Sustainable communities are vibrant, healthy and prepared to meet the challenges of a changing world. Sustainable communities are able to balance demands for environmental protection, resiliency, and economic growth.
Planning is central to sustainable, resilient and vibrant communities. Planning can happen at all levels of community organization — state, county, regional, municipal, or neighborhood. Planning allows communities to protect their natural resources, prepare for unexpected events, keep people safe, grow their economies, and meet the social needs of residents. The Division of Energy and Climate offers grant programs, expertise and resources to help local governments, community groups, and partners develop sustainable programs to improve their communities.
Green infrastructure uses engineering and nature’s own systems to address environmental challenges like erosion, flooding, and pollution.
The Division of Energy and Climate offers free weatherization assistance to help establish comfortable, energy-saving homes.
The DNREC Sustainable Planning Section provides land use planning and development expertise to help local governments reach Delaware’s livability goals through environmental protection and the wise use of its natural resources.
The Section coordinates DNREC’s participation in the Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS), a multi-state agency review of major residential and non-residential development proposals, rezonings, conditional uses, annexations, and local land use plans and ordinances.
Land use change proposals submitted for PLUS review are distributed to programs throughout the Department for review and comment. Those comments are compiled in a single document to reflect potential issues and possible solutions identified by DNREC staff. The Sustainable Planning Section presents the comments at monthly PLUS meetings convened by the Office of State Planning Coordination and in writing following the PLUS meeting.
The Sustainable Planning Section also conducts monthly Planners Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) meetings to discuss pending projects and planning issues within the Department.