New Castle County’s Comprehensive Plan estimates future conditions and, at least every 10 years, the Plan and its corresponding Zoning Code may be adjusted in response to changing conditions and circumstances. In such cases, re-zoning of County land may be necessary due to new economic conditions that render a specific land use infeasible or technologically obsolete and/or shifting community needs and priorities. Accordingly, New Castle County employs a 7-step re-zoning process that is described in this brief animated video: New Castle County Re-Zoning Explained
Zoning Certification may be obtained from the Department of Land Use through submission of an Application for Zoning Certification form. Applicants may use this certification for several purposes, such as to secure financing, obtain a license from another agency, or to determine whether a property is legally suitable for their desired use. Upon receipt of a complete application and associated fee, the Department will research the specific tax parcel(s) and existing and/or intended use(s) stated on the application and issue a letter providing the following (as applicable):
• Verification of the zoning district(s) for the subject parcel(s)
• Confirmation of the existing and/or intended use(s) as being permitted or not permitted within the zoning district(s)
• Information regarding any relevant variances for the subject property
• Disclosure of any open building, property maintenance, or zoning code violations found for the subject property at the time of application
• Identification of the current recorded plan for the subject property (if applicable)
Unified Development Code
Chapter 40 of the county Code is the primary guide to development within New Castle County.
The Unified Development Code (UDC) establishes standards, procedures, and minimum requirements, consistent with the Comprehensive Development Plan.
The UDC regulates and controls the following: creation and administration of zoning districts; general development of real estate in the unincorporated areas of New Castle County; planning and subdivision of lands; and use, bulk, design and location of land and buildings.
Click on the graphic on the left to access the online version of the UDC.
Zoning maps are used to determine the applicable zoning for areas within New Castle County. There are a variety of zoning districts in New Castle County which fall into these general categories:
- TN (Traditional Neighborhood)
SUBURBAN TRANSITION DISTRICTS:
- ST (Suburban Transition) - residential
- MM (Manufactured Mobile Home) - residential
- ON (Office Neighborhood) - lower density/scale office development
- OR (Office Regional) - higher density/scale office development
- CR (Commercial Regional) - higher density/scale commercial development
- BP (Business Park)
- I (Industrial)
- CN (Commercial Neighborhood) - lower density/scale commercial development
- S (Suburban) - residential
- SE (Suburban Estate) - residential, no sewer services
- SR (Suburban Reserve) - residential, farmland, future sewer and water service planned)
- NC (Neighborhood Conservation) - residential, existing developments, numbers following denote lot size or type of residential development (e.g., NC10 indicates Neighborhood Conservation with minimum 10,000 square foot lot size; NCAP indicates Neighborhood Conservation with apartments
- HI (Heavy Industry)
- EX (Extraction)
- H (Historic Overlay) - applies additional standards to the base zoning
- HT (Hometown Overlay) - standards specific to the particular district