Kent County, DE
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 9-12-2000 by Ord. No. 00-23]
A. 
Purpose and intent.
(1) 
The purpose and intent of these supplemental regulations are to:
(a) 
Protect the public health, safety and welfare from the potential for aircraft accidents associated with proximity to airport operations, the adverse impacts associated with excessive noise from flight operations at the Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) and top reserve DAFB mission integrity; and
(b) 
Ensure that the construction of buildings or portions thereof, which are located within those areas of Kent County that are likely to be affected by aircraft noise associated with flight operations at DAFB, provides for appropriate sound reduction to minimize the impact of such noise on occupants; and
(c) 
Ensure that purchasers or lessees of property within airport noise zones are aware of the associated noise levels and the hazards which may endanger the lives and property of the occupants of such property.
(2) 
The Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) is hereby created with the following purposes: to protect the public health, safety and welfare by regulating development and land use within surrounding land uses; and to protect the DAFB from incompatible encroachment. Airport hazards arc hereby declared a public nuisance.
(3) 
The Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) shall serve as an overlay that applies additional standards and requirements to properties located within those AE areas. In case of conflicting standards and requirements. the more stringent standards and requirements shall apply.
B. 
Definitions. The following words and terms used in this regulation shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
AIRPORT ENVIRONS
The geographic area that is affected by airport air traffic operations and defined on the basis of those areas immediately impacted by the 65 db and greater noise exposure areas as delineated by the current and approved DAFB Air Compatibility Use Zone Study. This area is represented as the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE).
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or object of natural growth or use of land within an airport hazard area which obstructs the air space required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at any airport or is otherwise hazardous to such landing or taking off.
AIRPORT HAZARD AREA
Any area of land adjacent to an airport which has been declared to be an "airport hazard area" by the federal, state and/or local aviation authorities, in connection with any airport approach plan recommended by such authorities.
BUILDING OFFICIAL
The Building Code Administrator of the Department of Inspections and Enforcement or his/her agent.
BUILDING REGULATIONS/CODES
Residential and other building definitions are found in the BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators) National Building Code of 1996, the Kent County Supplement to the BOCA National Building Code of 1996[1] and the Kent County Building Code Supplement to the 1995 CABO One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code, May 26, 1998,[2] and subsequent building regulations and codes that may be adopted by Kent County Levy Court.
DAY-NIGHT AVERAGE SOUND LEVEL (DNL)
A cumulative aircraft noise index which estimates the exposure to aircraft noise and relates the estimated exposure to an expected community response; a twenty-four-hour energy average sound level expressed in decibels (db) with a ten-decibel penalty applied to noise occurring between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
DEPARTMENT OF INSPECTIONS AND ENFORCEMENT
The division of permits and inspections of Kent County government.
DNL Contour
A line linking together a series of points of equal cumulative noise exposure based on Ldn metric. Such contours are developed based on aircraft flight patterns, number of daily aircraft operations by type of aircraft and time of day, noise characteristics of each aircraft and typical runway usage patterns.
RESIDENTIAL USE GROUP BUILDING
All buildings and structures classified in the BOCA and regulations listed in the definition of "building regulations/codes" below, classified as Use Group R.
SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS (STC) RATING
A single number rating characterizing the sound reduction performance of a material tested in accordance with ASTM E 90-90, "Laboratory Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions."
STRUCTURE
Any object, whether permanent or temporary, including, but not limited to, a building, tower, crane, smokestack, earth formation, transmission line, flagpole, ship mast or mobile objects.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 105, Building Construction, Art. I, BOCA Building Code.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 105, Building Construction, Art. II, CABO One- and Two-Family Dwellings.
C. 
Sub-overlay zone (DAFB noise zones and boundaries)
(1) 
Purpose.
(a) 
The purpose of the sub-overlay zones is to divide the AE zoning overlay into zones that correspond to the most current version AICUZ study for DAFB. There are specific sound-attenuating requirements for new development and land use within these "sub-zones."
(b) 
The boundaries of DAFB noise zones shall be shown on the Zoning Map as adopted and amended by the Levy Court.
(2) 
For purposes of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section, there shall be three accident-potential zones (APZ):
(a) 
Clear Zone: The Clear Zone (CZ) (which is also identified as the first accident-potential zone) for each runway starts at the end of the runway and extends outward 3,000 feet and is 3,000 feet wide (1,500 feet to either side of runway center line):
(b) 
APZ I: extends from the CZ an additional 5,000 feet.
(c) 
APZ II: extends from the outer end of APZ I an additional 7,000 feet.
(3) 
Noise zones.
(a) 
For the purposes of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section, there shall be four noise zones: A, B, C and D:
[1] 
Sub-overlay Zone A: DNL 65 to 69 dB.
[2] 
Sub-overlay Zone B: DNL 70 to 74 dB.
[3] 
Sub-overlay Zone C: DNL 75 to 79 dB.
[4] 
Sub-overlay Zone D: DNL 80 or more dB.
(b) 
Note: The DAFB AICUZ study utilizes four noise contour zones. Kent County will utilize the accident potential zones and the noise zones for zoning overlay purposes.
(4) 
The purpose of the establishment of the three accident-potential zones and four noise zones is to distinguish between the severity of the level of safety and noise impacts so that appropriate safety and acoustical performance standards can be employed to mitigate the adverse impacts of aircraft noise. Each of the three accident-potential zones and four noise zones shall be designated on the zoning map as adopted and amended by the Levy Court as the sub-overlay zones in the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE).
(5) 
The boundaries of the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) and its sub-overlay zones, as adopted herein, shall be reviewed and amended when appropriate by Levy Court. It shall be the responsibility of DAFB to notify Kent County of any such updates or amendments and to provide a copy of same to Kent County Planning Office. Copies of the noise contour maps and AICUZ study shall be on file and open to public inspection in the offices of DAFB planning and public affairs.
