House Bill 246
152nd General Assembly (Present)
House Housing 6/22/23
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ESTABLISHING UNIFORM MINIMUM RIPARIAN BUFFER AREAS.
Currently each county has its own riparian buffer requirements. The intent of this Act is to make minimum riparian buffer areas uniform throughout the State in unincorporated areas and incorporated municipalities that do not hold a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System(“MS4”) permit. This Act creates a new Chapter 10A of Title 9 which sets forth the following minimum riparian buffer areas: (1) 300 feet to the streamline, as defined by the mean high water line, of any tidal water body, tidal steam or tidal marsh; (2) 300 feet to the shoreline, as defined by the mean highwater line, of any nontidal freshwater body, lake, pond, or blue-line stream; and (3) 50 feet to the shoreline or top of bank, as defined by a greater than 50% change in slope in a distance of less than 10 feet of any non-blueline stream, creek or drainage ditch. The Act sets forth permitted uses not subject to the minimum buffer requirements. The Act requires the 3 Counties to adopt substantive and technical rules and regulations to implement the minimum riparian buffer areas and establish rules for specified uses. The Act requires all 3 Counties, by June 30, 2024 to amend their land use laws by adopting the minimum riparian buffer areas and adopting rules and regulations. The Act permits the Planning and Land Use Departments, in conjunction with the County Planning Directors, to create a coordinated program that educates and trains the public about the requirements of this Act. This Act takes effect on June 30, 2024.
Takes effect upon being signed into law