Comprehensive Town Plans & Planning

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This collection provides reference information for state and local governments, elected officials, citizens, and students on comprehensive plans and planning-related issues and includes research reports, comprehensive plans, land-use ordinances, and community growth and planning information. Visit the IPA website for more information.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 84
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    20-Year Review– Delaware Strategies for State Policies and Spending
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2020-03) DeCoursey, William J.; Mix, Troy D.; O'Neill, Sean T.
    The Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC) funded this study to provide for an objective review of the performance of Delaware’s Strategies for State Policies and Spending (State Strategies) since their initial adoption in 1999. Findings from this research are intended to inform the development of the 2020 Strategies for State Policies and Spending. To assess the performance of the State Strategies, IPA identified and analyzed a series of performance metrics aligned with each of the eleven “Shaping Delaware’s Future” goals laid out in the original, 1999 State Strategies. This report captures the analysis of Delaware’s performance on these metrics, with additional commentary highlighting particular successes and shortcomings of the State’s investment strategies, along with suggestions for further refinement of Delaware’s efforts to make progress on the “Shaping Delaware’s Future” goals.
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    2024 Fenwick Island Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2024-04-29) Town of Fenwick Island
    A comprehensive plan guides future development or redevelopment of a community in order to create and maintain a desirable environment and promote health, safety, and welfare. The plan provides a community with a framework of policies and actions on which to rely when responding to evolving challenges and opportunities. It guides growth to areas that are most prepared to accept it in terms of infrastructure and thoughtful planning. Planning enables a community to understand and articulate its future. The 2023 Town of Fenwick Island Comprehensive Plan is intended to cover a 10-year planning window and be reviewed at least every five years in accordance with state law. It provides the framework for planning, design, and development decision making. Fenwick Island faces many challenges that are regional in nature and originate outside its borders or direct control. This Comprehensive Plan is intended to encourage vigilance to our town’s history and heritage and ensure the continuation of the vision and existing character of the town, even as increased development occurs in and around the town.
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    Analysis of Models for Workforce Housing Villages
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2023-11) Dietz, Ella; O'Neill, Sean
    Residents and elected officials in Delaware have expressed interest in developing workforce housing for employees in critical jobs that support their local communities. After hearing these desires from communities throughout the state, the University of Delaware (UD) Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) requested for the Institute for Public Administration to identify potential models from around the country for workforce housing developments.
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    2023 Strategic Plan for the City of Milford, Delaware
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2023-08-28) Reitz, Jennifer; McGowan, William; Barnes, Chase
    In the fall of 2022, the City of Milford began a five-year review and update of its strategic plan. The following pages are the result of deliberate and collaborative efforts to listen and understand the needs and concerns of all its citizens. The Strategic Plan creates an organizational framework to drive effective decision-making for City Council and City management through the next five years. This framework lays the foundation for allocating financial and staffing resources, as well as proactively managing natural and environmental resources, for the City of Milford to thrive and grow.
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    Town of Middletown 2022 Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2022-10-03) O'Neill, Sean; Reitz, Jennifer; Levine, Jack
    The Town of Middletown 2022 Comprehensive Plan was prepared by the Town of Middletown with assistance from the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), a unit within the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration. The purpose of the 2022 Comprehensive Plan is to guide future decisions by delineating the policies on which these future decisions will be based. These policies are developed through the comprehensive planning process and informed by factors affecting the community. These factors include demographic trends, land uses, the transportation system, natural resources, economic development, historic resources, and both utilities and community facilities. An assessment of existing conditions and the creation of a guiding vision and goals have informed the development of recommendations for the town to consider after the adoption of this plan.
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    Town of Wyoming 2022 Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2022-08-24) DeCoursey, William
    This plan was prepared by the Town of Wyoming Comprehensive Planning Committee with input from the Town Council and assistance from the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), a unit within the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware. IPA links the research and resources of the University of Delaware with the management and information needs of local, state, and regional governments in the Delaware Valley. IPA assists agencies and local governments through direct staff assistance and research projects as well as training programs and policy forums.
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    Lewes Executive Committee on Resiliency: A Resilient Community Partnership
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2022-05-26) Barnes, Philip; Reitz, Jennifer
    The City of Lewes is one of Delaware’s most climate-vulnerable communities and is committed to developing and implementing climate resiliency policies and practices. In 2021, the Mayor and City Council empaneled an eleven-member Lewes Executive Committee on Resiliency (LECR) to identify, debate, and recommend resiliency measures that City Council could adopt. This brief provides details of the options and an analysis of their impacts.
