DelDOT has prepared this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Local governments that are interested in developing a TID, should contact DelDOT planner Bill Brockenbrough (302.760.2109 or Thomas.email@example.com) for assistance and guidance. DelDOT’s TID regulations may also be viewed here.
What is the purpose of a Transportation Improvement District (TID)?
The purpose of a TID is to comprehensively coordinate land use and transportation within a specific geographical area and to secure required improvements to transportation facilities within that area.
How are TIDs created?
TIDs are created by agreement between DelDOT and the relevant Delaware local government (town, city, or county) or governments. Where a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) exists, they would also be a party to the agreement.
Is it mandatory for a Delaware local government to have TIDs?
No. In fact, DelDOT will not create a TID without the local government addressing the need and desire to create a TID within a Comprehensive Plan update or amendment.
What is the benefit to a local government that wishes to establish a TID?
Establishing a TID provides for comprehensive land use and transportation planning in the District. For development consistent with the planning done for the TID, it eliminates the need for Traffic Impact Studies (TIS) and thus accelerates the plan approval process.
If a local government wants to create a TID, what is the process?
Creating a TID begins with the parties entering a TID agreement, which establishes the District boundaries, the horizon year for which they will plan, standards for adequate transportation facilities in the District, and the roles of the parties. The parties then work as agreed to develop a land use and transportation plan for the TID, a set of buildable projects to implement the transportation improvements identified in the plan, a fee formula to fund or subsidize those improvements, and a monitoring program to track the need for the projects. These items are incorporated into the TID agreement as they are completed.
What would be the impact to the staff?
Creating the TID requires the local government to develop a detailed land use plan for the area in the District and working with DelDOT to establish criteria for what adequate transportation means in the District and what is an acceptable program of transportation improvements to achieve adequacy. It may be more appropriate for the jurisdiction’s Planning Commission to do this work than to delegate it to staff, but local government involvement is essential. DelDOT and the MPO can help in these regards.
Administration of the TID involves collecting fees from developers to pay for needed transportation facilities. How this collection is done is something on which DelDOT and the jurisdiction have to agree. For local governments with adequate staff, DelDOT would prefer that the jurisdiction collect the fees as part of its building permit process, hold the money and reimburse DelDOT for expenses as necessary.
If a local government wants to create a TID, what is its responsibility?
Specific responsibilities will need to be established in the TID agreement but broadly they would have responsibility in three areas: 1) developing the land use plan and identifying what adequate transportation means within the TID; 2) collecting and administering fees; and, as necessary, and 3) advocating the inclusion of projects in DelDOT’s six-year Capital Transportation Program. Also see, “What would be the impact to staff?”
Is there a cost to a local government to participate in TIDs? Will it responsible for paying for the traffic study?
The costs to the local government would be in staff time, and possibly in consultant fees if a consultant is used to assist with land use planning. DelDOT plans to propose legislation whereby they would charge developers within the TID a fee to subsidize the traffic study; the local government would not be responsible for paying for the traffic study.
What are the implications if a TID crosses jurisdictional boundaries?
If the TID crosses jurisdictional boundaries, more than one local government will need to be a party to the TID agreement and participate in the planning aspects of the TID. It may or may not be appropriate for one of the local governments to handle the administrative aspects. That would have to be agreed on.
Will the counties be a part of this process?
Yes, if they want to be. DelDOT has met with the counties to determine their interest in creating TIDs. Kent County has already identified areas where they want to create TIDs.
Do TIDs currently exist in Delaware?
There are two TIDs operating, Westown in Middletown and the Southern New Castle County TID. Both of these districts pre-date DelDOT’s current TID regulations. Two others, Eastown in Middletown and the US Route 13/Bay Road Corridor TID in Dover, are in development.
Does the TID replace the need for the developer to obtain a TIS?
Yes, if their development is consistent with the agreed upon land use plan for the TID.
Are the fees associated with TIDs a duplicate cost?
No. The infrastructure fee associated with developing in the TID takes the place of off-site improvements developers would otherwise be required to make. If they are required to make off-site improvements, their fee will be reduced accordingly. Earlier this year, DelDOT considered seeking legislative authorization for a fee that would subsidize its costs in preparing the traffic study for the TID. Developers paying this fee would not have had to do their own TIS.
What is the life of a TID and how often does it have to be amended?
The planning effort for the TID will be done with a target horizon year, typically about 20 years. It will need to be updated as the town or municipality’s Comprehensive Plan is updated. Once the area within the TID is more or less fully developed, it should probably be dissolved.
If a local government that does not own any roads chooses not to establish a TID, and a large box store comes in to build, will DelDOT charge the jurisdiction for the traffic study?
No. Under no circumstance would DelDOT charge a Town for a traffic study associated with a commercial development. Developers presently pay for their own TIS. If a TID is created, DelDOT will fund the traffic study from State funds. The legislation we considered would have allowed us to recoup some of that cost from the developers.
What will be done to address jurisdictional issues?
In some locations, development in one local government can have implications on traffic in another jurisdiction. TIDs will likely need to have inner and outer boundaries, the inner boundary defining the area for land planning and the outer boundary defining the area for transportation planning.