January 29, 2002

The public will have an opportunity to further comment on the county's comprehensive development plan update at a hearing on Feb. 5 before the New Castle County Planning Board.

A revised draft of the plan was released on Jan. 18 at a board hearing on Jan. 18. The 92-page document sets forth 14 strategies to achieve "manageable growth" and maintain an acceptable quality of life.

The plan is scheduled for adoption by County Council in March. State law requires that it be updated every five years.

Key element is the projection that the county has sufficient land available for commercial, office and industrial growth to support a projected employment growth between now and 2030 and to house those workers. It is anticipated the workforce will grow from 272,000 in 2000 to 362,000 over that period.

In terms of economic development, the plan looks for growth that is both diversified and sustainable.

"The issue is to manage growth. You can't stop it," said Vince Kowal, spokesman for the Department of Land Use, which produced the plan.

Noting that the plan has the force of law, he added that the intent was to provide a workable blueprint that will form the basis for land-use and related decisions. "The people have to have confidence in this document," he said.

To that end, the released draft was accompanied by a compilation of comments received after publication of the initial draft last autumn. There are more than 500 entries from more than 40 individuals and organizations, grouped by topic and including a specific response.

The draft is to be posted on the county Web site before the hearing. In addition, copies of the document can be obtained by telephoning 385-5404.

2002. All rights reserved.

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Read the comprehensive plan on the New Castle County Web site
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