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    Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Proposed Annexation and Development of Draper Farm (The Granary)
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2021-10-21) O'Neill, Sean; Morton, Mike
    The analysis put forward by the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration projects expected revenues for the Town of Milton related to the proposed annexation and development of the Draper Farm property over the course of 20 years. This analysis utilizes budgetary information provided by the Town of Milton and development projections from the owner of Draper Farm, Convergence Investments, Inc. to form the basis of expected revenues to the Town of Milton over the next 20 years. Other factors in these projections include expected new employees and equipment for town police, public works, and water systems as well as projected persons per household, prices for units sold, and town tax rates.
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    2021 Eastside Housing Study
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2021-04-29) O'Neill, Sean
    This report summarizes the state of the housing market in the Eastside neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, and outlines potential strategies for the community to pursue moving forward.
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    Assessment of State Land and Facility Inventory Practices
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2019-09) Kelly, Christopher; Chesser, Margaret Culpepper; Mix, Troy
    As part of the state of Delaware’s Government Efficiency and Accountability Review, the Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC) contracted with the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) to assess current agency practices for collecting, maintaining, and sharing information on state lands and facilities. IPA’s assessment consisted of researching state data sharing practices, benefits, and barriers; administering a screening questionnaire to gather background information on state agency data collection processes and procedures; and interviewing state agency representatives to detail questionnaire responses and discuss the potential benefits of and barriers to implementing a statewide facility and land inventory. Land and facility information covered in this study includes buildings, land, lease information, rights-of-way, and preservation easements.
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    Pedestrian Lighting, Acceptable Levels of Light: A Pilot Project
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2019-10) DeCoursey, Willian J.; Bruan, Davis; Oza, Jeel
    This pilot project study was intended to demonstrate that assessing the adequacy of an area’s pedestrian lighting need not be an expensive, time-consuming, or overly complicated process.
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    Mixed-Use Zone Report for the Town of Middletown, Delaware
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2018-10) O'Neill, Sean
    At the request of the Town of Middletown, Delaware, the Institute for Public Administration (IPA) at the University of Delaware has developed this Mixed-Use Zone Report. This report is meant to be used as an informational tool as town officials consider the creation of a new mixed-use zoning district. This report follows up on IPA’s 2017 Middletown Multifamily Housing Analysis that included a key recommendation for the town to consider creating a new mixed- use zoning district, particularly for larger tracts of land in town and areas near the new Route 301 highway. The new zone would help the town grow in a more sustainable way and respond to the increasing development pressure it has been experiencing recently in part due to the construction of the new Route 301 highway. The new mixed-use zone would facilitate the creation of new pedestrian-friendly and well-connected “town center” areas that are both attractive and accessible to a variety of age groups. Using these new areas as focal points for growth, Middletown can continue to develop in a more cohesive manner with clear central “places” around which to grow.
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    Town of Camden 2019 Comprehensive Plan Update
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2019-05-06) O'Neill, Sean; Raab, Linda P.; Minni, Nicole M.; Mix, Troy; Czepiel, Chris; Braun, Davis
    The Town of Camden has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Much of the land annexed during this time has been developed or is in the process of being developed. Camden’s population has grown substantially from 2,100 in 2000 to almost 4,000 today by some estimates, making it the 14th largest of Delaware’s 57 municipalities. It is expected that Camden will continue to grow, as new homes and businesses are built using development plans that are well underway. Since the adoption of the town’s 2008 Comprehensive Plan, the Town of Camden adopted significant amendments to the Comprehensive Plan in 2013 and 2014 but is due for a full update of the 2008 Plan. This Comprehensive Plan Update incorporates information and actions from these prior planning efforts while providing a focused vision for the town over the coming decade.
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    Delaware Strategies for State Policies and Spending Investment Level Summary
    (2016-04) Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination
    The Strategies for State Policies and Spending coordinates land-use decision-making with the delivery of infrastructure and services to make the best use of our natural and fiscal resources. Coordination is important because land-use decisions in Delaware are made by local governments while, unlike other states, the bulk of infrastructure (e.g., roads and schools) and services (e.g., emergency services and social services) are funded by the State. This fact sheet was designed by the Institute for Public Administration to help illustrate the 2015 investment levels in a simplified format.
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    2018 Update to the 2008 City of Milford Comprehensive Plan
    (2018-01) DeCoursey, William J.; Raab, Linda P.; Minni, Nicole M.; Eisenhart, Scott; Barnes, Philip; Oza, Jeel
    This plan was prepared by the City of Milford Planning and Zoning Commission with assistance from the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), a unit within the School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware. IPA links the research and resources of the University of Delaware with the management and information needs of local, state, and regional governments in the Delaware Valley. IPA provides assistance and research projects as well as training programs and policy forums. it serves as the 2018 update to the original 2008 City of Milford Comprehensive Plan. It was adopted in January of 2018 and certified in May of 2018.
