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Land Development customers may not pay fees online at this time, but this benefit may be available to ePlans users in the near future. At this time, land development plan fees must be paid upon initial submission at the Dept. of Land Use.
Were your documents submitted in the proper format? Searchable PDF files are preferred for calculations, reports, and other supporting plan documentation (non-drawing files).
Both vector PDF and non-vector PDF files will be accepted for drawing files. Since AutoCAD software is commonly used to create drawing files, converting a DWG to PDF file print ready is the preferred secured file format.
Land Development customers will receive an approval letter via ePlans, but will need to wait until their plans have been recorded by the New Castle County Recorder of Deeds before being given access to download them in ePlans.
Any expansion or enlargement of an existing driveway does not require a building permit from New Castle County, but the enlargement or expansion must comply with the Unified Development Code. The Unified Development Code Section 40.04.110 E 1 e states: “An uncovered patio at ground level or an uncovered driveway (except for shared driveways) may project into any yard, provided it is set back from any lot line a minimum of two (2) feet.” Any new driveway requires an entrance/exit permit from DelDOT. For entrance/exit permits above the C&D Canal, contact DelDOT North District at 302-326-4679. For entrance/exit permits south of the C&D Canal, contact DelDOT Central District at 302-760-2496
A building permit is required for:Moving, replacing or constructing new walls or partitionsRelocating or installing new plumbing fixturesRelocating or creating new windows, doors, or steps of any kind
All electrical work should be explained to the State of Delaware (302-744-4504) tofind out if an electrical permit and inspection is required.
The New Castle County Code Section 06.03.012 C 1 g states that a building permit is not required if the replacement of roof covering does not involve the repair or replacement of more that twenty-five (25) percent of the sheathing. The International Residential Code Section R907.3 states: “New roof coverings shall not be installed without first removing existing roof coverings where any of the following conditions occur: (1) Where the existing roof or roof covering is water-soaked or has deteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a base for additional roofing. (2) Where the existing roof covering is wood shake, slate, clay, cement or asbestos-cement tile. (3) Where the existing roof has two or more applications of any type of roof covering.” The Unified Development Code Section 40 04 110 E 1 b states “Chimneys, cornices and eaves may project not more than two (2) feet into any required yard.”
Below is the list of the first 2 digits currently in use and their geographic locations:Unincorporated Areas*06 – Brandywine Hundred (unincorporated)07 – Christiana Hundred (unincorporated)08 – Mill Creek Hundred (unincorporated)09 – White Clay Creek Hundred (unincorporated)10 – New Castle Hundred (unincorporated)11 – Pencader Hundred (unincorporated)12 – Red Lion Hundred (unincorporated)13 – St. Georges Hundred (unincorporated)14 – Appoquinimink Hundred (unincorporated)15 – Blackbird Hundred (unincorporated)* New Castle County is the local governing body for government services in these areas.
Towns and Cities that are Incorporated**16 – Arden (incorporated)17 – Bellefonte (incorporated)18 – Newark (incorporated)19 – Elsmere (incorporated)20 – Newport (incorporated)21 – City of New Castle (incorporated)22 – Delaware City (incorporated)23 – Middletown (incorporated)24 – Odessa (incorporated)25 – Townsend (incorporated)26 – Wilmington (incorporated)27 – Ardentown (incorporated)28 – Smyrna (incorporated) – Smyrna lies in both New Castle and Kent Counties29 – Ardencroft (incorporated)30 – Clayton (incorporated) – Clayton lies in both New Castle and Kent Counties** Not all jurisdictions have the same range of city services. You should check with the town/city to determine whether the service you seek is handled by them or by New Castle County.
All plans for streets, whether public or private, must be reviewed and approved by the Land Use Department. Reviews of street plans ensure that adequate facilities are installed when a project is developed so that there are adequate services; that the facilities will function efficiently with minimum maintenance; and that the overall development is functional andinternally safe to the greatest degree possible. Roads must be designed to avoid increasing adverse impacts on the environment and on adjoining properties. In general, New Castle County encourages public streets in new subdivisions. However, in limited situations, the Department of Land Use may approve the use of private streets if :1. The public has use of private streets;2. The development is in the Suburban Estate or Suburban Reservedistrict and is a single-family or open space subdivision*; or3. The development is a rural subdivision **B. Where appropriate, private street improvements must meet the minimumstandards for comparable public streets.C. A maintenance organization must be created and responsible for themaintenance of the private streets.
