Investment Level 2
This investment level has many diverse characteristics. These areas can be composed of less developed areas within municipalities, rapidly growing areas in the counties that have or will have public water and wastewater services and utilities, areas that are generally adjacent to or near Investment Level 1 Areas, smaller towns and rural villages that should grow consistently with their historic character, and suburban areas with public water, wastewater, and utility services. These areas have been shown to be the most active portion of Delaware's developed landscape. They serve as transition areas between Level 1 and the state's more open, less populated areas. They generally contain a limited variety of housing types, predominantly detached single-family dwellings.
Investment Level 2 Strategies:
In Investment Level 2 Areas, like Investment Level 1 Areas, state investments and policies should support and encourage a wide range of uses and densities, promote other transportation options, foster efficient use of existing public and private investments, and enhance community identity and integrity.
Investments should encourage departure from the typical single-family-dwelling developments and promote a broader mix of housing types and commercial sites encouraging compact, mixed-use development where applicable. Overall, the state's intent is to use its spending and management tools to promote well-designed development in these areas. Such development provides for a variety of housing types, user-friendly transportation systems, and provides essential open spaces and recreational facilities, other public facilities, and services to promote a sense of community. Like the Level 1 Areas, Level 2 Areas would be a prime location for designating "pre-permitted areas."
Decisions about investments and policies should be based on these principles:
Agriculture: Promote urban forestry initiatives, farmers' markets, the sale of local agricultural products in traditional grocery stores, restaurants, as well as public and private institutions. Foster and promote efforts to expand public knowledge of agriculture, particularly animal agriculture. Further the Department of Agriculture's consumer- protection efforts in support of sustainable economic development.
Promote the use of nutrient BMP in the urban/suburban setting in support of improved water quality. Identify and pursue agricultural development opportunities such as retention and expansion of processing companies, institutional and retail food operations, and agricultural cooperatives.
Economic Development: Focus on locating large, high-quality employers in Investment Level 2 Areas where the availability of sites close to infrastructure, services, and existing residences makes such locations viable. Also, promote the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Consider providing enhanced incentives to those projects that select locations in Level 2 Areas.
Work with communities, property owners, federal and state agencies and developers to identify and promote the development of select greenfield locations for business and manufacturing parks that can take advantage of existing infrastructure with minimal expansion. Seek to reuse underused, abandoned, or "brownfield" sites, in a manner consistent with the Investment Level 2 Areas' character and needs. Aggressively seek alternative funding for development/ redevelopment projects in Level 2 Areas consistent with the desire to utilize existing infrastructure to the greatest extent possible.
Education: The same principals articulated under Investment Level 1 apply to Investment Level 2 Areas (see Investment Level 1 description).
Housing: Support residential growth supplemented with infrastructure and essential neighborhood services. Continue to encourage a broad mix of housing options, such as small single-family detached, duplexes, and townhomes, to meet the diverse needs of all income ranges and household types. In some areas, Level 2 may be appropriate for more compact development, once areas are built out and utilities are available. Also, rehabilitation efforts are needed to ensure safe and habitable housing.
Some areas of Level 2 are also experiencing the impacts of the foreclosure crisis through loss of homeownership and increased and longer-term vacancies and abandoned homes. Measures will be needed here to restore homeownership.
Natural Resources and the Environment: Extend existing or create new water and wastewater systems where logical, or where they would prevent future environmental or health risks. Protect critical waterways, promote establishment of greenways, and maintain "green" separators between more intensely developed areas. Provide grants and funding to reestablish forests within community open spaces, plant new trees, control invasive species, maintain existing resources, and promote connectivity of open areas.
State Facilities and Investments: Investment Level 2 Areas are also priority locations for new public uses and expanded existing uses. State investments in public facilities, such as libraries, courts and health-care and public safety buildings, should be strategically located to foster community identity and vitality.
Transportation: Level 2 Areas share similar priorities as with the Level 1 Areas where the aim remains to: make context sensitive transportation system capacity enhancements; preserve existing facilities; make safety enhancements; make transportation system-capacity improvements; create transit system enhancements; ensure ADA accessibility; and, close gaps in the pedestrian system, including the Safe Routes To School projects. Other priorities for Level 2 Areas include: Corridor Capacity Preservation; off-alignment multi-use paths; interconnectivity of neighborhoods and public facilities; and signal-system enhancements.