(6) 
The current AE Zoning Overlay, including sub-overlay zones, must be shown on any subdivision plan (major and/or minor) and any site plan, including those required for conditional uses within the various zoning districts which are subject to approval by the County.
D. 
Acoustical performance standards.
(1) 
Except as otherwise provided, any building or portion thereof constructed or placed within the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) after 120 days from the adoption of this section, shall be constructed to provide acoustical treatment measures compatible with acoustical treatments for the following sub-overlay noise zones:
(a) 
Sub-district A: certified statement from an architect/engineer accredited in the State of Delaware stipulating that building materials used will result in an exterior-to-interior noise level reduction by 25 db.
(b) 
Sub-district B: certified statement from an architect/engineer accredited in the State of Delaware stipulating building materials used will result in an exterior-to-interior noise level reduction by 30 db.
(c) 
Sub-district C: certified statement from an  architect/engineer accredited in the State of Delaware stipulating that building materials used will result in an exterior-to-interior noise level reduction by 35 db.
(d) 
Sub-district D: certified statement from an architect/engineer accredited in the State of Delaware stipulating that building materials used will result in an exterior to interior noise level reduction by 40 db.
(2) 
The builder shall provide the County a list that specifies the building material used in the calculations of noise reduction and the location of said building material. Each specified building material annotated in the noise-reduction calculations must be clearly stamped with the sound transmission class (STC) number and visible to the Building Inspector before any certification of occupancy is granted.
E. 
Nonconforming buildings and structures. Any building which lawfully existed on the effective date of this regulation and which is not in conformity with any one or more of the provisions of this regulation, and any building which lawfully existed on the date of adoption of any amendment to this regulation and which is not in conformity with such amendment, shall be deemed legal nonconforming property.
F. 
Exemptions. This section will not apply to any construction within a major or minor subdivision or construction based on a site plan approval which has been approved before the effective date of this section, nor will it apply to construction in any major or minor subdivision or construction based on site plan approval for which application for approval was filed in the Kent County Planning Office before the effective date of this section.
(1) 
Existing uses. Uses and/or permits for uses existing on the effective date of this section shall not be required to change in order to comply with these regulations. The nonconforming use requirements of this zoning ordinance (as found in Article V, 1991 Kent County Zoning Ordinance, as amended) shall apply to the future applicability of the standards and requirements contained herein.
(2) 
Temporary uses: temporary uses, including but not limited to public celebrations and outdoor entertainment events, so long as the period of operations does not exceed five days. A variance may be requested to extend the time period for a temporary use and should be coordinated with the DAFB Base Planning Office at 677-6445 and with the Delaware Office of Aeronautics at 760-2160.
(3) 
Temporary structures: temporary buildings and structures that are not used for residential purposes and which meet said applicable requirements as contained within this zoning ordinance, so long as such uses and associated structures are constructed incidental to a permitted use, as per the requirements of this zoning ordinance, which should be coordinated with the DAFB Base Planning Office at 677-6445 and with the Delaware Office of Aeronautics at 760-2160.
(4) 
Agricultural structures: bona fide agricultural buildings, structures, improvements and associated nonresidential developments, which should be coordinated with the DAFB Base Planning Office at 677- 6445 and with the Delaware Office of Aeronautics at 760-2160.
(5) 
Accessory uses and structures: accessory uses and structures incidental to a permitted principal structure or use and within the intent, purpose or objectives of these regulations, which should be coordinated with the DAFB Base Planning Office at 677-6445 and with the Delaware Office of Aeronautics at 760-2160.
(6) 
Towers: towers for communication, observation, utility, etc., that will exceed 35 feet in height, which should be coordinated with the DAFB Base Planning Office at 677-6445 and with the Delaware Office of Aeronautics at 760-2160.
G. 
Construction and development standards.
(1) 
Proposed uses and structures. Table 1, Land Use Compatibility Standard,[3] contained herein identifies development standards that apply to proposed uses and structures within the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE). All permitted uses and structures must comply with these standards.
[3]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is located at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Interior day-night average noise level (DNL). All proposed uses and structures must comply with the noise level reduction (NLR) standards as provided in Table 1.[4] Compliance with NLR requirements shall be evidenced prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy permit.
[4]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is located at the end of this chapter.
H. 
Notice to purchasers required.
(1) 
Kent County shall provide a notice to all applicants for any construction- and/or development-related permit, informing the applicant that the respective property is located, either partially or entirely, within the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) and shall be subject to aircraft overflights and noise, and subject to sound-attenuation requirements and standards found within the Kent County Zoning Ordinance and/or Kent County Code during the construction process, as to the degree of noise attenuation required.
(2) 
The current AE Zoning Overlay, including noise level contours and accident-potential zones, must be indicated on any subdivision and/or site plan filed with the Kent County Planning Office after the effective date of this section if the subject property is so impacted.
(a) 
In addition, the following note must appear on the above-referenced plans:
"Property shown on this plan is impacted by the current Airport Environs Zoning Overlay. Any building constructed within the impacted area must comply with the acoustical performance standards found within the Kent County Zoning Ordinance and/or Kent County Code during the construction process, as to the degree of noise attenuation required."
(b) 
This language must appear in all deeds, leases or other transactions dealing with real property containing lands impacted by the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay and subject to sound-attenuation requirements.
I. 
Site plan requirements. A construction and development plan as identified herein shall be submitted in addition to the submittal requirements for zoning compliance, and said plan shall include, at a minimum, technical substantiation, maps, plans, drawings and such other information as is necessary to show:
(1) 
Site DNL contour map. AE Overlay shall be superimposed on a site plan of the development site to show present AE sub-overlay zones. All maps should be drawn to a scale designated by the Planning Office of Kent County.
