Delaware General Assembly







Section 1. Amend Section 145 of Title 17, of the Delaware Code by striking said Section in its entirety. and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section to read as follows:

"§145. Corridor Capacity Preservation.

(a) Application. This section is applicable only to transportation routes categorized as corridor capacity preservation projects as described herein.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section:

(1) 'Comprehensive Development Plan' means a comprehensive land use plan. master plan or comprehensive plan as provided in Title 9, 22, or 29, Delaware Code.

(2) 'Corridor' means a particular route of one or more highways of this State, serving predominantly statewide and/or regional travel at a high level of' service at the time of the analysis conducted under subsection (d) of this section.

(3) 'Corridor capacity' means the ability of a corridor to sustain its level of service for a period of at least ten (10) years and for up to twenty (20) years.

(4) 'Department' means the Department of Transportation.

(5) Preservation' means to maintain corridor capacity.

(c) Findings.

(1) Pursuant to federal and state law, the Department is required to develop long-range plans and principles to consider the various appropriate means of meeting the transportation needs of the State work is coordinated with the planning efforts of metropolitan planning organizations pursuant to 23 U.S.C. Section 134 et seq. As pail of these long-range plans and principles, the Department may identify transportation routes requiring corridor capacity preservation in order to: (i) focus development toward existing locations; (ii) reduce the need for expansion of the transportation system; and (iii) otherwise advance the quality of life of Delawareans and the development policies adopted by the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues.

(2) Pursuant to the Quality of Life Act of 1988, Chs. 26, 49, and 69 of 'Ink 9, Delaware Code, as well as the Land Use Planning Act, Ch. 92 of Tide 29, Delaware Code, each county of this State is required to adopt a comprehensive development plan to guide and control future development. Each plan, which is to have the force and effect of law, includes among its purposes the facilitation of the adequate and efficient provision of transportation. These plans are reviewed by the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues to determine their compliance with the State's development policies, including the Department's long-range plans and principles. The State is under no obligation to provide infrastructure improvements to support land use or development actions where a county's comprehensive plans are inconsistent with the State's policies. In addition, pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 22, Delaware Code, municipalities are also required to develop comprehensive development plans, with relief of congestion constituting one of the goals of such plans. As part of this coordinated process, therefore, the comprehensive development plans adopted by the counties and municipalities should incorporate the Department's designation of transportation routes requiring corridor capacity preservation.

(3) This legislation is intended to facilitate the acquisition of property interests sufficient to provide corridor capacity preservation in keeping with these comprehensive development plans and the Department's long-range plans.

(d) Implementation. On or before October I, 1996, and every three years thereafter, pursuant to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. Section 134 et seq., the Department's long-range plans shall propose transportation routes requiring corridor capacity preservation, if any. The determination of these routes shall be based upon the following criteria: level of service analysis; input and continent from the counties and municipalities to the need within growth areas: development trends; traffic growth; additional threats to roadway integrity; safety: support for long range planning goals of the Department and the relevant metropolitan planning organization(s); deliverability; economic impacts: social/environmental impacts; and air quality. The location of these routes shall be submitted to the local government bodies of the counties and municipalities for review and then presented to the public at a public hearing. The local governing bodies shall have ninety (90) days to review the locations and respond to the Department. The Department shall, after considering public comments and the responses of the local governing bodies of the municipalities and counties, determine those routes requiring corridor capacity preservation. Each county and municipality shall incorporate these determinations into their comprehensive development plans or amendments thereto. Any subsequent Departmental corridor capacity preservation projects shall be subject to the same approval process as other capital projects. When approved by the Council on Transportation and adopted by the General Assembly, the Department may then proceed to pursue these projects as set forth each year in the Department's Capital Improvement Program. Property interests acquired for these projects Linda this section shall be in lee simple absolute or such lesser interest us the Department may deem appropriate. Acquisition of such property interests may be obtained gift, devise, purchase, or in the exercise of the power of eminent domain. by condemnation in the manner prescribed in Chapter 61 of Title 10. Delaware Code. subject to the provisions of Chapter 95 of Title 29. Delaware Code.

(d) Effect on other powers. The powers conveyed to the Department by this section are in addition to and not in derogation of any other powers it may have related to corridor capacity preservation, including but not limited to the power to seek voluntary compliance with its policies, to regulate subdivision streets intended for state maintenance, and the power to regulate access to and from state-maintained highways."

Approved July 18, 1996