About Us

Founded in 1962, the Civic League For New Castle County is an organization comprised of community civic associations, umbrella civic groups, good government groups, businesses, and interested individuals. The League provides a forum for education about, discussion of, and action on issues relating to the impact of government on the quality of life in New Castle County

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Civic League For New Castle County Meeting - Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board Review - Set For 7PM Tuesday In Christiana

Date: Tuesday, February 20th , 2018  
Time:   7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Location: Christiana Presbyterian Church
15 North Old Baltimore Pike
Christiana, DE 19702

Upcoming Meetings of Note
WILMAPCO and DELDOT Transportation Public Workshop
Monday, February 26, 2018, 4-7 pm
Newark Free Library, 750 Library Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19711 
Delaware United Public Meeting and Legislators' Forum
Sunday, February 25, 2018, 2:30-5pm
UUFN, 420 Willa Road, Newark, DE 19711 
NCC Department of Land Use Community Open House 
March 1, 2018 from 5-7 pm in the James H. Gilliam Multipurpose Room located at 67 Reads Way in New Castle, at which time the Department will present:
• A general overview about updating the NCC 2012 Comprehensive Plan  
• Updates to the Unified Development Code: Part II (Process and Site Design)
• A follow-up discussion regarding transportation capacity 
• A general overview about updating the NCC 2012 Comprehensive Plan 
• Updates to the Unified Development Code: Part II (Process and Site Design) 
• A follow-up discussion regarding transportation capacity  
*Please note: This event is open to the public but space is limited. If you plan on attending, please register via Eventbrite by February 27, 2018 by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/yaszkjox  

County Civic Umbrella Group Meeting Report 
County Executive Meyer held a Quarterly Civic Umbrella Meeting on Monday, January 22nd with many CLNCC members attending. The public benefits from meeting as one group and hearing concerns brought by all constituents. 
Mr. Meyer is still considering names for Planning Board Chair as that position remains open and the Board is two members short. 
One bright note: after calling attention to the Department of Land Use current practice of bringing plans forward to the Planning Board without a traffic impact study, DLU GM Rich Hall agreed to revisit the change made in the code under Paul Clark that allows this unfair practice. Citizens pointed out that the Supreme Court ruling on Barley Mill Plaza speaks directly to this mischief. 
There are several controversial development applications in play that absolutely require a TIS to be
included in deliberations. 