(2) 
Location of structures. The placement of all existing and proposed buildings and structures shall be shown located on the site/Ldn contour map.
(3) 
Specification of uses. Identification of the uses to occur within each structure or activity area shall be designated on the site/Ldn contour map.
(4) 
Narrative description. A narrative shall be provided describing the location of the site, its total acreage, existing character and use; the concept of the proposed development or use, such as proposed residential density and the relation of the proposed development plan to the adopted Kent County land use for that area.
J. 
Site plan review criteria.
(1) 
Proposed uses. All elements of the proposed development are consistent with Table 1, Land Use Compatibility Standards.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is located at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Siting. Buildings and structures should be located the greatest distance from the noise source, taking maximum advantage of existing topographical features to minimize noise impact, and within zoning district requirements, such as required setbacks. Buildings and structures should be oriented to minimize exposure to the noise source, and building openings, such as windows, should be located away from the noise source.
(3) 
Design considerations regarding noise. The amount of active or passive outdoor recreational space where individuals would be subject to noticeable or severe levels of noise should be minimized. Landscaping materials should be used to deflect noise.
(4) 
Activities within the accident potential zones (CZ, APZ I and/or APZ II). Activities prohibited with the accident potential zones of the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) include, but are not limited to: storage of explosives, hazardous or toxic materials/waste; aboveground transmission lines; uses that release into the air any substance which would impair visibility or otherwise interfere with the operation of military aircraft (dust, smoke, etc.); uses that produce light emissions, direct or indirect, which would interfere with pilot vision; and uses that attract birds or water fowl, such as, but not limited to, landfills, wastewater treatment facilities and associated settling ponds, artificial marshes, dredge spoil material, sand and gravel dredging operations and open fish farming.
K. 
Field testing of interior sound levels. Field testing of interior sound levels may occur at the expense of the applicant and/or homeowner.
L. 
Disclosure.
(1) 
Any person marketing property subject to Kent County subdivision regulations for sale or lease within the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) shall follow Kent County Ordinance 95-22, an ordinance that amended the Kent County Subdivision Ordinance requiring written notice with regards to subdivisions located in the designated Air Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ).
(2) 
The Department of Planning shall make available information explaining the effects of the designation of the Airport Environs Zoning Overlay (AE) and the sub-overlay zones of the accident-potential zones and noise zones and any applicable building requirements.
M. 
Violations and penalties. Violations shall be processed through the procedural requirements of the Kent County Zoning Ordinance and/or Kent County Code, which and whenever appropriate.
[Added 6-24-2003 by Ord. No. 03-13]
A. 
Purpose and intent.
(1) 
The Growth Zone Overlay District encompasses an area that Kent County has determined new development should be encouraged. To that end, incentives such as area and bulk requirement reductions are provided to encourage development within the zone rather than in the more rural areas of the County.
(2) 
The Growth Zone Overlay District is an area identified by Kent County where infrastructure such as water, sewer, and transportation facilities exists or is planned to serve development.
B. 
Growth Zone boundary. The geographic area of the district is delineated in the Kent County Comprehensive Plan, as well as on the Official Zoning Map, as amended.
C. 
Area and bulk regulations inside the Growth Zone.
[Amended 3-25-2008 by Ord. No. 08-05; 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-33[1]]
(1) 
Agricultural Conservation Zoning District. The table below provides the area and bulk regulations for Agricultural Conservation zoned properties located within the Growth Zone:
[Amended 3-25-2014 by Ord. No. 14-04]
Development with central water and County sewer
Development with County sewer with on-site water
Development with central water and on-site septic
Development with on-site water and septic
Density
3 DU/1 acre
1 DU/1 acre
1 DU/1 acre
1 DU/1 acre
Minimum lot area
10,000 square feet
15,000 square feet
0.50 acre;
21,780 square feet
0.50 acre;
21,780 square feet
Maximum impervious surface coverage
35%
30%
25%
25%
Minimum front yard setback
25 feet
25 feet
25 feet
30 feet
Minimum side yard setback and (aggregate)
10 feet (25 feet)
10 feet (25 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
Minimum rear yard setback
25 feet
25 feet
25 feet
30 feet
Minimum road frontage -- state or County numbered road
100 feet
100 feet
150 feet
150 feet
Minimum road frontage -- subdivision street
75 feet
80 feet
100 feet
100 feet
Minimum lot width
75 feet
80 feet
100 feet
100 feet
(2) 
Agricultural Residential Zoning District. The table below provides the area and bulk regulations for Agricultural Residential zoned properties located within the Growth Zone:
Development with central water and County sewer
Development with County sewer and on-site water
Development with central water and on-site septic
Development with on-site water and septic
Density
3 DU/1 acre
2 DU/1 acre
1.5 DU/1 acre
1.5 DU/1 acre
Minimum lot area
8,000 square feet
12,000 square feet
0.50 acre;
21,780 square feet
0.50 acre;
21,780 square feet
Maximum impervious surface coverage
35%
30%
25%
25%
Minimum front yard setback
25 feet
25 feet
25 feet
30 feet
Minimum side yard setback and (aggregate)
10 feet (20 feet)
10 feet (25 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
Minimum rear yard setback
25 feet
25 feet
25 feet
30 feet
Minimum road frontage -- state or County numbered road
100 feet
100 feet
150 feet
150 feet
Minimum road frontage -- subdivision street
70 feet
75 feet
90 feet
100 feet
Minimum lot width
70 feet
75 feet
90 feet
100 feet
(3) 
Single-Family Residential District. The table below provides the area and bulk regulations for RS-1 zoned properties located within the Growth Zone:
Development with central water and County sewer
Development with County sewer and on-site water
Development with central water and on-site sewer
Development with on-site water and septic
Density
3.5 DU/1 acre
3.5 DU/1 acre
1.5 DU/1 acre
1.5 DU/1 acre
Minimum lot area
7,500 square feet
10,000 square feet
0.50 acre; 21,780 square feet
0.50 acre; 21,780 square feet
Maximum impervious surface coverage
35%
30%
25%
25%
Minimum front yard setback
25 feet
30 feet
30 feet
30 feet
Minimum side yard setback and (aggregate)
10 feet (20 feet)
10 feet (25 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
15 feet (40 feet)
Duplex, side yard setback (aggregate)
0 feet (10 feet)
Minimum rear yard setback
25 feet
25 feet
30 feet
30 feet
Minimum frontage -- state road
100 feet
100 feet
150 feet
150 feet
Duplex, minimum frontage -- state road
75 feet
Minimum frontage -- subdivision street
65 feet
75 feet
80 feet
100 feet
Duplex, minimum frontage -- subdivision street
45 feet
Minimum lot width
65 feet
75 feet
80 feet
100 feet
Duplex, minimum lot width
45 feet
(4) 
The Regional Planning Commission, upon the request of an applicant and the recommendation of the Planning staff, may authorize a reduction in the required front yard setback to achieve an overall neighborhood design objective, provided that additional community amenities such as the use of alleys or shared driveways are proposed.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that any subdivision and land development projects that have received preliminary plan approval by the Regional Planning Commission, or Levy Court approval in the case of planned unit developments and cluster subdivisions, shall not be subject to its provisions for as long as their approval remains valid.
