Bring Jobs to Delaware Act could fast-track certain development projects
DELAWARE – Lawmakers are hoping to boost Delaware’s economy with the Bring Jobs to Delaware Act. The bill would require New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties to speed up their review process for certain development projects.
“The number one need that businesses tell us about when it comes to economic development initiatives is always how fast to make it up and get started on their business. Time is money. So, every day that they can’t get up and started would make our state less attractive,” said bill sponsor Representative Mike Smith.
The fast-track review would only apply to properties zoned for offices, business parks, manufacturing, or industrial use. Residential or commercial retail projects would not be eligible. Municipalities would also not be subject to the bill. Plus, projects must bring 75,000 square feet of new space, and 60 full-time, permanent jobs.
Under the bill, the sped-up process would have to be completed within six months of the submission of a land use plan. The expedition would also depend on if the counties have all the necessary permits and approvals from non-county agencies in place.
Rep. Smith says Delaware is lagging behind when it comes to staying competitive in the business sector. “All we’re looking to do is use what Delaware does best, and that’s being able to get the right people in a room, make a decision, and get it done,” he said. “The state needs to do a better job of fast-tracking their projects. This isn’t a criticism of the counties. This is more of an effort to partner with the counties in order to get on the same page and get things done faster.”
As of Tuesday, the bill hasn’t been introduced to the Delaware General Assembly yet.