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A Plan for Strengthening and Preserving Downtown Seaford

Delaware Public Administration Institute
Publication Date
  • Seaford
  • Delaware
  • Quality Of Life
  • Retail Business
  • Commercial Business
  • Renovation


Delaware Public Administration Ins College of Urban Affairs & Public l' University of Delaware June 1991 1 across America small towns have experienced conomic and physical decline of their downtown mercial and retail centers. This phenomenon has been wing for decades and has elicited both tremendous concern d extensive eforts to curtail and reverse the deterioration. e efforts have taken many forms and been the object of millions of dollars in expenditures. The result has been a mixture of successes and failures. Seaford, Delaware, has experienced similar problems with much of its retail activity moving out of the downtown and into shopping strips that lie along the highways that run through and past the greater Seaford area. The recently adopted Seaford Comprehensive Plan commits the city to "promote the revitalization of the traditional commercial core through the preparation, adoption , and implementation of a downtown plan '' (Seaford Comprehensive Plan , 1988). In this light and as part of their on-going effort to improve the quality of life in Seaford, oficials of the city approached the College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy of the University of Delaware for advice about how the downtown area ought to evolve and develop. They wanted to know whether the downtown should be allowed to develop on its own without public or community intervention or whether action should be taken to change or improve its condition, such as strengthening it as a retail andlor commercial center, promoting residential use, or supporting renovation so that it could recapture its historic character. Timothy K. Barnekov Ralph A. Reeb eaford is a distinct place with its own character and history; it is not just a collection of housing developments and businesses spread along a highway. Seaford's downtown has the advantages (and disadvantages) of being compact. Businesses and services are close enough that clients can walk from one store or office to anoth

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