D. 
Areas partially within the Growth Zone with central sewer and water shall be a calculated number of dwelling units per acre based on the formula below:
[Added 3-25-2008 by Ord. No. 08-05; 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-33[2]]
(Area within Growth Zone x permitted density) + (Area outside overlay zone x permitted density) = Total
Dwelling Units Permitted
Total Dwelling Units Permitted/Total Site Area = Site Density
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that any subdivision and land development projects that have received preliminary plan approval by the Regional Planning Commission, or Levy Court approval in the case of planned unit developments and cluster subdivisions, shall not be subject to its provisions for as long as their approval remains valid.
[Added 2-22-2006 by Ord. No. 06-02[1]]
A. 
Purpose and intent. The purpose and intent of these supplemental regulations are to:
(1) 
Provide protection for, and enhance the quality of, all waters of the State of Delaware within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(2) 
Ensure the preservation and enhancement of the existing rural agricultural landscape within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(3) 
Maintain low volumes of traffic on rural roads and thereby reduce the need for new or enhanced state road infrastructure within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(4) 
Preserve viewscapes surrounding historically significant structures and properties within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(5) 
Protect critical natural habitat that supports the diversity of flora and fauna that reside within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay area.
(6) 
Promote efficiency in the provisions of essential public facilities and services by reducing growth-induced demand for services within the rural Coastal Zone Protection Overlay area.
(7) 
Preserve and promote ecotourism and agritourism within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay area.
B. 
Area of impact.
(1) 
The Coastal Zone Protection Overlay District is defined as all land and water within Kent County located east of the right-of-way of Delaware Route 1(Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway), running from the New Castle County boundary at the northerly end of Kent County to the Sussex County boundary in the southerly end of Kent County.
(2) 
The Coastal Zone Protection Overlay District shall serve as an overlay zoning district that applies additional standards and requirements to all properties and areas located within the overlay district. In the case of conflict with any existing land use standards or requirements found elsewhere in the Kent County Code, Volume II, as amended, the more stringent and restrictive shall be applicable.
(3) 
Minor subdivisions shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURE
The science, art, and business of soil cultivation, crop production, and the raising of livestock.
BUFFER
An open space which reduces the impact of a more intense use on a less intense use.
CLEARING
Within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay, this term carries the same definition as found in § 187-73B; however, within this overlay zone, the exemption provided to individual lot owners is specifically excluded from the definition.
VEGETATIVE BUFFER
A buffer which must be planted according to a landscape plan approved by the Planning Staff, Regional Planning Commission or the Kent County Levy Court. The use of fencing or an earthen berm in conjunction with this type of buffer is not permitted within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay. This type of buffer must be designed by a landscape architect or certified nursery professional.
D. 
Buffers. In order to promote the purpose and intent set out in Subsection A of this section, the following buffers shall be required:
(1) 
There shall be a one-hundred-foot vegetative buffer from the mean high water line of any tidal or nontidal water body, stream, marsh, lake, pond, or blue line stream as depicted on the most recent version of the United States Geological Survey Topographic Quadrangle maps.
(a) 
For new plantings, a diversity of indigenous species shall be utilized. The plantings shall be intended to replicate natural ecosystems. Both canopy trees and understory vegetation shall be planted. Areas within this one-hundred-foot vegetative buffer where no tree or shrub buffer has existed five years prior to any land use requiring Regional Planning Commission or Levy Court approval shall be maintained as a warm and cool season grass meadow buffer to comply with the performance standards adopted for this practice by the Delaware Field Office of the NRCS/USDA. Vegetation shall be selected to minimize erosion, provide bank stability and filter pollutants from runoff. Selections shall be made from Table 1, as supplemented by NRCS.
