In the Town of Bellefonte all building and plumbing must comply with Building and Plumbing Ordinance 2006-03 and a building or plumbing permit is required. Please consult Building and Plumbing Ordinance 2006-03 and the inspector(s) before beginning any building or plumbing projects. Contact information for the Town’s inspectors and other Town officials is on the Town Council Information web page.
Municipalities and governments are granted the authority to establish and enforce Building and Zoning Codes by the Delaware State Legislature. This authority is governed by Delaware Code, Title 22, Chapter 3. More information can be found at the State website Online Delaware Code.
The Town of Bellefonte, through its Charter from the State, must set and enforce both Building Codes and Zoning Ordinances. Per the Bellefonte Building and Plumbing, May 16, 1941, Building Permits are required for all projects that “build, alter, or expand” a building in Bellefonte. This includes demolition of a structure.
About Building Permits
The authority to establish and enforce Building and Zoning Codes is governed by Delaware Code, Title 22, Chapter 3.
Per the Building and Plumbing Ordinance 2006-03, Building Permits are required for any construction project to build, alter, or enlarge any structure with the corporate town limits. This ordinance applies whether the work is being done by the homeowner or a contractor.
In agreement with NCC permit exemptions, the following projects DO NOT require a permit: Window replacement, siding replacement, shingle replacement (unless more than 25% of the subroofing is being replaced or if structural support beams are being replaced), or other cosmetic improvements that do not affect the structural integrity of the building. Permits are also required for any “out building,” such as a garage or shed. Decks and porches require a permit, as does a poured concrete drive or sidewalk, as they are structural and intended to hold weight.
Patios and walkways with slates, pavers, or stone, are considered “landscaping” or temporary and do not require a permit. If you plan on putting in a driveway, you must first obtain written permission from DelDOT to cut down the curb, as it is the property of DelDOT.
Applying for a Building Permit
To apply for a Building Permit, contact the Town of Bellefonte Commission, at (302) 761-9638 Mailbox 0. The Commission will have the building inspector contact you to supply you with an Application for Building Permit. Complete the form as best you can, or have your contractor complete the form. When valuing a construction project, you may enter the cost of the project is you are using a contractor. If you are doing it yourself, the valuation is the total cost of the supplies to be used. Approval of the valuation of the project is at the discretion and judgement of the Building Inspector, so be as accurate as possible, or the Building Inspector can set the valuation for you. The fees for a permit are $8.00 for every $1,000 of the project with a minimum of $50. For example, a $10,000 project is $80 10 x 8$). If your project includes additional plumbing or mechanical work (heating/central air conditioning), you must also obtain a permit from the Plumbing Inspector.
Along with the application, you will be required to supply the Building Inspector with three copies of plans for the project. These plans should be drawn to at least 1/8th inch to the foot scale, and should provide detailed drawings of footers, foundations, and main supports, noting the size and materials to be used. The Building Inspector may, but is not required to, ask you for elevated views of the project.
Once these requirements are met, the Building Inspector will review your plans to see that they meet the Bellefonte Building Codes and the Land Use Code (Adopted 2010).
The Zoning Ordinances are rules about how far away a structure may be from the property line, how high, etc. It is a good idea to review these requirements before you start to plan your project. If all these requirements are met, the Building Inspector will approve your permit (you will pay the permit fee directly to the Building Inspector made out to THE TOWN OF BELLEFONTE). You are required to post your permit in a place visible from the street.
The Inspector will inform you of any interim inspections that will be required during construction however, he has the authority to come onto your property at any time during construction to verify that plans are being followed and that the work site is safe from hazards.
Any electrical work must be certified by a licensed electrical inspector before you close the walls with drywall. The Building Inspector can give you the names of the approved electrical inspectors. Follow the Building Inspector’s schedule of interim inspections, or you risk having to de-construct, or worse, you will be denied a Certificate of Compliance/Occupancy (CO). Transferring property without a CO is a violation of code and may hinder your ability to get fire/property insurance. NOTE: We recommend that you schedule your final inspection for CO before you pay your contractor. If there are any deficiencies and your CO is denied, you may have trouble getting the contractor to correct the deficiencies.
Also, be aware of tobo_1990-01-08_ordinance89-1_drainagecode,
the Water Drainage Ordinance (an amendment to the Building and Plumbing Code), which prohibits anyone from altering their property in such as way that affects proper drainage from the property. Water cannot pool, nor can water flow onto an adjoining property as a result of your construction project. The Building Inspector may require an engineering plan be submitted if he suspects that your project may cause a future drainage problem. If your project does create a drainage problem, Ordinance 89-1 requires you to fix the problem at your expense.
If you are denied a Building Permit, the Building Inspector will provide you with a letter stating the reason for the denial, and will return your fees. You can either correct the deficiency in the plans, or you may appeal the decision of the Building Inspector with the Bellefonte Board of Adjustment. Your appeal to the Board of Adjustment is also known as a variance.
If you have any questions about this process may write to the Bellefonte Town Commission at:
Bellefonte Town Hall
901A Rosedale Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19809
(302) 761-9638 Mailbox 0
Real Estate Transfer Tax
Realtors and settlement attorneys, for answers to questions about outstanding taxes on properties in Bellefonte, please contact Curt Nass at 302-252-7007 or email him.
Bellefonte has adopted the New Castle County Property Maintenance Code and named New Castle County as the enforcement agency for the town, effective September 13, 2005.
A complete copy of the IBC/BOCA Property Maintenance Codes can be reviewed at Bellefonte Town Hall during regular business hours: Second Monday of each month 7 pm-9 pm, and Fourth Tuesday of each month 7 pm - 8:30 pm. This document represents a copy of the Property Maintenance Section of the New Castle County Code as amended. This is an unofficial reprint and neither New Castle County nor the Town of Bellefonte can accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors in the document. Please contact the Office of Code Enforcement at 302-395-5555 if you have any questions or comments, or refer to the Official New Castle County Code, which is on file in the New Castle County Department of Land Use.
To view IBC Property Maintenance Codes, go to the New Castle County Department of Land Use website and click on the link that says “NCC Comprehensive Code”, then view “Chapter 7 - Property Maintenance”.