Get Involved! Participate! Zoning Impacts Everyone. Kent County is currently in the process of a Comprehensive Rezoning Process.
“Your liberty to swing your fists ends where my nose begins”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Property ownership comes with many rights which are superseded by zoning ordinances that establish regulations to ensure land is developed in a way that protects the rights of all members and property owners in a community, not just the individual. It helps to reduce conflict between neighbors and provides a framework to help create good neighbor policies. When land use on a property next to yours creates a nuisance that impacts your property, the fists are touching your nose.
The Land Use Ordinance (LUO) is a tool to outline regulations that control land and property to ensure complementary uses and orderly development. In Kent County the 17 zoning districts are each governed by specified written text, outlining such items as allowed lot size, density, and permitted activities allowed. The LUO is governed by the Comprehensive Plan.
Zoning can be used as a tool to encourage certain types of development, such as Commercial Development or Multi-family dwelling units. It can also be protective and give certainty to property owners that the neighboring property will not be allowed to develop a project that would not be compatible. The text in the LUO will describe whether the property next door will be able to become a sand and gravel operation, an apartment building, or a bar. This allows you to make a determination of the value of the property to you. In a rezoning, there is always the possibility that what was not allowed when you purchased the property will be changed. This happens on a routine basis with Text Amendments to the LUO, but with an entire Rezoning process there is the possibility of many changes occurring at once. Only if you are paying attention will you be able offer insights into the decision making process and how it might impact your property, and what change you do and do not want to see enacted.
Land Use is not a constant, and revisions are often necessary. But it is of upmost importance that the amendments made do not threaten to undermine the values expressed by the public or create a change in rules that diminish the value of an individual’s properties.
Currently Kent County is undergoing a Comprehensive Rezoning. Changes are likely to occur not just in how the Land Use Ordinance looks, but also on the content. There is limited time for you to have input.
Expression of concern over land use changes that might impact the enjoyment or the value of your property in the future, after a policy decision has already been made, is a lost opportunity and you will have an uphill battle to fight that unwanted project next door if it should arise. The appropriate time to head off the issues is before changes are finalized by the County’s Commissioners.
The opportunity to have a say in this crucial decision making process is available and your insights must be considered, but only if you are willing to take the opportunity to ask questions and speak up during the Comprehensive Rezoning process.
There will be a Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Rezoning, one of 5, on April 28, 2021 at 6 PM. Attendance will be in Person, using Microsoft Teams, or by Phone. Instructions for how to participate is given on page 6 of the agenda in the link above. But here is a brief summary of the ways to participate.
• In-Person attendance requires registration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Video via Teams requires registration, text you name, street address and email to 410-708-4063. A link will be sent to you just prior to the meeting.
• Call in and give comments by phone” 1-872-239-8359 enter Conference ID: 502 195 278#
• Watch the proceedings without commenting on YouTube.
For more information on Schedules and Public Meetings of the Comprehensive Rezoning Task Force visit:
CRU Task Force 2021 Calendar
Comprehensive Rezoning and Land Use Task Force Portal