County Laws & Code

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.  However, in order to keep pace with changes to Chapter 40 of the County Code, known as the Unified Development Code (UDC), an up-to-date copy of this chapter is made available below. 

Other selected chapters of the County Code related to the Building and Property Maintenance Codes are also available in PDF format further below.

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.  A PDF version of the complete UDC is available here: Unified Development Code (Revised 7/16/18).

The UDC 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)