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New NCC Vacant Property Bill – How are Model Homes Treated


New Castle County Council ordinance approved this week an updated new system and fines for persistently vacant homes and commercial buildings.  The County estimate there are at least 1,300 vacant homes within New Castle County. The new ordinance 17-033, sponsored by Councilman Dave Tackett, was approved unanimously.

Question was raised about builders’ model homes or spec homes since they are not resided in. The ordinance recognizes that models and spec units are part of the builder’s business and they are therefore exempt from the registration requirements given that they are within a minor or major subdivision project that is active.

In response to our question at the Land Use meeting as to how models are treated if the sales or building permits in the community slow down, County officials clarified they recognize that models and specs are a business and as long as they are actively used to sell the community, they are not considered vacant and thus do not need to be registered.

Anyone wanting a copy of the ordinance should email us at

About HBA of Delaware

HBA/DE has been an integral part of the growth and economic development of the State of Delaware since 1947. HBA/DE was founded as a non-profit state affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) representing home builders and other businesses directly related to Delaware's Home Building Industry. Consisting of Builders, Remodelers and a group of diversified associate members, the Home Builders Association of Delaware strives to protect and preserve housing as a symbol of America.


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