*Open Space Subdivision. This is a development pattern or design technique where lots are grouped together rather than spread out evenly as in conventional subdivision development. Clustering development allows the remaining land to be used for recreation, open space and the preservation of natural resources.
** Rural Subdivision. This subdivision provides limited development opportunity in the Suburban Reserve if the landowner wants to continue agricultural operations, house family members, or raise income to supplement agricultural operations. It may also be used inareas where growth potential is limited by facilities capacity. This subdivision permits development at minimal cost while providing access protection along existing streets. The rural subdivision permits a landowner to subdivide a large tract into four (4) lots; these lots are designated the "residential lots". The remaining parcel is designated the "residual lot." The "residual lot" must be included as part of the final plan for recordation purposes. The "residual lot" must be used in part for access and as a reserve for future development that promotes sound land use patterns.
The homeowner is responsible for installing and maintaining curbside mailboxes to USPS specifications. If you plan to replace an existing mailbox, check with the Postmaster if you wish to change the location or construct a custom box.
For cluster mailboxes, the builder is responsible for installing a concrete pad according to USPS specifications and the local postmaster provides the cluster boxes, their installation and maintenance.
Most information is available through the U.S. Postal Service's website at https://www.usps.com/.
Uses accessory to a residence include: Garages, Sheds, Out Buildings, Private Stables, Fences, Satellite Dish or Antenna, Ball Courts, a Private Swimming Pool, a Guest House, a Temporary Roadside Stand or Garage/Yard Sales Below is general information about county code requirements and restrictions on accessory uses. Please remember to check any neighborhood deed restrictions that may place additional restrictions on accessory uses. A. Garages, sheds, outbuildings and sheds are Accessory Uses to a residence (Section 40.03.410) and are considered freestanding structures. They must meet the following criteria: 1. They cannot be used for human habitation. 2. They are generally not permitted in front of the principal structure or within the street or front yard setback. 3. However, lots two (2) acres or larger may locate one free standing accessory structure in front of the principal structure, so long as the freestanding structure is not within the front or street yard setback. 4. They cannot cover more than thirty (30) percent of the rear yard setback. The thirty (30) percent includes the sum of the area covered by all accessory buildings include any proposed buildings. 5. A freestanding structure may be located only in the rear yard provided it is placed at least three (3) feet from the side lot line and rear lot line and is not located in a street yard setback. 6. Freestanding structures cannot be located in any side yard setback or any bufferyard. 7. Generally, no freestanding structure can be taller than twenty (20) feet. However, on lots greater than one (1) acre, accessory structures may equal that of the principal building if the proposed structure is not within any setback. 8. Where a garage is facing an alley, the setback for garage doors facing the alley must be twenty (20) feet to provide a parking space. For attached housing, freestanding accessory structures must have a setback from the rear lot line of three (3) feet and be at least two (2) feet from the side lot line. 9. Walled units, patio houses, and atrium houses must locate all accessory structures within their walls. B. Private Stables. 1. Stables are permitted on lots a minimum of two (2) acres, and on lots of record existing as of the adoption date of the UDC (as amended September 22, 1998) which legally had stables located on them. 2. Stables must be setback fifty (50) feet from all property lines. C. Yard ornaments, play structures, fountains, flagpoles, clothes lines, and similar objects 1. Are permitted in all yards and all yard setbacks. 2. However, if the structure or object exceeds six (6) feet in height above the finished ground where it is located, it must be placed at least six (6) feet from the front, street, side or rear lot line. D. Fences 1. Fences are be permitted in all yards and all yard setbacks. 2. Fences may be placed on a property line but cannot extend into a public right-of-way. The County recommends the fence be placed away from the property line so maintenance may be performed from both sides of the fence. 3. Fences must be constructed of materials specifically designed for fences and cannot include barbed or razor wire. 4. Fence panels and fence materials may not exceed six (6) feet in height, except for ball courts. To account for installation on sloping ground and any necessary space between the ground and the bottom of the fence panels or materials, the top of the fence panels, materials, and posts may not exceed seven (7) feet in height when measured from the ground, except as permitted for ball courts. E. Satellite Dish or Antenna. 