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New Castle County 2050 comprehensive plan is signed into code

NCC Government Building
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

The New Castle County Comprehensive Plan 2050 was signed into code Monday, and this year’s plan looks different than previous ones.

State law requires the county’s comprehensive plan be updated every 10 years.

The 560 page document will guide New Castle County planning and land use over the next three decades, and Land Use General Manager Rich Hall says implementation is already underway.

“Now we’re looking at ‘okay, what are all the things we recommended’ because there’s many, many recommendations. Some of them are nested, some of them are not,” explained Hall. “And then how do we prioritize this, which things are related, who should be doing what… So we’re doing that right now. We’re working on implementation right now.”

Meyer and Hall code sign
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

This version took 2 years to develop, and Hall adds despite most of that time coming during the COVID-19 pandemic, the county went the extra mile to ensure community input heavily guided the creation of the document.

Hundreds of community members responded to multiple surveys, attended various workshops, and submitted written comments. And New Castle County's Youth Planning Board not only shared what it would like to see in the county, but also conducted its own research.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer the final product reflects the joint effort of the county government and the community.

“I think it’s really the first time that a New Castle County comprehensive plan is really focused on social justice and equity. Of saying that we can use our land use process, and we can leverage the various resources of county and local government to affect historic inequities,” said Meyer. “And it sets out a playbook or roadmap to do that. And so now it’s a matter of rolling up our sleeves and getting to the hard work of doing that.”

This Comprehensive Plan looks to address emerging issues like climate change, equitable access to county resources, and housing, rather than focusing only on standard issues like zoning and sewer development.

Residents can stay updated on the implementation of the plan by visiting www.newcastlede.gov.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021