2019 Comprehensive Plan

Click here to take our survey for the 2019 Comprehensive Plan!

What is Dover's 2019 Comprehensive Plan?

The City's Comprehensive Plan is a roadmap for Dover's future growth and development. It addresses many of the questions that arise when new people arrive in the city- where will they live? Where will they work? How will essential services be provided to them? And most importantly, how can the City help its residents achieve a high quality of life?

More than just a list of goals, the Comprehensive Plan is an important informational, policy, and regulatory document. The City Council and The Planning Commission use it as the foundation for rezoning, annexations, and other land use decisions. The City's Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map are required under State Law to be in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, meaning all changes to the City's zoning laws, and all zoning changes affecting how land can be used, must directly or indirectly support the goals of the Plan.

The current version of the Comprehensive Plan is the 2008 Comprehensive Plan . State Law also requires that the City's Comprehensive Plan be renewed at least every ten years. Therefore, in the summer and fall of 2018, the City's Planning Office is hard at work gathering information to update the plan. Our goals for the new 2019 plan are to report on the implementation status of the 2008 plan; add in recommendations from other plans and studies conducted over the past decade; assess the significance of demographic and economic changes; identify the City's accomplishments; and reflect on new trends that may factor into the City's plan for growth.

The creation of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan represents an important opportunity for citizens to participate in the future of their community. We want your feedback and vision, so we can ensure the plan's goals are the goals of the people of Dover.

How can I participate in the 2019 Comprehensive Plan?

To start, the Planning Office has prepared a survey covering a wide range of topics on which we are seeking public opinion. All questions on the survey are optional , meaning you can answer the whole thing or focus on the topic areas you are most passionate about. The topics covered under the survey are as follows:

  • Economic Development
  • Downtown Dover
  • Housing
  • Traffic and Transit
  • Utilities and Services
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Natural Environment
  • Development and Urban Design
  • Land Use, Growth, and Annexation
  • Dover Air Force Base

The survey is available online here . After taking the survey, you'll get a chance to see how other online survey respondents answered the questions.

Paper copies of the survey can also be picked up from City Hall , the Dover Public Library , Customer Services , and the Pitts Center . Completed paper surveys should be brought to the Planning & Inspections Front Desk at City Hall.

Please participate, and share the survey with family and friends! The more people take the survey, the more accurate a picture it will paint of the preferences of the public.

How can I stay up to date on the 2019 Comprehensive Plan?

The Planning Office will post more information about the Comprehensive Plan periodically on this page. Announcements will also be posted on the City website front page and on the City's Facebook page . If you have not already followed the City's Facebook, please do, as it is a great way to learn about news coming from the City on a variety of topics.

The Planning Office will also be scheduling in-person outreach events to the public. A list of currently scheduled events is below. Please revisit this page in the future to learn about more events as they are scheduled.

Upcoming Outreach Events
"Dover Economic Development forum: An Economist Vision of Dover" (concluded)
A panel presentation and discussion on the future of Dover's economy.
June 13, 2018, 10:00AM to 1:00PM at Wilmington University
3282 N. DuPont Hwy., Building A, Dover DE
To attend this event, please RSVP to Jean Davis at
jean.m.davis@wilm.edu or 302-342-8630. Seating is limited.
"Mayor's Economic Development Meeting on Housing"
A discussion with local realtors and homebuilders on the future of Dover's housing market.
July 11, 2018, 2:00PM to 3:00PM at City Hall
15 Loockerman Plaza, Dover DE

An overarching schedule for the Comprehensive Plan development process is as follows:

2019 Comprehensive Plan Development Schedule
Information Gathering
  • Data Gathering
  • Analysis of 2008 Plan
  • Pre-Update Review with State PLUS process
  • Meetings with outside Agencies and other stakeholders
  • Public Engagement Events
February through September 2018
Plan & Map Development
  • Chapter Writing
  • Review & Preparation of Maps
  • Development of Goals, Recommendations, & Actions
July through September 2018
Consideration of Plan Recommendations
  • Public Engagement Events
  • General Endorsement of Draft Plan by Planning Commission and City Council
September 2018
Formal Review & Adoption Process
  • PLUS Review/PLUS Letter
  • Plan Revisions
  • Planning Commission Hearing & Action
  • City Council Hearing & Action
  • Plan Certification
October 2018 through February 2019
Plan Implementation
  • Final Publication
  • Implementation Work on Action Items
February 2019 and ongoing

What if I have other questions?

If you have questions on the Comprehensive Plan , please contact Planning Staff at compplan@dover.de.us , or call the Planning Office at 302-736-7196.