Table 1 PLANT SPECIES LIST: Coastal Zone Protection Overlay
Vegetative Buffer
Trees and Shrubs*
Species Name
Common Name
Species Name
Common Name
Acer rubrum
Red Maple
Juglans nigra
Black Walnut
Baccharis halimifolia
Groundsel Bush
Carex alata
Winged Sedge
Juniperus virginiana
Red Cedar
Carex albolutescens
Greenish-White Sedge
Carex lonchocarpa
Long Sedge
Liquidembar styraciflua
Sweet Gum
Carex lurida
Lurid Sedge
Magnolia virginiana
Sweet Bay Magnolia
Carex stricta
Uptight Sedge
Myrica pensylvanica
Northern Bayberry
Carya cordiformis
Bitternut Hickory
Carya tomentosa
Mockernut Hickory
Carya glabra
Pignut Hickory
Celtus occidentalis
Hackberry
Nyssa sylvatica
Black or Sour Gum
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Buttonbush
Panicum virgatum
Switchgrass
Pinus rigida
Pitch Pine
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Atlantic White Cedar
Clethra alnifolia
Sweet Pepperbush
Pinus virginiana
Virginia Pine
Plantanus occidentalis
American Sycamore
Cornus amomum
Silky Dogwood
Prunus serotina
Black Chery
Cornus racemosa
Gray Dogwood
Quercus phellos
Willow Oak
Quercus rubrum
Northern Red Oak
Quercus falcata
Southern Red Oak
Diospyros virginiana
Persimmon Tree
Rhododendron viscosum
Swamp Honeysuckle
Eupatorium maculatum
Joe Pye Weed
Rosa palustris
Swamp Rose
Fagus grandifolia
American Beech
Sambucus canadensis
Common Elderberry
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Green Ash
Sassafra albidum
Common Sassafras
Hibiscus palustris
Swamp Rose Mallow
Schizachyrium scoparium
Little Bluestern
Ilex glabra
Inkberry
Ilex opaca
American Holly
Vaccinium corumbosum
Highbush Blueberry
Ilex verticilata
Winterberry
Vaccinium dubium
Lowbush Blueberry
Viburnum dentatum
Southern Arrowood
Viburnum prunifolium
Black Haw
Iva frutescens
Marsh Elder
Viburnum recognitum
Northern Arrowwood
Sources: DNERRS, Kent County Parks Division, & Delaware Natural Heritage Inventory
* For additional species, consult "The Flora of Delaware," an annotated checklist, McAvoy & Bennett, 2001.
(b) 
Existing indigenous vegetation may serve to fulfill this requirement. A modification or waiver request from the required planting schedule may be made to the Regional Planning Commission if the applicant can demonstrate that existing vegetation is sufficient to meet or partially meet this requirement.
(c) 
No certificate of occupancy will be issued unless such buffer is planted as set out in § 187-79 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance for Kent County, or a completion bond has been established in accordance with the provisions of § 187-55.
(d) 
No portion of any building lot shall be established within the one-hundred-foot vegetative buffer. Such buffer shall be designed as unsubdivided open space.
(2) 
There shall be a vegetative buffer established from all state-maintained roads for any use other than agriculture which takes place within 500 feet of the right-of-way of such a road. The vegetative buffer width shall be at least 100 feet in width measured from the right-of-way line of the state-maintained road. The plantings within this buffer are intended to replicate natural ecosystems. Both canopy trees and understory vegetation shall be planted.
(3) 
In addition to the requirements set out in § 187-69, the Regional Planning Commission may require an open space buffer to be established around buildings, structures and/or parcels of land that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places located within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay. The Commission may also require open space buffers around other buildings, structures, cemeteries, or parcels of documented local historic value as determined by the Department of Planning Services in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office. The dimensional and landscape requirements of such open space buffers shall be approved by the Regional Planning Commission through the plan review process. In no instance shall such a buffer be required to be greater than 500 feet in width.
E. 
Density.
(1) 
The Coastal Zone Protection Overlay District Map in Appendix H[2] of this chapter designates two density zones within the Coastal Zone Overlay District. The two zones are further described as follows:
(a) 
Zone A. Zone A includes all lands and individual parcels of land situated in Kent County within the area bounded by Delaware Route 1 on the westerly side and Delaware Route 9 on the easterly side. The maximum allowable residential density in Zone A is one dwelling unit per five acres.
(b) 
Zone B. Zone B includes all lands, tracts, and individual parcels of land situated in Kent County within the area bounded by Delaware Route 9 on the westerly side, and the Delaware Bay on the easterly side. The maximum allowable residential density in Zone B is one dwelling unit per 10 acres.
[2]
Editor's Note: Appendix H is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Allowable density shall be based upon the net developable land for any given parcel. Net developable land shall be equal to the gross acreage of the parcel minus nondevelopable acreage including regulated wetland areas as defined in § 187-73, the one-hundred-year floodplain as depicted on the most current FIRM panels, stormwater management areas, community wastewater system areas, woodland preservation areas as set forth in § 187-73, and conservation easement areas.
(3) 
Minor subdivisions shall be permitted to create a parcel as small as one acre with a density of one dwelling unit per acre, and shall not be subject to the density provisions referenced in Subsection E(1) above.
(4) 
If a conflict arises between these regulations and any other part of the Kent County Code, as amended or the Kent County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance,[3] the more restrictive density requirement shall apply.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 187, Subdivision and Land Development.
F. 
Wastewater disposal systems. Any new wastewater disposal system to be put in place within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay must be certified by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to be the most efficient available technology for that particular site at minimizing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous entering groundwater. The issuance of a wastewater disposal system permit by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for a particular parcel shall serve as the required certification.
G. 
Woodlands.
(1) 
Within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay, no more than 15% of a woodland area, tract, or parcel as defined in § 187-73 of the Kent County Code may be cleared for any purpose.
(2) 
Clearing of greater than 15% of woodland areas within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay must be approved by the Regional Planning Commission through the current modification/waiver process as set out in §§ 187-80 and 187-81 of the Kent County Code.
(3) 
If clearing greater than 15% is approved by the Regional Planning Commission, such clearing shall be mitigated at a rate of 3:1. Any unapproved clearing in excess of 15% shall be mitigated as set out in Table 2 below. All mitigation planting shall be in addition to any required tree planting under other sections of the Kent County Code. All clearing calculations shall be based on woodland areas in existence as shown on the most current aerial photos of the site. Any tree mitigation must meet the requirements found in § 187-75B.