1. Satellite dishes (over three (3) feet in diameter) or antennas, including amateur ham radio antenna, over three (3) feet in diameter can be mounted on the ground in the rear yard. 2. If location in the rear yard is not possible, then the structure may be located in the side or front yard, subject to setback requirements. 3. Dishes must be screened from view with evergreen hedge or shrub and understory trees. 3. The dish must be located so plant screening protects neighboring homes. 4. Evergreen trees must be used to block other views from neighboring homes to the dish’s front where plantings cannot be placed close to the dish. 5. If the satellite dish or antenna is located in a rear yard and would not be visible to neighboring homes, then evergreen trees are not required. F. Ball Courts. 1. Ball courts are not permitted on lots of less than one (1) acre. 2. Ball courts must be set back from side and rear property lines a minimum of six (6) feet. 3. Any fence around ball courts may be over six (6) feet in height provided it is not within any required minimum yard setback. G. Private Swimming Pool. 1. A private swimming pool may be located only in the rear yard. 2. The pool, the decking, pool filter and pump, and storage buildings must be at least six (6) feet from any side or rear property line. 3. In the case of a corner lot or multiple frontage lot, the pool cannot be located in the street yard setback. 4. All fencing requirements contained in the International Building Code, as adopted by the County and amended from time to time, shall be followed. H. Temporary Roadside Stand 1. A roadside stand for the sale of agricultural products grown on the premises may be located in the street or front yard. 2. Any structure or display area cannot be located in any road right-of-way. 3. No permanent structure or building or parking associated with the roadside stand can be constructed or maintained. I. Garage/Yard Sales 1. Are permitted provided they occur on no more than four (4) occasions per year. 2. Are of no more than three (3) consecutive days in duration. J. Mulching & Composting 1. Conducted by resident using material (both yard waste & kitchen waste) found and generated on-site; and 2. Not to include material from other property.
The parcel on which the private stable is located must be at least two (2) acres in size.Private stables must be located (50) feet from all property lines.Riding academies and private instruction are not permitted. Lots existing before the adoption of the Unified Development Code (as amended on September 22, 1998) which legally had stables located on them are grandfathered from these requirements.
Commercial stables are permitted in Suburban (S), Suburban Estate (SE) and Suburban Reserve (SR) zoning districts, subject to certain limitations. Agricultural uses may have commercial stables as an accessory use as a matter of right.
Limitations on commercial stables:1. The stables must not conflict with the low density nature of the zoning district in which it is located.2. A site plan must be submitted to the Department of Land Use for approval.3. A maximum of 25% of the site may be improved with barns, stables, riding rinks, parking or other facilities.4. One parking space is required for every two stalls.5. In the SR zoning district, the parcel must be at least 5 acres. The parcel must be at least 300 ft wide. The setback from the street must be at least 100 feet, from the side yard at least 50 feet and from the rear yard at least 100 feet. The building may be no taller than 50 feet.6. In the SE zoning district, the parcel must be at least 5 acres. The parcel must be at least 300 ft wide. The setback from the street must be at least 100 feet, from the side yard at least 30 feet and from the rear yard at least 100 feet. The building may be no taller than 40 feet.7. In the S zoning district, the parcel must be at least 3 acres. The parcel must be at least 200 ft wide. The setback from the street must be at least 50 feet, from the side yard at least 40 feet and from the rear yard at least 50 feet. The building may be no taller than 40 feet.
Regulations on SignageYou may have one of each of the following:1. A nameplate sign, mounted on the ground or a wall that is at least two feet from the street line and is a maximum of one and one-half square feet in area;2. One bulletin sign, mounted on the ground or a wall that is at least 20 feet from the street line and is a maximum of 20 square feet in area; and3. One identification sign, mounted on the ground or a wall that is at least 20 feet from the street line and is a maximum of 20 square feet in area.
A commercial stable may be located in the Community Area Open Space for a neighborhood but not in the Natural Resource Area Open Space. Stables cannot be located in the floodplain, floodway, wetlands, riparian buffers, drainageways, wellhead/water recharge areas or on steep slopes.
To ensure that you are legally able to open a stable and that you follow the proper steps in proceeding, visit the Department of Land Use at 87 Reads Way, New Castle Corporate Commons, or call us at (302) 395-5400 before you go forward. We will be happy to work with you!
All dogs are to be kept under restraint at all times.
Owners or persons responsible for dogs and/or cats are expected to prevent accumulation of animal excreta in the area where such animals are customarily kept. This regulation is enforced by the New Castle County Code Enforcement Division. To file a complaint, call 395-5555.
