County Laws & Code

  1. Dept. of Land Use to close at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6

    NOTICE: The Department of Land Use will close at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 for a departmental meeting. Read on...
  2. May is Building Safety Month

    The Department of Land Use announces a series of special events and initiatives to promote Building Safety Month in May. Read on...
  3. 2018 International Code Adoption Review Meetings

    The Department of Land Use announces the upcoming review of the 2018 International Codes and schedule of code review meetings. Read on...
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Complete County Code

The complete county code is maintained by Municipal Code Corporation, the nation's leading codifier.

This online document is updated semi-annually. In order to keep pace with changes to Chapter 40 of the County Code (UDC), an up to date copy of this chapter is made available below. Also, selected chapters of the County Code are available below in PDF format.

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 code 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
  • Use, bulk, design and location of land and buildings

Please also see our UDC Revisions page for information on updates being considered for the UDC.

Building Code

The Department of Land Use regulates construction to the standards of the following:

  • International Building Code, 2015 edition
  • International Residential Code, 2015 edition
  • International Existing Building Code, 2015 edition
  • International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, 2015 edition
  • International Energy Conservation Code 2012
  • International Mechanical Code, 2015 edition
  • International Fuel Gas Code, 2015 edition
  • International Plumbing Code, 2015 edition

Chapter 6 (PDF) of the New Castle County Code and its appendices (PDF) contain amendments to the adopted codes and is available for download. Copies of the ICC Codes may be purchased from the Department of Land Use. In addition, a list of International Code Council and Staff Code Interpretations may be found online at the Code Opinions by Code Version and Section

Property Maintenance Code

Chapter 7 (PDF) of the New Castle County code deals with property maintenance and enforcement.
Chapter 7 Appendix (PDF) (fees)