Planning and Zoning - Technical Assistance
To Citizens of Kent County
The planning staff is available to answer questions from the general public on a wide range of issues including but not limited to:
- Development potential
- Subdivision process
- Building permit process
- Impacts of projects
- Zoning of property and possible uses
- Floodplain zone
- Zoning amendment process
- Required bonds
- Landscape requirements
- Status of permits/development
- Buffers and stream protection corridors
- Steep slopes
- History of property
- Wildlife corridors
- Other state and federal regulations
When staff cannot answer the questions, the citizen is referred to the appropriate local, state, or federal agency. For simple inquiries, first try linking to the Frequently Asked Questions section.
To Other Departments and Agencies
The Department receives and develops demographics, trends, statistics, and maps for the County. This data is available for use by citizens, businesses, and other county departments. Staff prepares maps, charts and other graphics as may be requested by other county departments. When surveys have been needed, staff has designed, conducted and analyzed the survey.
To the Planning Commission
The Planning Commission reviews most subdivisions, site plans, special exceptions, and variances. Prior to each meeting, the planning staff visits each site and prepares for the Planning Commission members a memo on each project which describes the project, applicable law, applicable sections of the Comprehensive Plan, relevant issues and lists comments from TAC. When requested, staff meets with individual members prior to the meeting to discuss the applicable law. Staff provides a recommendation on all projects. Staff sets the agenda, posts notices, and maintains minutes for each meeting.
The Planning Commission may direct its staff to conduct studies, prepare ordinances, and to research special topics relating to planning.
To the Board of Zoning Appeals
While not technically staff to the Board of Zoning Appeals, the planning staff receives applications, posts all notices of Board hearings, and attends all meetings to answer any questions the Board may have concerning the application.
To the Agricultural Advisory Commission
The planning office serves as staff to the Agricultural Advisory Commission. The Planning Director forwards any proposals or zoning changes which affect agriculture to the Commission for comment. In addition, the Commission recommends proposed changes or programs for improving the Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Ordinance or other changes to programs which would improve and promote agriculture in Kent County. Staff sets agendas, takes minutes, maintains records of the Commission's activities and conducts any studies requested by the Commission.
To the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board
The Department is staff to the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board. Staff sets the agenda, takes minutes, and maintains records of the activities of the Board.
To the Agricultural Resolution Board
The Department is staff to the Agricultural Resolution Board established by the Right-to-Farm law. The role of the Board is to arbitrate and mediate disputes involving agricultural operations and issue findings concerning whether or not such operations are conducted in a manner consistent with generally accepted agricultural practices. The planning staff investigates complaints, prepares staff reports and records and maintains minutes of the Board.
To Review Draft Legislation
The planning staff reviews state and federal legislation which may have an affect on planning activities including Critical Areas, Forest Conservation, sediment control, agricultural land preservation, and wetlands. When appropriate, staff prepares testimony for the County Commissioners or presents testimony before the General Assembly.
Staff also reviews local legislation for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and possible affects on planning. When appropriate, staff offers comments.