Barriers to Better Development

Rehoboth Beach, An example of a Walkable communityDevelopment approaches suggested in Better Models for Development in Delaware can lead to higher-quality development that is more attractive, profitable, convenient, and environmentally sensitive. In addition, research provides strong evidence that a mixed-use and compact-development pattern is well suited to maintaining Delaware’s fiscal health and preserving the many characteristics that make Delaware a desirable place to live and work. The objective of creating complete communities is to “use less land and reduce the separation of land uses in order to achieve a variety of values including open space protection, community vitality, affordable housing, air quality, transit use, and more walkable places.”

However, there are often obstacles to applying better development principles that create vibrant communities that attract jobs, foster economic development, and are attractive places to live, work, and place. Key barriers to better development include

  • Inflexible Local Regulations
  • Outdated Market Perceptions
  • Costs for Review and Construction
  • Public Infrastructure Subsidies
  • Financing By Formula
  • Density Without Amenities
  • Low Expectations

IPA hosted a series of workshops in spring 2013 on “State and Local Government Regulatory Barriers to Complete Communities in Delaware.” The purpose of these workshops was to gain input on what are perceived to be top regulatory obstacles to creating more complete communities in Delaware and potential solutions on how to address those barriers. The workshop summary includes an overview of our workshop outreach and a discussion of key recommendations coming out of the workshops.


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