GIS Story Map “Reimagines” Laurel

This GIS Story Map was developed for the Town of Laurel to highlight its outstanding redevelopment potential, location for small businesses, and quality of life. The GIS Story Map offers a variety of demographic and marketing data, points of interest, marketing research, and information about infrastructure and rates.

The story map is a project of the Sussex County Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC), funded by the University of Delaware’s Sustainable Coastal Communities program. The maps and data are easy to upgrade and link to or embed on a town’s website.  The map series was constructed by Nicole Minni, GISP, of the University of Delaware IPA and Lee Ann Walling, AICP, of Cedar Creek Sustainable Planners.

Visit the story maps section of the toolbox to learn more about how you can use this tool to promote local government initiatives to support market-ready (re)development in your community.

Contact IPA’s GIS Specialist Nicole Minni, at nminni@udel.edu, to obtain information on contracting her services to develop story maps.

How Walkable is Your Community?

Cover of the new 2016 Healthy and Complete Communities in Delaware: The Walkability Assessment Tool Walkable, pedestrian infrastructure is a key element of a “Complete Community.” When sidewalks, parks, and trails are pleasant places to walk, all community members benefit. Unfortunately, not all places are walkable, but with the help of IPA’s Walkability Assessment Tool, citizens achieve positive changes.

Visit the Walkable Communities section of the toolbox to learn more about ways to improve pedestrian infrastructure. This section includes:

Newark Cycle Track: Pre-Engineering Assessment

IPA recently conducted a pre-engineering assessment study for a possible cycle track along Delaware Avenue in Newark. The assessment builds upon recommendations of the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan, which was created by the Newark Bicycle Committee in collaboration with Newark city officials, residents, WILMAPCO, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), and local advocacy organizations. According to the Plan, “one of the critical missing links to bicycling in downtown Newark is the lack of an adequate westbound bike route through the downtown. To provide for this missing link, it is recommended that Delaware Avenue be reconfigured to include a two-way, separated bike lane known as a cycle track.”

The Delaware Center for Transportation’s Winter 2015 TranSearch newsletter includes an article covering the Newark Cycle Track: Pre-Engineering Assessment and the process.

Watch the video

As part of the assessment, IPA public administration fellow Kirsten Jones (MA’16) prepared a  video that shows her navigating as a cyclist and reacting to potential conflicts between motorized and non-motorized travelers along Delaware Avenue, between Orchard Road and the Newark High School.

New Guide to Transportation Improvement Districts

tid-guide-coverTo help Delaware local governments better understand DelDOT regulations that govern the process to plan for and establish a TID, the Institute for Public Administration developed an electronic publication, Transportation Improvement Districts: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments.

Funded by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the guide discusses the purpose, benefits, and TID planning framework in Delaware.

It also provides a step-by-step process for Delaware local governments to follow to create TID(s) and two best-practice examples for planning (City of Newark) and implementation (City of Dover) of TIDs in Delaware.

The downloadable guide is part of a comprehensive set of online tools on TIDs within the Complete Streets element of Delaware Complete Communities Planning Toolbox, available here.

 

Seaford, Dover, and Wilmington Designated as Downtown Development Districts

According to a January 11, 2015 press release, Governor Markell announced that the cities of Seaford, Dover, and Wilmington have been selected for designation as Downtown Development Districts (DDDs). Per DDD program guidelines, the first three DDDs must include one district in each county.

Markell said, “The Downtown Development District program has generated a high level of enthusiasm and interest, and I was impressed by the overall quality of the applications submitted. In addition to demonstrating significant need, each of the winning applicants submitted thoughtful plans with detailed strategies to strengthen neighborhoods, spur private investment, and improve housing opportunities for residents of all walks of life. On behalf of the state, I look forward to working in partnership with the winning applicants as they make their plans a reality.”

The DDD program was created by legislation proposed by the Governor in 2014. Senate Bill 191 was signed into law by the Governor on June 5, 2014 and was approved for a $7 million allocation by the Delaware General Assembly. The DDD Grant program is modeled in part after a Virginia program that has proven successful in leveraging significant amounts of private investment in under-served areas.

Under the program, designated districts will be entitled to receive significant development incentives and other benefits to spur investment and community development. Investors who make qualified real estate investments in DDDs will be entitled to receive grants of up to 20% of the cost of their investments. The Delaware State Housing Authority, which administers the program, has produced a DDD Grant Program FAQ information sheet for investors who may wish to apply for a grant in a designated district.

A total of nine local governments applied to have a portion of their city, town, or unincorporated area designated as a DDD.  The applications were evaluated in accordance with three main criteria: 1) need and impact, 2) the quality of the district plan submitted by the applicant, and 3) local incentives offered.

2014 Downtown Development District Application Period Closed

Received 10 Applications

On November 1, 2014, 10 local governments submitted applications to be considered for designation as a Downtown Development District. Applications were received from Clayton, Dover, Middletown, Milford, Milton, New Castle County, Newark, Seaford, Smyrna and Wilmington. The Office of State Planning Coordination is managing the review of these applications for eventual consideration by the Governor.

Public Comment Period

The public comment period is open for the “Guidelines Governing the Administration and Review of Applications for Designation as DDDs”.

For more information visit the Office of State Planning Coordination’s website, http://stateplanning.delaware.gov/ddd/.

Downtown Development Districts Application Now Available

Downtown Development Districts, authorized by Senate Bill 191 on June 5, 2014, establish economic development incentives that promote revitalization of Delaware’s downtowns.

The first step in becoming a Downtown Development District (DDD) requires the local government (municipality or county) to complete an application and create a District Plan. The DDD Application, Application Guidelines Booklet, and a Census spreadsheet are now available for download on the Downtown Development Districts website. Completed applications are due on or before November 1, 2014. The application process is being administered by the Office of State Planning Coordination.

Full program details are available on the Downtown Development Districts website. Additional background information is posted in our toolkit.

Guide to Master Planning

Master Planning is an integral component of the Complete Communities framework. It complements and integrates other planning activities. Local comprehensive plans articulate visions and formulate general guidelines for achieving desired land use patterns in counties and municipalities. Master Planning brings all stakeholders—state agencies, local governments, civic groups, and business leaders—together to “get it done” by spelling out the details of, and the responsibilities for, the provision of infrastructure services in an efficient, timely, and cost-effective manner.

In September 2012, the Office of State Planning Coordination introduced the Guide for Master Planning in Delaware. Visit the Master Planning and Complete Communities section of the toolbox for more information on master planning in Delaware.

Complete Communities Toolbox

Introducing a new feature of the Complete Communities Delaware Project site!

The Delaware Complete Communities Toolbox can be used by citizens and planning professionals to help create complete communities that are desirable places to live for people of all ages and abilities.

Toolbox content provides planning concepts that:

  • serve as complete-communities building blocks;
  • explain the five elements of a complete community; and
  • offer tools, strategies, and resources for Delaware local governments.

This new resource provide visual and written resources on:

The toolbox aims to advance a framework to help Delaware communities plan for and manage growth, consider benefits of better community design, spur reinvestment in older communities, protect natural and environmental resources, understand the connection between land use and transportation planning, promote economic development and placemaking strategies, combat sprawl, and make more efficient use of limited funds for growth-related needs.

Explore the toolbox through the horizontal menu panel on the top of the page. Check back for updates as the toolbox continues to grow.