DNREC consultant stumbles on legal details in its Draft CZCPA Process Recommendations Report 
By Vic Singer 
The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, CZCPA, was enacted as HB 190 last June by the General Assembly to modify Delaware's renowned Coastal Zone Act by enabling previously forbidden heavy industry activities on fourteen designated sites within the Coastal Zone. DNREC is required to prepare new regulations to guide the new activities. DNREC engaged the Consensus Building Institute, CBI, to recommend, initially, how to organize a Regulatory Advisory Committee, RAC, to support development of the new regulations. 
CBI undertook individual private interviews with people selected by CBI or DNREC to gather suggestions. After a public outcry objecting to the conduct of public business in private meetings with people with wallet-based interests, CBI conducted further private interviews with others who asked for the opportunity, and DNREC hastily held two public meetings with constrained agendas. 
On December 22, CBI released a draft "Process Recommendation Report" and asked for written comments
by January 19, 2018. Vic Singer submitted comments, repeated below between lines of ~~~~, supplementing his verbal and written comments during an interview some months earlier at Buena Vista with a CBI employee, without repeating them.
CBI's thirteen recommendations implicitly reflect the notion that DNREC's Secretary holds exclusive
authority to establish how to revise Delaware's Coastal Zone Regulation to reflect no less than the newly
legislated requirements of the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (CZCPA) -- HB 190 enacted in the 2017
session of the General Assembly. In an introductory "Background" statement, the DNREC Secretary's role
is to be aided and abetted by a Regulatory Advisory Committee -- RAC -- that DNREC is to lead. The
charge for the RAC is to "support its [ i.e., DNREC's ] development of new regulations."
Recommendation #1 urges the RAC to deal only with features reflecting the CZCPA, and not with other provisions needful of attention. Recommendations #2 thru #6 urge the DNREC Secretary to categorize RAC membership, establish membership qualification and/or disqualification criteria, to allow or disallow the RAC to form subcommittees whenever it so chooses, Recommendation #7 and #8 urge the DNREC
Secretary and/or the RAC to TRY to reach out to the larger community.
Recommendation #9 urges the DNREC Secretary to give direction to the RAC to draft "detailed prescriptive guidance" for DNREC's staff to prepare actual regulations, which the RAC might -- or might not -- be allowed to review and critique. Recommendations #10 thru #13 involve RAC's work plan, work schedule and procedures, all under DNREC control. 
Clearly, CBI judges that the DNREC Secretary and the Department he heads are totally in control. Whether or not that's consistent with the legislative intent deserves careful attention to the words enacted by the General Assembly. 
The CZCPA was written as an addition to Delaware's Coastal Zone Act, CZA, to enable some previously
prohibited activities and to preserve other prohibitions. That is reflected in the engrossed version of the
CZA available on the internet at http://test.delcode.delaware.gov/title7/c070/index.html.
Except for changes to accommodate newly permissible activities, the provisions of 7 Del. C. Section 7005
"Administration of this chapter" are preserved as they were prior to HB 190. Under Subsection 7005(b), the DNREC Secretary is authorized to issue regulations which do not have the force of law unless approved by the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, CZICB. And under Subsection 7005(c) the DNREC Secretary is required to develop and propose a comprehensive plan and guidelines for conversion permits which become binding regulations upon adoption by the CZICB after public hearing. And under Subsection 7005(d), DNREC and all other agencies of state government must assist the CZICB in developing policies and procedures and must provide all information that the CZICB may require.
Broadly interpreted, the General Assembly gave to the CZICB the authority to alter any part of or the entirety of any comprehensive plan or regulation proposed by DNREC and/or its Secretary at any time that the CZICB chooses to do so. 
Yet the thirteen CBI recommendations do not mention any role for the CZICB in any part of the process for developing regulatory controls over newly authorized activities in the Coastal Zone. The thirteen CBI recommendations presuppose that the RAC will be totally controlled by DNREC and/or its Secretary, that effectively the RAC will be a puppet on the Secretary's strings. But the legislative intent according to the words of the CZA and the CZCPA enacted by the General Assembly is that for the Coastal Zone, DNREC and/or its Secretary are to be totally controlled by the CZICB, effectively puppets on CZICB's strings. 
Clearly, CBI knows that its clients are the DNREC Secretary and DNREC, and that the clients want to be in
total control despite what the law says. Indeed, recent history mutely demonstrates that the CZICB's overwhelming desire is to go along to get along, i.e., to be a puppet on DNREC's string. A notable recent demonstration of that, is the CZICB's refusal to hear an appeal on a CZ permit on the premise that the appellant didn't qualify for "standing" even though Section 7 Del. C. 7007(b) gives standing to "any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Secretary" and the Section 7 Del. C. 7002(h) definition of "person" as "any individual or group of individuals . . . or any other legal entity."
Since the CZICB would appear to be puppets on DNREC's or its Secretary's string, seeking CZICB's approval for proceeding according to the CBI recommendations might seem a mere formality. Exploring whether or not the CZICB would need to hold a public hearing before endorsing the CBI recommendations is an issue better explored at the outset than at the end of the process. 
CBI needs to add to its final recommendation report an epilogue that it gives at least lip service to the statutory authority of the CZICB along with an explanation for why that wasn't recognized in its draft report. CBI needs to demonstrate that it has read AND UNDERSTOOD both the CZCPA and the CZA in order to make its work product worthy of respect. 
*Vic transmitted his comments electronically at 1:09 pm Jan 19, and DNREC acknowledged receipt at 2:22 pm. Coincidentally, at 1:22 pm on Jan 19, 13 minutes after Vic's electronic transmission, the Delaware Superior Court "EFiled" its disposition of the Appeal from the CZICB's denial of standing in the case that Vic cited to demonstrate that the CZICB is a puppet on DNREC's or its Secretary's string. The court's disposition: after citing the CZA provision on standing, remand to the CZICB for re consideration.
Read Bill Dunn's Delaware Voice article HERE and HERE - Let Community Experts into Coastal Zone Act  Process

Send us your storiesWhat is important to you? Do you have an issue in your community that needs to be addressed? We want to hear from you, our loyal members. Let us know how we can help!

CLNCC Contact Info: 
President Jordyn Pusey President@CivicLeagueforNCC.Org (302) 388-1101 
Vice President Bill Dunn bill_done@msn.com (302) 994-9334  
Vice President Nancy Willing nancyvwilling@yahoo.com (302) 294-1939 
Treasurer Scot Sauer treasurer@civicleagueforncc.org (302) 996-9075 
Secretary Barry Shotwell cnb.shotwell@yahoo.com (302) 584-2242

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