Land Use

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Welcome to the Department of Land Use, which regulates planning for all new and existing development in unincorporated New Castle county and enforces the laws governing building & zoning codes and property maintenance. Our employees are engaged in a broad spectrum of land-related processes and activities, from proposed development reviews to permits, licensing of contractors, inspection of construction, enforcement of the property maintenance code, and much more. Please see below for some important notices and current features, and also use the menu on the left to explore our many specialty webpages for the information and guidance you may need. Should you require additional assistance, feel free to contact us using any method on the right.

Public Notices (1):

Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations

Appeal Period begins August 15, 2017 and ends on November 12, 2017

On December 28, 2016 and June 15, 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided New Castle County with Preliminary and revised Preliminary copies of the revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for New Castle County, Delaware and Incorporated Areas.  Digital copies of these materials are available at www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata .  A searchable map, where you can enter your tax parcel identification number or address is also available at http://maps.dnrec.delaware.gov/floodplanning/default.html .

Notice of the proposed flood hazard determinations were published by FEMA in The News Journal on August 8, 2017 and August 15, 2017.

The proposed flood hazard determinations, if finalized, will become the basis for the floodplain management measures in New Castle County.  However, before any new or modified flood hazard information becomes effective, a 90 day appeal period is available to communities and citizens.  The appeal period begins on August 15, 2017 and ends on November 12, 2017.

During the 90-day appeal period, any owner or lessee of real property who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations may appeal to New Castle County.  New Castle County will forward appeals it receives within the 90 day appeal period to FEMA.  It is important to note, however, that the sole basis for appeals is the possession of knowledge or information indicating that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Land Use at (302) 395-5400.

What's Going on in Land Use?

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FEMA, DNREC, and New Castle County hosted open house on updated flood risk information in New Castle County: 

On May 23rd, about 360 people attended an open house, the first step in the process of adopting new flood risk maps, to hear from representatives of FEMA, DNREC and NCC about how the proposed map changes may affect their property . View the open house slide presentation here. Please contact the Department of Land Use at 395-5400 if you have any questions regarding this topic. Or, you may visit DNREC’s website.Image may contain: outdoor, nature and water

New Castle County's 10 Least Wanted


Is your home and yard in compliance with the Property Maintenance Code? Check out our “10 Least Wanted List” of property maintenance violations and help New Castle County Code Enforcement to preserve and protect your investment in your neighborhood. http://www.nccde.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/574
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Have you ever seen one of these and wondered?...
The Department of Land Use requires yellow informational signs to be posted at each location of proposed development. Click http://www.nccde.org/299/New-Plans to see new plans submitted this week. Or, click http://www.nccde.org/410/Active-Plans to access the full list of projects currently under review in New Castle County. Questions? Call (302) 395-5400 or email us at LandUse@nccde.org
What's Behind that Yellow Sign?

UDC Update: Process & Site Design standards

Over the past year, the Department of Land Use has been working on potential revisions to the Unified Development Code (UDC) in order to improve its readability, organization, and usability for the public and applicants for various development proposals. In an effort to solicit additional public input, the Department hosted a workshop on June 28, 2017 to discuss proposed code language changes. Additional information may be found on the UDC Update Project webpage.
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Have you signed up for our List Services?


List Services are a notification system that keeps you up to date on important land use issues and new agendas.

To register, click on the image of an envelope on the left side of this page. Or, click here to go directly to the List Service Signup page. 

Next, enter your e-mail address and click on “Sign In.” 
Finally, select the topic(s) and board(s) of interest to you. Clicking on the icon of an envelope means you wish to receive notifications by e-mail, the cell phone means you wish to receive notifications by text message (you will then be prompted to provide a cell phone number for text messages). You will receive an email asking you to confirm your selection(s). Once you do, notifications will begin upon the next News Flash or Notification for the categories you selected. 

WE WANT TO BE YOUR BUSINESS-FRIENDLY DESTINATION!



Are you a business owner that could use a little extra help navigating the land development or building processes?  Department of Land Use staff are available to meet with any prospective prop​erty owner, contractor or developer to explain and answer questions about Department policies and procedures before you formally apply for the service. Our goal is to offer early guidance before you finalize the details of your project, to help save you time, money or frustration. To request a courtesy meeting, call Regina Roark at (302) 395-5404 or e-mail us at LandUse@nccde.org.


Land Use regulates all new and existing development in unincorporated New Castle county and enforces the laws governing property maintenance. Our employees are engaged in a broad spectrum of land-related processes and activities, from proposed development reviews to permits, licensing of contractors, inspection of construction, and property maintenance.

Our mission is to create a common vision for the future of New Castle County through a proactive community, civic and business planning effort that involves all stakeholders in a consensus-building process.  This vision will bring vitality to our County by linking land use with transportation, enticing desired investment and ensuring the protection of our neighborhoods, and the revitalization of our commercial corridors.

Department of Land Use Senior Management:


General Manager - Richard E. Hall, AICP

Deputy General Manager/Code Official - George O. Haggerty, Jr. 

Assistant Land Use Manager - Jim Smith
Assistant Land Use Manager - Reed Macmillan

Gift Policy


The Department of Land Use has a zero tolerance gift policy. No gift shall be accepted by an employee from any member of the public when the gift is given as a result of contact created by a New Castle county business relationship.


Customer Satisfaction


Keeping our customers satisfied is important to us. Please take our customer satisfaction survey to tell us about your experience and give us input on how we can improve.