Dover’s comprehensive plan offers glimpse into next decade

DOVER, Del. – Dover officials are trying their best to predict the future of the city and you could say that the latest draft of the city’s comprehensive plan serves as a crystal ball of some sort.

The bottom line is Dover is changing and growing so its comprehensive plan from 2008-2009 is definitely outdated. To remind you in the year 2008 the Olympics were in Beijing  and Apple released the iPhone 3. It’s fair to say a lot has changed in the past decade and Dover’s comprehensive plan needs an update when it comes to the next ten years.

According to David Hugg, the director of planning and inspection for Dover, the comprehensive plan addresses the following questions, “What is happening? What’s gotten us to this point? And what does it mean for the future?”

Now, Dover officials are sharing the draft of the city’s comprehensive plan with the public. “Be progressive, be a growing city, bring new goods and services. So you know improve the quality of life but at the end of the day we still wanted the feel that Dover has.”

While the plan consists of hundreds of pages, the main takeaways are areas where the city can embrace growth. “There are key issues in every one of those topic areas making sure that we have a transportation system that accommodates the future growth or that we have adequate affordable housing,” says Hugg.

Officials say this plan also addresses the shift that certain career industries are seeing. “The economy has evolved particularly in the last ten years away from manufacturing and increasingly towards healthcare and heavily towards retail,” says Hugg.

While Dover officials want to refine job industries they’re also looking to capitalize on opportunities unique to the area like the Dover Air Force Base. “It reflects the interest of the county and the city of building on the airbase. Building on the business of the terminal out there that we’re trying really hard to get something more to happen than the occasional NASCAR planes that come in,” says Hugg.

The plan also includes a new approach on environmental issues, an area of concern that’s being brought to the table across Delmarva. “So that gets you into discussions of what’s the impact of electric vehicles? What’s the impact of energy efficiency?”

Officials tell 47 ABC the hope is that this plan propels the city into the future while maintaining Dover’s original characteristics. “I think we’ve tried very hard I would say we’ve tried very very hard to recognize that while it’s a growing city it’s still a small town,” says Hugg.

Dover leaders say they’re also emphasizing mixed use areas across the city, like downtown where there’s a combination of residential and commercial pieces. By keeping the plan up to date, city leaders hope they’ll keep young people working and living in the area.

If you’re interested in learning more about this draft of the comprehensive plan the city is holding an open house Thursday, October 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

You can view the full comprehensive plan online: here.

You can use the following methods to ask officials any questions or provide comments on the comprehensive plan:

  • City of Dover Planning Office: 302-736-7196
  • Project e-mail address:
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