2019 Comprehensive Plan

NEW (6/12/2019) - Please join us for an opportunity to learn about the City's Historic District and participate in review of the Historic Preservation Chapter for the 2019 Comprehensive Plan. Details are below in the "Upcoming Outreach Events" section of this page.

Stay tuned to this page for uploads of presentations and data, and for news of future engagement events. The latest uploads can be found at the bottom of this page under the "additional resources" heading.

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  gathered information to update the plan, and in the spring of 2019 has been writing the new document. 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 prepared a survey covering a wide range of topics on which we are seeking public opinion. The survey ran between June 11 and July 31st of 2018.  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

Over 500 responses to the survey were collected. The Planning Office analyzed the results and presented findings at the first Comprehensive Plan Open House, which occurred on on August 23, 2018. Presentations on the data from the August 23 Open House may be found below:

Presentation For Open House on Comp Plan 8-23-2018.pdf

Rolling Presentation for Open House event 8-23-2018.pdf

Stay tuned to this page for additional data, and to learn about future open house events which will provide more opportunities for engagement. A second open house event will be held to gather feedback on the first complete draft of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan.


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
"Mayor's Economic Development Meeting on Housing" (concluded)
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
"Comprehensive Plan Open House" (concluded)
A presentation on findings from the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Survey, together with mapping activities and further feedback collection.
August 23, 2018, 3PM to 7PM at the Dover Public Library
The presentation on survey findings will be held at 3:30PM and again at 5:30PM
35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover DE
"City of Dover Historic District Workshop"
A presentation on the draft Historic Preservation chapter of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, together with discussion of Dover' Historic District.
June 20, 2019, 4:00PM to 6:00PM at City Hall, in the Council Chambers and Lobby
Presentation begins at 5:00 PM
15 Loockerman Plaza, Dover DE

The Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues has approved a comprehensive plan extension, which allows the 2008 Comprehensive Plan to remain in effect while the 2019 Comprehensive Plan is completed. Under the extension, the 2019 Comprehensive Plan must be certified no later than February 2020. Based on the extension, the adjusted 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 2018 - September 2018
Plan & Map Development
  • Chapter Writing
  • Review & Preparation of Maps
  • Development of Goals, Recommendations, & Actions
August 2018 - present
Consideration of Plan Recommendations
  • Public Engagement Events
  • General Endorsement of Draft Plan by Planning Commission and City Council
Summer 2019
Formal Review & Adoption Process
  • PLUS Review/PLUS Letter
  • Plan Revisions
  • Planning Commission Hearing & Action
  • City Council Hearing & Action
  • Plan Certification
Summer 2019
Plan Implementation
  • Final Publication
  • Implementation Work on Action Items
Summer 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.

Additional Resources

Preliminary list of Comprehensive Plan Goals as of August 23, 2018: Preliminary DRAFT 2019 Comp Plan Goals Chart.pdf

Preliminary draft Land Development Plan Map as of August 23, 2018: Preliminary Draft Land Development Plan Maps 8-23-18.pdf

Preliminary draft Annexation Maps (Areas Map and Land Use Map) as of October 5, 2018: Draft Annexation Maps 10-5-18.pdf

Preliminary draft Comprehensive Plan Goals, Recommendations, and Action Items as of October 10, 2018: Preliminary DRAFT Goals and Recommendations 10-10-2018.pdf

Preliminary draft Comprehensive Plan Goals, Recommendations, and Action Items as of February 28, 2019: Preliminary DRAFT#2A Goals and Recommendations 2-28-2019.pdf