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    Town of Townsend 2016 Amendment to the 2010 Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2016-08-24) Raab, Linda P.; Minni, Nicole M.
    On March 23, 2016, the Zoning Committee reviewed the change proposed in this Plan Amendment and recommended that the Town Council approve transmission of the amendment for review under the Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS). The Town Council held a meeting also on March 23, 2016 after the Zoning Committee’s meeting, and the council voted unanimously to forward this Plan Amendment for PLUS review. In accordance with Section 401 of the town charter, an ordinance adopting this Plan Amendment was introduced in writing on July 20, 2016. On August 4, 2016, a fair summary the ordinance was published in the Middletown Register.
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    Town of Townsend 2013 Amendment to the 2010 Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2014-09-04) Raab, Linda P.; Minni, Nicole M.
    Following adoption of the 2010 comprehensive plan, the Town of Townsend, to comply with Title 22, Section 702(c) of the Delaware Code, has been preparing to amend its official zoning map to rezone all lands within the municipality in accordance with the uses of land provided for in the comprehensive development plan. The purpose of this Plan Amendment is to change the land use designations depicted on Maps 7a and 7b for seven parcels as it relates to the Town of Townsend.
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    Town of Camden 2013 Amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2014-01-06) Raab, Linda P.; DeCoursey, William J.; Minni, Nicole M.
    Title 22, Section 702(e) of the Delaware Code requires that at least every 5 years a municipality shall review its adopted comprehensive plan to determine if its provisions are still relevant given changing conditions in the municipality or in the surrounding areas. Camden last adopted a full‐blown comprehensive plan in 2007. Since this is the five‐year review, the Town has the option of completely rewriting the plan or making amendments to it. The Town has determined that the 2007 plan still is serving the Town well, but the portions of the plan dealing with land use, annexation, and transportation should be amended to reflect development within the Town and the annexations that have occurred since 2007. This document presents these amendments.
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    Town of Ocean View 2015 Comprehensive Plan Amendment
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2017-02-14) Raab, Linda P.; Minni, Nicole M.; Wollaston, Martin W.
    On March 13, 2010 by Ordinance 266, The Town of Ocean View adopted a complete update of its comprehensive plan. This plan was certified by the governor on October 21, 2010. Following adoption of the 2010 complete plan update, the Town adopted a plan amendment that changed the future land use for a few parcels in the State Route (SR) 26 corridor. This amendment was adopted on April 9, 2013 by Ordinance 301. Section 702(e) of the Delaware Code requires that comprehensive plans be reviewed every five years and completely updated every 10 years. The required five-year review began in 2015, the fifth year following the 2010 complete plan update. In accordance with Section 702(e), the Town has reviewed the 2010 plan (including the 2013 amendment) and has determined that generally its provisions are still relevant, but that several changes to existing land use, future land use, and the annexation area are needed. This Plan Amendment presents these changes.
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    Growing Better: Successful Planning Tools for Growing Communities
    (Institute for Public Administration, 2007-05) Bierma, Alissa; Hopkins, Erik
    Today’s bookshelves are full of growth management policy guides and program suggestions with technical details, program specifics, and economic analysis. All of these program guides can play an important part of creating a growth management strategy for your community, but they skip a very important first step: assistance in selecting which programs and techniques to evaluate as potential strategy components. How do you choose which programs and options would be best suited to your specific issue or community? This document, Growing Better, is designed to do just that; to help the reader to identify which programs and actions are worth learning about in greater detail, given the real-life issues they face as public officials, community leaders, or the general public. Anyone interested in protecting the community they love or creating one they envision can benefit from this document. This document attempts to place today’s “hot” growth management topics into real- life situations and to show how these programs interact with actual communities or address specific issues. Each of the communities selected for this document have characteristics and issues similar to those somewhere in the state of Delaware; they have also decided those characteristics are worth protecting and have taken the initiative to do so, with positive results. The communities of Delaware hold all of the same beauty and potential; it is now time for us to take our initiative. This booklet is designed to function both as its individual parts, to provide specific information on a topic you may find useful, and as a whole, to help communities identify programs or steps they may take to improve the possibilities for their future. All of these options have one thing in common: they require community support to function properly; but, given that support and appropriately implemented, they really can work to help growth occur in a better manner. Delaware’s communities are already amazing; the goal must be to make sure they remain that way as they face the pressures of growth.