(4) 
Within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay, for nonwoodland portions of development tracts, new trees shall be planted at a rate of one tree per 3,000 square feet of residential lot area, and one tree per 2,000 square feet of nonresidential site area.
Table 2
Diameter at Breast Height of Trees Removed
(inches)
Number of Trees Required per tree removed
Caliper Dimension at Planting
(inches)
25 or larger
10
3
17 to 24
6
2
9 to 16
6
1.75
8 or less
4
1.75
H. 
Signs.
(1) 
The maximum size of any sign permitted within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay in a residential zoning district is 32 square feet. If conflict arises between this requirement and any other portion of the Kent County Code as amended, the most stringent requirement shall prevail.
(2) 
The maximum size of any sign permitted within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay in any commercial, office, or industrial district is 64 square feet.
(3) 
All signs within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay must comply with any buffer requirements resulting from a proximity to historical sites/structures/archeology as determined by the Kent County Historic Preservation Planner.
(4) 
No off-premises signs (billboards) or electronic variable message signs are permitted within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(5) 
The maximum height for any sign in the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay is six feet above grade. This restriction includes all supporting structures of such signs. Sign height may not exceed sign width.
I. 
Lighting. The intent of this provision is to fulfill the intentions previously listed Subsection A, Purpose and Intent, above and in order to minimize light pollution, glare, light trespass, conserve energy and resources, while maintaining night time safety, the following regulations regarding outdoor lighting will be required within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay.
(1) 
Definitions: As used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FULL CUT-OFF
The light distribution of a lighting unit where no light can be observed at an angle of 90º above the point directly below the lamp, nor at all greater angles above the lamp. Additionally, the light that can be seen at 80º above the point directly below the lamp cannot be greater than 10% of that observed at the brightest point of illumination of the fixture.
LIGHTING UNIT
This unit comprises the lamp and the fixture.
(2) 
All outdoor lighting subject to this section within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay must utilize full cut-off lighting units, or provide that full cut-off is achieved through additional measures. Any units in existence at the time of the effective date of this section which do not comply with this provision may continue to be utilized, will be considered legal nonconforming, and subject to the provisions of Article XVI of the Kent County Code, as amended.
(3) 
Externally illuminated outdoor signs must utilize top-mount fixtures only, and these fixtures must be of the full cut-off variety.
(4) 
Internally illuminated outdoor signs shall be constructed with an opaque background and translucent letters and symbols.
(5) 
Within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay, all applications which must be considered by the Regional Planning Commission or applications which must receive approval from the Kent County Levy Court, contemplating the use of outdoor light fixtures, must include a lighting plan with the application. The lighting plan must include the following information:
(a) 
Indicate locations of all fixtures.
(b) 
Indicate type and number of each different fixture at a given location on the plan.
(c) 
Include typical illustrations of the fixtures to be used.
(d) 
Down-lighting. All down-lighting shown on the plan must be achieved using full cut-off lighting units.
(6) 
Exemptions.
(a) 
Airports. Existing airports within the Coastal Zone Protection Overlay may continue to use their current lighting until such time as they submit a land use application which must be reviewed by the Regional Planning Commission and/or the Levy Court. At such time, any new lighting required must comply with this section. As existing lighting units require replacement, they must be replaced with units which comply with this section, unless this requirement is waived by the Director of Planning Services or is specifically not required by the Regional Planning Commission and/or the Kent County Levy Court. All federal and/or state regulations mandating a certain type of lighting for safety reasons will supersede these regulations.
(b) 
Types of lighting needed in order to comply with federal and/or state navigation requirements are not subject to these regulations.
[1]
Editor's Note: This section shall become effective upon the date of its adoption; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any parcel of land for which a land use application pursuant to Chapter 187 or Chapter 205 of the Kent County Code has been received by the Kent County Department of Planning Services, prior to the effective date of this section; the Kent County Department of Planning Services has conducted a pre-application meeting pursuant to Chapter 187 or Chapter 205 of the Kent County Code, prior to the effective date of this section and said pre-application has not expired pursuant to § 187-17 (Preliminary conference, Subsection D,); or an application for the creation, extension, or modification of a sanitary sewer district (SSD) has been submitted to or approved by the Kent County Sewer Advisory Board, prior to the effective date of this section.
[Added 8-24-2004 by Ord. No. 04-18]
A. 
In recognition of the pressure to develop rural agricultural areas where adequate infrastructure does not exist to support such development and the fact that development of such agricultural, environmentally sensitive, and architecturally and culturally significant lands threatens the character and quality of life that Kent County citizens expect, a Transfer of Development Rights Overlay Zone has been established.
B. 
Areas considered to be sending areas for transferred development rights are identified on Attachment A,[1] the Transfer of Development Rights — Sending Areas.
[1]
Editor's Note: Attachment A is on file in the County offices.
C. 
Areas considered to be receiving areas for transferred development rights are identified on Attachment B,[2] the Transferable Development Rights Map — Receiving Areas.
[2]
Editor's Note: Attachment B is on file in the County offices.
D. 
The procedure and development regulations for the transfer of development rights program are included in Chapter 187, Subdivision and Land Development of the Kent County Code.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former § 205-397.5, Source Water Protection Overlay Zone, added 3-26-2008 by Ord. No. 08-07, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 1-27-2009 by Ord. No. 09-02. This ordinance also provided that neither future nor previously submitted or approved subdivision or land development applications shall be subject to the provisions of the repealed section.
[Added 6-23-2009 by Ord. No. 09-11]
A. 
The purpose and intent of the provisions concerning accessory dwelling units, which shall include accessory apartments and accessory cottages, is to provide a diversity of housing for residents while protecting the single-family character of residential neighborhoods. Accessory dwelling units shall be permitted in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) 
One dwelling unit on the property shall be owner-occupied. A notice and declaration of land use restriction to this effect shall be signed and recorded prior to issuance of a certificate of use and/or building permit for the accessory dwelling unit.
