Kent County, DE
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Levy Court of Kent County 7-29-1997 by Ord. No. 97-13. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 105.

§ 116-1 Applicability; objectives.

The Kent County Drainage Code applies to stormwater drainage within the unincorporated areas of Kent County.
To protect persons and property from serious harm and significant damage from flood.
To assure that developments are designed and constructed with drainage adequate to prevent flooding that will cause serious personal harm or property damage and approved by the appropriate agencies.
To minimize maintenance of proposed drainage projects.
To control soil erosion and sedimentation along the waterways and ensure conformity with topography so as to create the least erosion potential for developments.

§ 116-2 Maintenance responsibility.

Maintenance of streams, watercourses and drainage facilities consists of keeping them open and free flowing to prevent flooding that will cause serious personal harm or property damage.
On-street. Maintenance of on-street drainage facilities for public dedicated or owned streets and roads which have been accepted into the state maintenance system is the responsibility of the Delaware Department of Transportation.
Subdivision. Maintenance of all drainage facilities and watercourses within any subdivision which is not completed is the responsibility of the developer until the drainage facilities and watercourses are accepted by the residents in the subdivision or by the eventual designated owner.
Private. Maintenance of all drainage facilities and watercourses originated on and flowing through private property is the responsibility of the private property owner, unless the maintenance responsibility is assigned to another entity.
Tax ditches. Maintenance of tax ditches created under Delaware law is the responsibility of the individual tax ditch organization.

§ 116-3 Duties of persons engaged in land disturbing activities.

No person, corporation or other entity is permitted to engage in land disturbing activities as defined under the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations without an approved sediment and stormwater management plan from the appropriate plan approval authority and obtaining a permit to proceed.
Kent County will require an approved sediment and stormwater permit from the Kent Conservation District prior to the issuing of any building permit requiring land disturbing activity.

§ 116-4 Construction review.

With respect to approved sediment and stormwater plans for new construction sites, Kent Conservation District will ensure that periodic reviews are undertaken, implementations accomplished in accordance with approved plans, and the required measures are functioning in an effective manner.

§ 116-5 Unlawful acts.

It will be unlawful for any person, firm or corporations to engage in any land disturbing activity contrary to the approved plans (Kent Conservation District, DELDOT, etc.) or to block, impede the flow, alter the course, construct any structure or deposit any material or thing or commit any act which will affect normal or flood flow in any communal stream or watercourse or property or to cause the same to be done, contrary to the provisions of this code.

§ 116-6 Right of entry.

When there is reasonable cause to believe that a code violation exists, personnel from the Kent County Division of Inspections and Enforcement and/or the Kent County Engineering Department are authorized to enter the premises at any reasonable time to inspect. Prior to entering into a space not generally open to the general public, there shall be reasonable effort made to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the premises and a request for entry made with presenting of proper identification. If requested entry is refused or not obtained, the code official shall pursue recourse as provided by law.

§ 116-7 Notice of violation.

In the event that it is determined that there is a violation or there are grounds to believe that there is a violation of the provisions of this code or of any permit issued for a land disturbing activity, notice will be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible. If the notifying agency is other than Kent County, a copy of such notice will be sent to the Kent County Division of Inspections and Enforcement.
Form. The notice will:
Be in writing.
Include a description of the property sufficient for identification.
Include a statement of the reason or reasons why the notice is being issued.
Include a correction order allowing reasonable time for the repairs and improvements required to bring the property into compliance with the provisions of this code.
Method of service. The notice will be deemed to be properly served if a copy is delivered to the owner personally; or sent by certified or registered mail addressed to the owner at the last known address with return receipt requested. If the certified or registered letter is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy of the notice will be posted in a conspicuous place on the property affected by the notice.
Failure to comply. If the owner or the person(s) responsible does not comply with the written notice in the time specified, the Kent County Division of Inspections and Enforcement will be immediately informed and will issue a stop-work order for the work on the property in violation and proceed with prosecution of the violation.
Unlawful continuance. Any person who continues any work on the property after having been served with a stop-work order, except the work required to correct the violation, will be liable to additional violation penalties.

§ 116-8 Prosecution.

In case of any unlawful acts the Kent County Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement or his designee, any other Code Enforcement Official or attorney hired by or retained by the county, will bring charges of any violation(s) in a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County, which court will have original jurisdiction for such matters.
The owner or owners of any premises, or part of, where anything in violation of this code is placed or exists, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection with, who have assisted in the commission of any such violation will be guilty of a separate offense and upon conviction will be subject to the same fine and/or imprisonment.

§ 116-9 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates a provision of this code or fails to comply with any of the requirements of this code will, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. The minimum fine of $100 is mandatory and not subject to suspension. Each day that a violation continues will be deemed a separate offense.

§ 116-10 Abatement of violation.

The imposition of violation penalties will not preclude the aforementioned officials from instituting additional appropriate legal action to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate the violation or to stop an illegal act or occupancy of the property.

§ 116-11 Transfer of ownership.

It is unlawful for the owner of any property who has received a correction order or has received a notice of violation or a stop-work order to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of the property to another until the provisions of the correction order or notice of violation have been complied with, or until such owner first furnishes the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any correction order or notice of violation issued by the code official and furnishes to the code official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such correction order or notice of violation and fully accepting responsibility without condition for making the corrections required by the correction order or notice of violation.

§ 116-12 Review.

Levy Court shall review this chapter to determine whether or not there are problems and/or the chapter needs to be updated. This review shall occur two years from the adoption of this chapter.

§ 116-13 Effective date.

The effective date of this chapter shall be September 1, 1997, and this chapter shall be applied prospectively.