• Directions
Land Use Applications

Applications for special land uses in Kent County are processed in a variety of ways. For questions about which type of application process will be required for a particular land use, please call Planning Services at (302) 744-2471.

Bigstock Conceptual Recycling Symbol Ma 18841241

Public Hearing Applications
RPC Business Applications
Board of Adjustment
Administrative Applications

Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and the Levy Court meetings:

Conditional Use (not requiring site plan review) -

  • Use that is beyond what is permitted by-right and has the potential to impact the residents of the zoning district in which the property is located.
  • Less than 5,000 square feet of buildings and/or paved surfaces.
  • Some examples include a florist establishment in an AC district, a contractor in an IG district, or a pawn shop in a BG district.
  • plan prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor is not required for the review of this type of use.

Conditional Use Requiring Site Plan review - (checklist)

  • Same as above, but it involves 5,000 square feet or more of buildings and/or paved surfaces.
  • Some uses also require a site plan no matter the size (i.e. private educational institutions, cemeteries, churches etc.).
  • A plan prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor is required for the review of this type of use.

Zoning Map Amendment and/or Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment review     (rezoning) -

  • Requests for changes in the zoning classification of a parcel
  • Some rezoning requests require a Comprehensive Plan Map amendment which calls for review at the State Planning office.

RPC only:

Major Subdivision Plan review - (checklist)

  • In general, for any residential or commercial subdivision of property that creates more than 5 (five) lots, a rigorous review of plans is required by the RPC.
  • A set of plans prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor must include lot layout, landscaping, infrastructure, and stormwater management.

Agricultural Preservation District review (in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture) -

  • Although the RPC reviews Agricultural Preservation Districts, this type of application is initiated through the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation.
  • They can becontacted at (302) 698-4530 for information on creating or expanding an Agricultural Preservation District. There is no county planning application for this type of request.

no public hearing:

Site Plan review - (checklist)

  • For land use proposals that are by-right in the zoning district.
  • Required for uses totaling 5,000 square feet or more impervious coverage.
  • A set of plans prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor must include lot layout, landscaping, infrastructure, and stormwater management.

Subdivision Waiver review -

  • In cases where a minimum easing of requirements is reasonable to accomodate a subdivision plan, an application for a waiver from certain code requirements may be requested. Examples of waiver applications include waivers from subdividing through the floodplain, or from building closer than 25 feet to a wetlands area.

BOA Public Hearing:

Variances - (Bulk and Area) (Appeal) (Use) (Interpretation)

  • Requests for relief from the zoning regulations located in Chapter 205 of the County Code.

Accessory Dwelling   -

  • Would allow a single-family home to add an apartment or cottage to their property.
  • Certain conditions apply that can be read  here.


Administrative Variance -

  • For the approval of a minimum reduction in setback area requirements for an existing building.
  • The reduction may not be more than 10% of the required measurement, or five (5) feet, whichever is greater.
  • Anything larger must be reviewed and approved by the BOA.


Administrative Waiver -

  • For the approal of certain minor subdivision regulations
  • Rules and regulations from §187; to include private street specifications, wetlands or floodplain subdivision, and water body buffers.
  • Reviewed by the Director.  If denied, then would follow RPC waiver process.


ECHO housing -

  • Allows a small, temporary residence for an elderly or disabled family member to be added to a lot that already contains a single-family dwelling.
  • ECHO unit placement must be renewed annually, and the unit must be removed if the special conditions of approval are not met.
  • The conditions and helpful instructions can be read here.


Home-based Contractor's Establishment * -

  • Requires the contractor to live on the property.
  • All vehicles and equipment must be stored within an enclosed building.
  • Prohibits retail sales of goods and products.
  • A full list of the conditions associated with this use can be found here.


Home Occupation or Professional Office * -

  • To run a small business from a home in a residential zoning district.
  • Some examples of these are home day cares, a one-chair beauty salon, an artist's studio and a doctor's office.
  • The conditions for a home occupation can be found here.
  • The conditions for a professional office can be found here.


Lot Consolidation -

  • Combining two or more properties into one.
  • Must be in common ownership or have ownership transferred at recordation.
  • Lot consolidation plans must be submitted by a professional engineer or land surveyor licensed in the state of Delaware.


Minor Lot Line Adjustment -

  • Adjustments in boundaries between two or more properties, such as in the case of one neighbor selling part of their property to the other.
  • Deeds representing the wonership and area change must be recorded with the plan.
  • Minor lot line adjustment plans must be submitted by a professional engineer or land surveyor licensed in the state of Delaware.


Minor Subdivision -

  • Dividing a property into 5 (five) or fewer properties (for greater than 5 properties, the major subdivision process must be used).
  • New lots containing 20 acres or more do not count toward the number of lots created under the minor subdivision process.
  • Minor Subdivision plans must be submitted by a professional engineer or land surveyor licensed in the state of Delaware.

Certificate of Use -

  • Requests a written document stating that a specific use is wllowed for a specific parcel in a specific zoning district.
  • Will include a list of any special conditions that are applied to that use.

Zoning District Verification -

  • Strictly to receive written conformation of the zoning district of a specific parcel.

Historic Property Tax Credit Program -

  • Application for tax credits for historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 * Please note: For Home-based Contractor's Establishments, Home Occupations and Professional Offices, letters of objection received from neighbors necessitate public hearing review of the application as a conditional use (not requiring site plan review). 

Home | Directions | Commissioners | Contact Us | Employment | Legal Notice | Webmaster

555 Bay Rd Dover, DE 19901

Copyright © 2013, All rights reserved.