Changes to DelDOT’s Subdivision Plan Review Process
In response to comments from the development and engineering communities and in keeping with Governor Carney’s expressed objective to improve upon processes and procedures within state government, especially as it relates to economic development, the Delaware Department of Transportation (“DelDOT”) has been implementing changes to its Subdivision Plan Review Process in an effort to make the process more streamlined in order to support business and foster economic growth across the state. Several recent changes are worthy of note.
DelDOT has shortened the review time for plans to 31 days (a reduction of 13 days). DelDOT further is working to limit the number of times a plan is reviewed by the Department with the goal that approval shall issue after no more than two reviews.
As part of the process to implement these changes, as of July 13, 2020, development engineers will be invited to DelDOT’s Plan Review Meetings to permit more communication between DelDOT and those engineers. This will take place for the first submission of each of the formal plan approval processes including for Record Plans, Entrance Plans, RED Plans and Subdivision Street Plans. DelDOT’s comments will be available before the scheduled meeting and the development engineer can provide comments to DelDOT’s comments before the scheduled meeting.
For plans not involving a change in entrance/access that typically require a Letter of No Contention (LONC), DelDOT’s stated goal is to issue the LONC within three weeks.
DelDOT has also created and implemented the Expedited Review Team to work with local land use agencies to identify criteria to expedite the approval process for projects that have a significant economic impact to the state.
In addition, effective July 24, 2020, DelDOT announced further changes to support growing businesses in Delaware in the form of DelDOT’s new Small Commercial Entrance. This would streamline the process for eligible small businesses by affording applicants the option of implementing an approved entrance plan template in lieu of requiring the small business to design and pay for its own private entrance design. To be eligible, the project must:
- Be a single lot commercial project requesting a single entrance.
- Not currently have or cause any of the following: utility relocations, drainage issues, additional drainage to the state right of way and/or curbing.
- Either be exempt from the DNREC Stormwater Regulations or qualify for the “Non-Residential Construction with less than 1.0 acre Disturbed” Standard Plan.
- Generate less than 200 Average Daily Trips.
However, if turn lanes are warranted, then the formal plan review process, Letter of No Objection to Recordation (LONOR) and Entrance Plan Approval (EPA) will be required.
A list of the type of land uses that likely would be eligible for the Small Commercial Entrance process is below.