• 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) (APFO Form)

  • 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) (APFO Form)

  • 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 be contacted 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) (APFO Form)

  • 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 (Most common) - Requests for relief from the zoning regulations located in Chapter 205 of the County Code.
  • 25% expansion or enlargement of a non-conforming use - The Board may authoize the extension or enlargement of a legal non-conforming use, with or without conditions.
  • Use - Request for relief from a use condition located in Chapter 205 of the County Code.
  • AppealThe Board of Adjustment may hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative official or agency based on or made in the enforcement of the zoning regulations.
  • Interpretation or Special Question - The Board of Adjustment may hear and decide, in accordance with the provisions of any zoning regulations, requests for interpretation of the map or for decisions upon other special questions upon which the Board is authorized by any zoning regulation to pass.

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.


Campground *- 

  • To permit a public or private campground on a property of at least 5 acres.
  • Certain conditions apply that can be read here.


Certificate of Use -

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


Community Energy Generating Facility * -

  • Maximum footprint of solar array is 50 acres.
  • Strict setback and buffer requirements.
  • Soil studies, decommissioning plan, and financial assurance required.
  • All conditions of the use can be found here.


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.


Telecommunication Towers *

  • Stand alone towers or those located on other existing structures.
  • Separate from small cell and stealth facilities.
  • The conditions for a telecommunication tower can be found here.


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 Accessory Dwelling Units, Campgrounds, Commnity Energy Generating Facilities, Home-based Contractor's Establishments, Home Occupations, Professional Offices, and Telecommunication Towers, 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.