home and existing housing development to be mutually shared, such costs to include but be not limited to maintenance/upkeep, snow removal, etc. Be it further provided in subject legislation in denial of additional residential growth (unless demonstrated economic growth), that such restriction determined herein to continue forth, diminishing State and local government duty, fiscal outlay and employment until there exists necessary economic basis requiring an additional population response and with adequate tax base immediate thereto to absorb such costs.
 
WHEREAS, planning, zoning, and the regulation land use have become most important functions delegated to County and Municipal governments (in their administrative and legislative capacities); and because decisions made by each sub government have far reaching and serious consequences for the future of this entire State and our neighboring jurisdictions: focusing upon those critical issues of the National economy and local quality of life.
 
WHEREAS, the quality of our lives, the health of our citizens, the appearance of our natural and manmade areas, the functioning of our roads, the health of our waters and air, the sustainability of our wildlife, the availability of local food sources, the safety and security of our residents, are each impacted by actions and decisions by subject government sub units, though, in fact, fiscally underwritten by direct State and Federal subsidy and,
 
WHEREAS, a disproportionate number in population have moved to Delaware due to low taxes and have chosen to stay for those purposes and the new found quality of life and open space, and
 
WHEREAS, it is the duty of the State Legislature with its preemptory powers to clarify existing standards, formulate new standards to guide government sub units and their subject agencies,
 
Now, THEREFORE,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Chapter _____ of Title 9 of the Delaware code is, hereby, amended by adding thereto a new Subchapter which shall read as follows:
 
Subchapter III. Coordination of State, County and Municipal Planning under strict guidance of economic parameters and with reassignment of fiscal responsibility.
 
Sec ______ Mandates of local planning agencies and sub unit governments

 
Local sub unit government mandates shall be modified to the following:

Existent and proposed State comprehensive planning and regulatory provisions, Federal laws and regulations for roads, infrastructure, pertaining to the environment health, safety and welfare, responsibility for infrastructure costs thereto, shall be followed in strict accord. Local planning agencies, including Counties and all Municipalities and unincorporated lands shall place upon the individual land owner fiscal responsibility for all elements of infrastructure as heretofore described and the continued enforcement of such maintenance upon the individual land owner, whether as enjoined local civic body or, alternately, as an individual.
BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, that any existent or proposed residential subdivision within any incorporated or unincorporated lands of the various Counties shall provide, at their own cost, maintenance of those correspondent subdivision roads, walks, local open space/parks, sewers, including but not limited to snow removal, lighting replacement with school capital costs apportioned to subject individual owner and with incumbent user fee for the later based upon projected enrollments and to include reduction of existent correspondent capital debt. County Parks and Libraries serving outside parochial need shall be incorporated within the State system, the County Police system reincorporated into the State Troop. It shall not be the responsibility of the State to establish or maintain local feeder roads to the intrastate road system. State capital improvement costs, now and henceforth, until determined by the State Legislature in future session, shall be confined to the State’s long term improvement of its economy and comprehensive protection of Health, Safety and Welfare, wherein not provided by the Federal government or private, independent resource. Capital investment by the State shall be applied, and only as provided under State sustained by State income revenues that are adequate to meet both interest and principal in payment, subject investments to concentrate upon overall improvement of interstate road access, high speed passenger and freight rail, harbor and waterway and air transport improvements, state-of-the-art communications, law access and highest end apllied research.

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