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Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Counties

 

Arial view, farmEach county is required to include SRA maps in their comprehensive land use plans to set the parameters around which development can occur. These maps are updated every five years.

All county comprehensive plans are being updated in 2007. DNREC will evaluate each county’s plan. This is to ensure that the plans include SRA maps and basic ecological conservation strategies for land use decisions that – among other elements:

  • Maintain large areas of adjoining habitat
  • Maintain meaningful wildlife corridors, and enable bicycle and pedestrian connections between habitat areas and adjacent land uses
  • Protect rare landscape elements, sensitive areas and related species
  • Minimize direct and indirect human disturbances and the introduction and spread of non-native species
  • Minimize human introduction of nutrients, chemicals, and pollutants
  • Compensate for adverse effects of development on natural processes

Once completed, the plans must be approved by the Office of State Planning Coordination.  The OSPC reviews the plans and forwards them to the Governor, who certifies them. Within 18 months from the date the state certifies their comprehensive plans, county governments are required to:

  • Adopt and incorporate overlay zoning ordinances, guidelines and specific technically-based environmental performance standards
  • Design criteria and mitigation requirements, where appropriate, that apply to significant ecological functions identified on these lands along with a procedure for the appeal of such designations

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