Owners of or persons responsible for dogs or cats shall immediately remove, in a sanitary manner, any fecal matter deposited by such dog or cat upon any street, sidewalk or park or upon any property without the consent of the owner or tenant of such property. It shall not be a violation if such fecal matter is removed within one (1) hour.
Animal control is the statewide responsibility of the Kent County SPCA. ALL animal control issues in ALL counties fall under the authority and enforcement of Delaware Animal Control (DEACC) officers & the KCSPCA. Complaints about dogs barking excessively should be directed to the New Castle County Police through the non-emergency number at (302) 573-2800. Contact Kent County SPCA Toll Free at 888-352-7722, or 302-698-3006. Press 1 for Animal Control.http://www.kcspca.org/
This section shall not apply to the keeping, sheltering or harboring of animals in connection with bona fide educational programs run or overseen by a public or private elementary, middle or secondary school or a college or university or the Delaware Cooperative Extension Education Program, the 4-H or the Newark Pigeon Club, Wilmington Homing Club orthe Delmarva Pigeon Club.
For information about horses and stables, please see the FAQs on personal and commercial stables.
For more information, read the Child Day Care Requirements Information sheet linked below.
The rules for each setting are different. However, in all cases the State of Delaware must license child day care.
The attached document provides additional information on County Code requirements. Child Day Care Requirements
Yes. Maintenance requirements are currently based on installation date and New Castle County adopted codes, including those for platform lifts and stairway chairlifts. In general, installations, maintenance, and inspections shall comply with ASME A17.1-2016 and ASME A18.1-2014 as currently adopted in the 2018 International Building Code, as amended by New Castle County and the New Castle County Property Maintenance Code.
Most elevators require an inspection every six months, while the Elevator Compliance and Operation Certificates are issued annually.
Elevators in residential single-family dwellings that are not accessible to the public shall be inspected upon completion of installation prior to being placed in service, or after alterations prior to being returned to service. Residential single-family dwellings will only be issued an Elevator Compliance and Operation Certificate by New Castle County in the instances defined above – they are not subject to the annual certification process.
The Certified Elevator Inspectors shall file with the Department of Land Use duplicate copies of all inspection reports. Reports can be sent via email to: Permits or by mail to: NCC Dept. of Land Use, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720. Building owners should only send inspection reports at the time of annually invoicing, if it is defined as outstanding on the statement.
You have been defined as the owner/responsible party for a parcel containing an elevator or conveyance system and are responsible for maintaining a current Elevator Compliance and Operation Certificate. Statements are sent annually from New Castle County and detail all outstanding fees and outstanding inspections required in order to renew the Elevator Certificate of Compliance and Operation.
Elevator Certificates of Compliance and Operation are issued by New Castle County Department of Land Use annually. Invoices are mailed out every June. Once the renewal fee is paid and the required inspections are verified by Land Use staff, an updated Certificate will be issued and may be obtained using the Parcel Search webpage.
The Permits Section of the Land Use Department issues the Elevator Compliance and Operation Certificates. Please email questions to Permits or contact staff at 302-395-5420.
You must be listed as a party involved (vehicle driver or owner or damaged property owner) on the report in order to obtain a copy.
Only copies of reports that have been approved by a supervisor can be released.
The fees are $60 for a major or fatal collision report and $20 for all others.
You can pay your report fee by mailing it to New Castle County Police Attn: Records Unit 3601 N DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19702 or by going to the Public Safety Building at 3601 N DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19702.
Checks can be made payable to New Castle County.
Major Case or Fatal Accident reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . each $60.00
All other accident reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . each $20.00
To obtain a copy of an incident report you can call New Castle County Police at 302-395-8070 or visit the Public Safety Building at 3601 N DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19702.
If you respond to the Public Safety Building:
You must be listed as a victim on the report in order to obtain a copy. Exceptions can be made for parents of minor children that are listed as the victim. A subpoena may also be obtained from the court in which litigation exists.
You must show photo ID.
First copy of the report is free of charge.
If you contact the Records Unit by phone:
A copy of the report can be mailed to the victim at the address that is listed on the report only.