(2) 
Two off-street parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit.
(3) 
Any request for an accessory dwelling unit shall conform to all provisions of the Delaware State Plumbing Code, and no dwelling unit that is served by an on-site wastewater disposal system shall be modified to create an accessory dwelling unit until a permit for such has been secured by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
(4) 
Outside stairways (either open or enclosed) that service accessory apartments on upper stories are permitted, provided that they are integrated into and consistent with the architecture of the building, as opposed to having a tacked on, obtrusive appearance.
(5) 
Only one accessory dwelling unit (either apartment or cottage) shall be permitted per lot.
B. 
Accessory apartments.
(1) 
The single-family dwelling unit shall have only one main entrance, and all other entrances shall appear subordinate to the main entrance. An entrance leading to a foyer with entrances leading from the foyer to the two dwelling units is permitted.
(2) 
The floor area of an accessory apartment shall not exceed the following percentage of floor area of the single-family dwelling unit to which it is accessory, or the following fixed amounts, whichever are applicable:
If the floor area of the single-family dwelling unit is:
The floor area of the accessory apartment shall not exceed:
Under 2,000 square feet
40%
2,000 square feet or more, but less than 3,000 square feet
35% or 800 square feet, whichever is greater
3,000 square feet or more, but less than 5,000 square feet
30% or 1,050 square feet, whichever is greater
5,000 square feet or greater
20% or 1,500 square feet, whichever is greater
These floor areas shall be exclusive of garages, porches, or unfinished basements.
(3) 
Any exterior modifications to the single-family dwelling associated with the construction or installation of an accessory apartment shall be consistent with the architectural style of the single-family dwelling in terms of exterior materials, roof form, and window spacing.
C. 
Accessory cottages.
(1) 
An accessory cottage shall contain at least 220 square feet of floor area. The floor area of an accessory cottage shall not exceed 40% of the floor area of the single-family dwelling to which it is accessory or 1,200 square feet, whichever is greater. Compliance with § 205-24D requiring that accessory structures not dominate in area, extent or purpose the principal use or structure shall be maintained.
(2) 
For an accessory cottage which will be located within a new structure, the exterior materials, roof form, and window spacing and proportions of the accessory cottage shall approximate those of the existing or proposed single-family dwelling.
(3) 
For an accessory cottage located within an existing garage or other outbuilding, the structure is not required to approximate the exterior features of the existing single-family dwelling, but any exterior modification should be consistent with the architectural style of that structure unless the building is ungraded per the requirement for new structures.
(4) 
Accessory cottages are permitted on nonconforming lots, but the buildings in which they are located, whether existing or proposed, shall meet the minimum property line setbacks and lot coverage requirements for the district in which they are located.
(5) 
Accessory cottages shall comply with the accessory structure setbacks for the respective zoning district.
D. 
Approval process.
(1) 
Any request for an accessory dwelling shall include a plot/site plan showing the following:
(a) 
Lot boundaries and dimensions.
(b) 
Zoning district.
(c) 
Date of plan.
(d) 
Property owner with deed reference.
(e) 
Lot area.
(f) 
Location and setback of all buildings.
(g) 
Rights-of-way, public and private.
(h) 
All easements.
(i) 
Street names.
(j) 
Water and sewerage facilities.
(k) 
Off-street parking spaces.
(l) 
Any other information that may be required to be shown on the site plan by the Director of Planning Services or designee to determine that the application is in compliance with the codes and ordinances of the County.
(2) 
Any request for an accessory dwelling unit shall include a building plan showing the following:
(a) 
Separate floor layout of all finished levels.
(b) 
All plumbing facilities, kind and location.
(c) 
Use of all rooms.
(d) 
All entrances/exits.
(e) 
All partitions, temporary or permanent.
(f) 
Location and type of all major appliances.
(3) 
Any request for an accessory dwelling shall also include a letter of "No Objection" from adjacent property owners.
(a) 
The applicant shall notify all property owners within 200 feet of the limits of the subject property of the proposal to establish/construct an accessory dwelling unit on the premises by certified mail.
(b) 
A mailing list of all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property shall be supplied to the applicant by the Department based upon the most current Board of Assessment records.
(c) 
The written notice shall be provided by certified mail to all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property on a standardized form letter provided by the Department to the applicant for this purpose.
(d) 
If a letter of objection is received by the Department, the application will then be processed as a conditional use application (not requiring formal site plan review), requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(e) 
If no letters of objection are received within 30 days, it shall be presumed that no adjacent property owner has an objection to the application.
(4) 
Within 30 working days after application for an accessory dwelling is submitted and accepted, the Director or designee shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny such application. The Department shall inform the applicant in writing of the conditions, if any, for approval or the reasons for disapproval. Such written notice shall also describe the process of appeals. A copy of the written notice shall be kept in the permanent records of the Department.
(5) 
Should the Director or designee deny an application for an accessory dwelling, the applicant may file an application for conditional use (not requiring formal site plan review), requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(6) 
The filing fee for administration review shall be as set from time to time by ordinance of the Levy Court.
[Added 10-27-2009 by Ord. No. 09-26]
A. 
Home-based contractor establishments, no outdoor storage, shall be permitted subject to the following criteria:
(1) 
The subject property shall be the primary residence of the owner of the home-based contractor business and shall remain the primary residence of the owner of the business for the entire length of time that the business exists on the subject property.
(2) 
Approval of a home-based contractor establishment shall be location-specific and shall not be transferable to another location.
(3) 
Approval of a home-based contractor establishment shall be applicant/owner-specific and shall not be transferred or conveyed to another person without reapproval.
