The Land Use Committee is working to develop a program that will advance the policies of the Club and the Chapter, provide a variety of projects to match various members' interests, and improve the quality of life in Delaware.
The Chapter has a long history in land use issues and existing policies and positions may be found on this web site, along with relevant policies of the Sierra Club.
The primary focus of the Committee's work initially will be a review of Delaware's planning legislation at the State and local (county and municipal) levels. The original State Planning Act was passed by the General Assembly in 1961 (Laws of Delaware Chapter 184, pages 542 - 553). New Castle County and the municipalities had planning and zoning authority prior to that; Kent and Sussex Counties got enabling legislation in 1968. The State Planning Act was repealed but various pieces of legislation have restored parts of the concept. However, there has not been a comprehensive review since the Council of State Governments drafted the 1961 proposal.
Another issue that could be developed if there is adequate member interest is sea level rise and shoreline erosion. There is much talk about global warming and resultant sea level rise. Without engaging in that debate one way or the other, the fact is that the sea rises and the shoreline moves landward and land use policy and regulatory programs need to operate in conjunction with that knowledge, not merely keep paying people to rebuild structures demolished by natural forces.
There is also the matter of the required periodic updating of local comprehensive plans and their implementation which needs the oversight of a conservation-oriented organization.