New Kent comprehensive plan nears adoption

DOVER — A public hearing scheduled for adoption of the 2018 Kent County Comprehensive Plan was postponed at Tuesday night’s Levy Court meeting.

According to the county’s planning department, the hearing has been tentatively rescheduled for Aug. 21.

Although the plan was already accepted by the Regional Planning Commission, the public will have a final chance to comment on the proposed plan before it’s adopted.

The first draft of the comprehensive plan was released in February after about 18 months of preparation. In the following months, several public workshops were hosted by the planning department to collect feedback on the document and fine-tune its recommendations.

The 169-page final draft includes detailed plans and projects related to demographics, economic development, housing, community facilities, conservation, historic preservation, land use, transportation, community design, intergovernmental coordination and implementation strategies.

Urging the public to examine the plan county planning director Sarah Keifer has said the plan is the “story of Kent County’s residents.”

“It’s often described as the planning department’s comp plan, but it’s not, it’s the county’s plan,” she said in February. “For it to be useful, it needs to reflect the vision, hopes and interests of the people who live and work here. The more input we get, the more useful the document is.”

The existing comprehensive plan is from 2007.

According to the planning department multiple surveys revealed that county residents biggest priority for the next 10 years is the cultivation of high quality jobs.

“We knew going in that economic development was going to be a concern among residents, but we didn’t expect the intensity of that concern,” Ms. Keifer has said.

“Being the story of a community, each comp plan tends to have a theme of sorts. Ten years ago, it was that infrastructure needed to catch up with development because we’d gone through a building boom — but 10 years later, it’s that we need to focus efforts on job creation.

“Our demographics show that we’re losing the younger populations to other areas with more job prospects.”

The final draft of the plan is available for review and can be accessed through Facebook, Twitter or the county’s website. Comments can be made through the same channels in addition to the public hearing.

• Facebook: www.facebook.com/KCLCPlanning/

• Twitter: KentCountyPlanning@KCplanning

• Kent County website: co.kent.de.us

Planning staff may be contacted directly by emailing Planning@co.kent.de.us or by calling 302-744-2471.

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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