(4) 
Except for vehicles already permitted by the parking regulations of Chapter 205, Zoning, all other vehicles and construction equipment shall be stored within a building.
(5) 
Retail sale of goods and products shall be prohibited on the premises.
(6) 
The hours of operation shall be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. unless further restricted in accordance with Subsection B(3) below.
(7) 
Accessory buildings planned to house a home-based contractor establishment use under this provision shall not be subject to the floor area limitations for residential accessory structures set forth in § 205-24D, provided that the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Levy Court that:
(a) 
The proposed accessory structure would not be out of character with the surrounding area;
(b) 
The accessory structure is set back from the public street right-of-way a minimum distance equivalent to 30 feet beyond the rear elevation of the main dwelling on the premises and 15 feet from all side and rear lot lines unless a larger setback distance is specified by Levy Court through the conditional use process; and
(c) 
The aggregate floor area within accessory buildings on the premises is no greater than 5% (lot area x .05 = maximum aggregate accessory building floor area) of the lot area, and in no case in excess of 10,000 square feet.
B. 
Approval process.
(1) 
Any request for a home-based contractor establishment shall include a plot/site plan showing the following:
(a) 
Lot boundaries and dimensions.
(b) 
Zoning district.
(c) 
Date of plan.
(d) 
Property owner with deed reference.
(e) 
Lot area.
(f) 
Location and setback of all buildings.
(g) 
Rights-of-way, public and private.
(h) 
All easements.
(i) 
Street names.
(j) 
Water and sewerage facilities.
(k) 
Off-street parking spaces.
(l) 
Any other information that may be required to be shown on the site plan by the Director of Planning Services or designee to determine that the application is in compliance with the codes and ordinances of the County.
(2) 
Any request for home-based contractor establishment shall also include a letter of "No Objection" from adjacent property owners.
(a) 
The applicant shall notify by certified mail all property owners within 200 feet of the limits of the subject property of the proposal to establish a home-based contractor establishment on the premises.
(b) 
A mailing list of all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property shall be supplied to the applicant by the Department based upon the most current Board of Assessment records.
(c) 
The written notice shall be provided by certified mail to all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property on a standardized form letter provided by the Department to the applicant for this purpose.
(d) 
If a letter of objection is received by the Department, the application will then be processed as a conditional use application (not requiring formal site plan review), requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(e) 
If no letters of objection are received within 30 days, it shall be presumed that no adjacent property owner has an objection to the application.
(3) 
If no letter of objection is received, the Director or designee shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny such application within 20 working days after expiration of the time for submitting letters of objection. The Department shall inform the applicant in writing of the conditions, if any, for approval or the reasons for disapproval. Such written notice shall also describe the process of appeals. A copy of the written notice shall be kept in the permanent records of the Department.
(4) 
Should the Director or designee deny an application for a home-based contractor establishment, the applicant may file an application for conditional use (not requiring formal site plan review), requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(5) 
The filing fee for administration review shall be as set from time to time by ordinance of the Levy Court.
[Added 1-24-2017 by Ord. No. 17-03]
A. 
Campgrounds (public or private) shall be permitted as a conditional use, subject to the following criteria:
(1) 
The lot for such a use shall be at least five acres in area.
(2) 
The proposed water supply system and wastewater disposal system shall have been approved by the State Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
(3) 
All campsites, mobile homes and recreational vehicle sites shall be located at least 50 feet from all adjoining property lines.
(4) 
Exterior lighting shall be shielded so that it is deflected away from adjacent properties and passing motorists.
(5) 
Off-street parking is provided for any ancillary commercial or food/beverage service use in accordance with requirements for such uses in Article XVII, Parking.
(6) 
All requirements, regulations and recommendations submitted by any agency member of the Development Advisory Committee shall be satisfied.
B. 
Approval process.
(1) 
Any request for a campground shall include a plot/site plan showing the following:
(a) 
Lot boundaries and dimensions.
(b) 
Zoning district.
(c) 
Date of plan.
(d) 
Property owner with deed reference.
(e) 
Lot area.
(f) 
Location and setback of all buildings.
(g) 
Rights-of-way, public and private.
(h) 
All easements.
(i) 
Street names.
(j) 
Water and sewerage facilities.
(k) 
Off-street parking spaces.
(l) 
Any other information that may be required to be shown on the site plan by the Director of Planning Services or designee to determine that the application is in compliance with the codes and ordinances of the County.
(m) 
If impervious cover is proposed to be greater than 5,000 square feet, a formal site plan in compliance with Chapter 187, Subdivision and Land Development, shall be required.
(2) 
Any request for a campground shall also include a letter of "no objection" from adjacent property owners.
(a) 
The applicant shall notify by certified mail all property owners within 200 feet of the limits of the subject property of the proposal to establish a campground on the premises.
(b) 
A mailing list of all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property shall be supplied to the applicant by the Department based upon the most current Board of Assessment records.
(c) 
The written notice shall be provided by certified mail to all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property on a standardized form letter provided by the Department to the applicant for this purpose.
(d) 
If a letter of objection is received by the Department, the application will then be processed as a conditional use application, requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(e) 
If no letters of objection are received within 30 days, it shall be presumed that no adjacent property owner has an objection to the application.
(3) 
If no letter of objection is received, the Director or designee shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny such application within 20 working days after expiration of the time for submitting letters of objection. The Department shall inform the applicant in writing of the conditions, if any, for approval or the reasons for disapproval. Such written notice shall also describe the process of appeals. A copy of the written notice shall be kept in the permanent records of the Department.
(4) 
Should the Director or designee deny an application for a campground, the applicant may file an application for conditional use, requiring approval from the Kent County Levy Court and meeting all applicable conditions of this chapter.
(5) 
The filing fee for administration review shall be as set from time to time by ordinance of the Levy Court.