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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.
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 International Residential Code Section R907.3 states: “New roof coverings shall notbe installed without first removing existing roof coverings where any of the followingconditions occur: (1) Where the existing roof or roof covering is water-soaked or hasdeteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a basefor 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 moreapplications of any type of roof covering.”
The Unified Development Code Section 40 04 110 E 1 b states “Chimneys, cornicesand 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/.
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 thefollowing 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 similarobjects1. Are permitted in all yards and all yard setbacks.2. However, if the structure or object exceeds six (6) feet in height above the finishedground where it is located, it must be placed at least six (6) feet from the front, street, side or rear lot line.
D. Fences1. Fences may 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-ofway.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. Fences that exceed six (6) feet in height are not permitted, except 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 understorytrees.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 thedish’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 toneighboring 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 the court may be over six (6) feet in height, provided it is not within any required minimum yard setback for the residential district.
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 leastsix (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 thestreet yard setback.4. All fencing requirements contained in the International Building Code, as adoptedby the County and amended from time to time, shall be followed.
H. Temporary Roadside Stand1. A roadside stand for the sale of agricultural products grown on the premises may belocated 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 Sales1. 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 & Composting1. Conducted by resident using material (both yard waste & kitchen waste) found andgenerated on-site; and2. 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
In general, installations, maintenance, and inspections shall comply with ASME A17.1-2013 and ASME A18.1-2008 as currently adopted in the 2015 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.
Building owners should only send inspection reports at the time of annually invoicing, if it is defined as outstanding on the statement.
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.
Statements are sent annually from New Castle County and detail all outstanding inspections required in order to renew the Elevator Certificate of Compliance and Operation.
Please note that, as of January 2015, the IRS has severely reduced the quantity of paper forms made available to libraries - only the basic forms (1040, 1040A, 1040 EZ; no instructions) will be provided to us.
New Castle County Library cards are free for anyone living in Delaware. Non-residents of Delaware may obtain a New Castle County Library card for a fee of $40 per year.
A patron new to New Castle County Libraries may obtain a library card after providing a current photo ID with name and birth date (such as a driver’s license) along with proof of current, permanent residential address (such as a current bill, rent receipt, etc.).
If you have special residential situations that don't fall under the categories listed here, please call or visit your local library's Circulation desk - we have other options to ensure that New Castle County patrons are able to receive library cards.
Library cards expire annually at which time proof of address must be shown and all fines and fees paid in order to renew.
New Castle County Library cards may be used at any library in Delaware.
The library must have current, accurate contact information for all library patrons. Required ID is an official photo ID with the current address such as a Delaware Driver's License or Delaware State ID. Patrons who use a photo ID without address or whose address has changed must show a second official ID with the correct address (see list below). Library cards are free for anyone living in Delaware. Non-residents of Delaware can obtain a New Castle County Library card for a fee of $40.00 per year. All borrowers are responsible for:
- Material charged to their card - Presenting a library card each time material is borrowed - Reporting a lost or stolen card immediately to the library. The borrower is responsible for any item charged to their card until the loss is reported to the library. Do not lend your card to others. - Informing the library of a change of address, phone number, or e-mail immediately. - Paying all charges for overdue, lost, or damaged materials. - Providing photo identification when requesting their PIN - Observing all library policies
Parents or guardians are responsible for materials, fines, and fees charged to their child's library card while the child is a minor in perpetuity.
New Borrower Cards To encourage responsible use of the library, timely return of library materials, and payment of library fines and fees, the New Castle County Libraries will issue a library card to new borrowers with restricted parameters for checking out materials and requesting materials for a period of six months from date of issue. This will enable the new borrower to develop good library habits and learn the policies and procedures of being a responsible library patron. New Borrower’s Cards will be issued to adults and minors, residents and non-residents. The patron who checks out library materials is responsible for the return of those materials on time as well as for any costs associated with the damage or loss of library materials. Restricting the amount of materials that may be borrowed at one time will help new library patrons to develop good habits including timely return of materials and prompt payment of any costs associated with their library account. The borrowing parameters for a New Borrower’s Card are:
- Limit of 12 items checked out at any one time Only 3 of those 12 items may be DVDs Only 3 of those 12 items may be books on cassette or CD Only 3 of those 12 items may be music CDs Only 1 of those 12 items may be an MP3 Playaway or Walk-In Collection item - A limit of 5 items on hold request - The New Borrower’s Card will expire six months from date of issue. If the card is in good standing, with no fines due and no currently lost items, the card is updated to a Regular Borrower’s Card with full borrowing privileges after the borrower shows proof of current address.
All New Castle County Library cards expire annually and must be renewed. At the time of renewal, there will be an address check requiring valid photo ID with the borrower's current address. A borrower with accumulated fines/fees more than a year old must pay the amount owed in full (down to a zero balance) during the renewal process, regardless of the amount owed.
Acceptable Forms of Photo ID
- Driver’s License - State ID - School ID - Work ID - Passport - BJs / Costco Card Military ID
Acceptable Forms of Address Verification
- Bill dated within 60 days (electric, cell, cable, phone, credit card, trash, water, sewer, mortgage, bank statement) - Lease - Pay stub with address - Checks imprinted with address - Car Registration - Voter Registration
PLEASE NOTE: Patrons whose accounts have been blocked due to excessive fines or bills will not be allowed to renew their items and need to contact their local library during normal operating hours. Most items may be renewed up to three times, provided there are no holds on the item.
To renew items that are currently checked out to you, first visit the Delaware Online Catalog.
To renew items currently checked out to you, first visit the Delaware Library Catalog and login to your library account with your library card number and PIN.
Volunteer service enriches our community. The rewards are many: helping others, sharing your skills, making new friends, expanding your interests, earning community service hours, and having fun. These opportunities are great for corporate teams and groups of all kinds. Volunteers work under the supervision of the Library Volunteer Coordinator. Below are some of the various opportunities available in New Castle County. Call 302-395-5651 for more information.There is always a way to Love Your Library.
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.