1st Copy to Victim………………………………………………. each Free
Any Additional Copies:
Major Case/Homicide reports …... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . each $60.00
All other reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . …….. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . each $20.00
Yes. No alarm user shall operate, or cause to be operated, an alarm system without a valid alarm registration. Failure to do so may result in a penalty.
Through the implementation of this ordinance, the reduction of false alarms has allowed the police officers more time to handle calls for service and become proactive in the communities of New Castle County. At the program’s inception there were an average of 13,000 false alarms per year and a response time of approximately 25 minutes. The New Castle County Police were losing over 300,000 minutes (or 5,000 hours) of officer time every year to false alarms. This is the equivalent of 2.5 officers spending and entire year working on false alarms. It had been shown that with implementation of a false alarm ordinance, false alarms could be cut by up to 40%. That means that the New Castle County Police would get back about 130,000 minutes (or 2,166 hours) of actual police time.
This program provides an alternative to homeowner responsibility for long-term maintenance of stormwater infrastructure within subdivisions and land developments, and relieves homeowners of the burden of minor and major stormwater maintenance. The County will take over these maintenance responsibilities leaving the maintenance organization to focus only on maintenance of the non-stormwater common areas.
At the request of County Council, the State of Delaware enacted enabling legislation on September 10, 2021, that allowed New Castle County to create Stormwater Maintenance Districts. New Castle County Council followed up with its own legislation on January 11, 2022, establishing the New Castle County Stormwater Maintenance District Program. Public Works has established standard forms and a policy to further detail the program. You can download a copy of the policy here.
Cost will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the size of your community, and the size, type and number of stormwater facilities. The County will secure pricing from contractors under contract with the County. Cost will be divided by lot and added to your annual tax bill.
Public Works will assume complete maintenance responsibilities for the stormwater management facilities as defined on the record plan. We will coordinate the work with our contractors and monitor their performance.
Once successfully enrolled in the program, the Maintenance Organization will only need to maintain its open space outside of the stormwater management areas.
If you feel it’s an emergency, please contact the Public Works hotline at 302-395-5700. If it’s not an emergency, please call 302-395-5812, or email us at Stormwater@newcastlede.gov
Maintenance may be completed by a combination of contractors and County employees.
Only Maintenance Organizations that are in good standing with the County’s stormwater management program may be enrolled into the program. This means they have registered with the County and have been conducting routine maintenance of their facilities to maintain them in working order. Maintenance Organizations not in good standing can work with our office to develop a plan to bring their stormwater management facilities into good standing to be enrolled in the program.
Maintenance Organizations can email the Letter of Intent between October 1 and June 30, along with a copy of the Maintenance Declaration and/or Bylaws to Stormwater@newcastlede.gov, or by mailing the same information to: New Castle County, Department of Public Works, Stormwater Maintenance Districts Program, 187-A Old Churchmans Road New Castle, DE 19720. This will trigger the County to begin the review process and prepare the Petition.
Your community’s Bylaws will determine the percentage of votes needed to enroll in the Program.
Petition results must be received by the County between July 1 and September 30th. If the percentage of votes determined by your Bylaws is surpassed, Public Works will prepare an ordinance for County Council to accept your community into the Program. Once Council formally approves, Public Works will assume maintenance responsibility. If the percentage of votes is not reached, your community is not accepted into the program.
Workforce housing is designed for people who make up to 120% of area median income – $97,320 for a family of four*. Families who fall into this income category have found it difficult to purchase a home that is adequate for their needs.
* Published by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for New Castle County, March 6, 2015.
When the workforce housing legislation was drafted, it was widely disseminated to housing providers, developers, the civic community and state agencies for input. Public meetings were also held to solicit feedback. As with any other amendment to the Unified Development Code, the legislation was on the agendas for the Planning Board public hearing and later for New Castle County Council.
The recent tightening of lending standards, foreclosures, and rising interest rates are having a significant impact on housing affordability. Also, rising construction costs are prohibitive and limit a developer’s ability to meet the need for affordable housing. As a result, fewer moderately priced homes are available to accommodate our county’s working class families. Housing plays an important role in economic advancement and growth of the middle class.
Working households represent a vital part of the economy, providing essential services that most of us depend on every day – in the classroom, ensuring public safety, in food service, medical offices, etc. The wages associated with these professions make it difficult to live in the communities which they serve. The Workforce Housing ordinance was designed to encourage developers to provide a range of housing opportunities rather than continuing to build housing beyond the means of most New Castle County families.