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UD Special Collections > Finding Aids > William J. Cohen Papers > Series Outline

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

I.  Establishing a Planning Career, 1967-1977

In 1967 after two years experience in commercial real estate, Cohen began a job as research assistant for the Delaware State Planning Office (DSPO) in Dover, Delaware.  Commercial real estate had introduced him to land values, zoning issues, and commercial development.  His first assignment as a planner was project manager to the town of Lewes, a seaside community in Sussex County.  His job was to facilitate the development of a comprehensive plan for the city’s growth.  Other duties included coordinating and authoring background studies and research in land use, transportation, housing, historic sites, community facilities, and opinion surveys.  He prepared comprehensive plans, assisted in the preparation of the state capital budget, and supervised research and preparation of planimetric maps.  During this ten-year period at DSPO, Cohen was promoted annually from research assistant (1967-1968) to planner I (1968-1969) to senior planner (1969-1971). 



I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971


Administrative and General

                        Includes assignments, correspondence, personal documents, newsletters, and other materials from Cohen’s first job at the Delaware State Planning Office (DSPO).


1          F1        Correspondence, 1970-1971

Correspondence related to the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies, to be located in Lewes.


F2        Letters, 1967-1970


F3        Memos and Assignments, 1969-1971


F4        Newsletters, 1968-1970

            Monthly newsletters from the State Planning Office.


F5        Personal and Job Correspondence, 1967

Correspondence related to obtaining a position with the State Planning Office.


            F6        State Planning Program for Delaware, 1967



Reference Files 

                        Cohen compiled these files as documentation of assignments and projects while employed at the DSPO.  Noted projects and events were the Comprehensive Development Plan for the City of Lewes and the Cape Henlopen “Great Sand Dune” Controversy. 

I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


1                      Capital Improvement Program (CIP), General


            F7        Part I

“Preliminary Capital Budget Requests and Recommendations Fiscal Year 1971, Including Analysis and Considerations” and capital budget reports.


            F8        Part II

Capital projects schedule for 1970, capital improvements program alternatives, and capital budgets.  Also includes research notes and correspondence.


            F9        CIP, Department of Public Instruction

                        Enrollment figures, reports on funding, and research notes.


            F10      Lewes Planning Program Comprehensive Development Plan, 1970-1971 

                        “Preliminary Comprehensive Development Plan” and both a final copy and draft of “Strengthening the Planning Process.”


            F11      Community Development Survey, 1967

Final and draft copies of “Community Development Controls-Survey-December 1967.”


            F12      Delaware Day Address, 1970

Various drafts of Cohen’s address, event programs, and copies of Delaware Day Addresses from previous years.


            F13      Delaware State College (Delaware State University), 1970-1972

                        Requests for funding by Delaware State College.


            F14      Delaware Technical and Community College, n.d.

                        Request for funding.


            F15      Dover Community Center, 1969

                        Copy of a sketch for the proposed center.


            F16      Ecology, 1961-1971

Assorted research materials gathered relating to ecology and environmental issues.


            F17      Historic Preservation, 1964-1971

                        Printed materials such as brochures on historic Ontario, Department of Housing and Urban Development Historic Preservation Program, and a journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Volume 16, Number 1, 1964).


I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


1          F18      Housing, 1964-1970

                        Publication from the Urban Land Institute (Volume 27, February 1968), a reprinted article from Jersey Plans (Volume XVII, Number 2, September 1968) on Hackensack Meadows, a publication of The National Urban Coalition entitled Agenda for Positive Action: State Programs in Housing and Community Development, a newsletter from the American Society of Planning Officials (Volume 35, Number 1, January 1969), and a publication of the U.S. Department of Commerce entitled Consumer Buying Indicators. 


            F19      Industrial Parks, 1959-1980

                        Publication from the National Industrial Committee entitled Planning for Industrial Parks and other information gathered regarding planning for industrial parks.


            F20      Land Use, 1966-1970

Oversized drawing of “Sussex County Land Use Inventory Code,” a report “Area of Towns and Roads in Delaware,” a copy of Land Use Inventory Code lists, “Instructions for Land-Use Intensity Forms,” and other materials gathered related to land use.


            F21      Laws Relating to Planning, 1960-1968

Copies of laws pertaining to planning as well as a copy of the “Delaware State Planning Act.”


            F22      Newark, Plan and Review, 1968-1969

“General Statement of Goal Intention, City of Newark, Delaware” and other materials related to planning in Newark.


F23      New Jersey, Future Goals and Plans, 1967

            Report entitled “New Jersey’s Future: Goals and Plans.”


F24      Population, 1960-1971

Population figures from the Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington, a list of population for all cities and towns in Delaware, and various reports related to population in the state.


F25      Rehoboth Beach Historical Analysis, 1967

Various drafts of a report entitled “Rehoboth Beach: Historical Analysis” as well as research materials.


F26      Salisbury Mall (Maryland), 1969-1970

Information pertaining to the planning and construction of the Downtown Plaza in Salisbury.

I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


1          F27      Technical Library, 1969

            Guide and related materials about publications, reports, journals, newsletters, books, and studies; established by Cohen at the Delaware State Planning Office.  Cohen developed his own library classification system, which was based on a system at the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.  Throughout his career he added to the library (See Box 4 and Appendices A and B).  Also contains materials related to Cohen’s work with the Delaware State Planning Office that have been removed and added to the technical library.


F28      Transportation, 1966-1970

            Various materials gathered relating to transportation and its planning as well as research notes.


F29      University of Delaware, 1960s-1970s

“Preliminary Review of the Pedestrian Way, Elkton Road and Amstel Avenue” (June 15, 1970), a proposal for program development for the Department of Music (1969-1970), and a brochure of the Music Building (later named the Amy du Pont Music Building), Vincent G. Kling and Associates, Architects as well as data sheets for the Capital Program.


F30      University of Delaware, College of Marine Studies, 1970

            “Community Design Plan for the College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware,” maps, and documents related to the University’s establishment of the Marine Studies Program in Lewes. 


F31      University of Delaware, 1970s

            Summary of projects and their estimates.



Urban Development Pattern Study 

            Contains the first analysis of new towns in Delaware; published in 1972 by the DSPO. 


            F32      Working File, 1960-1970 

Research notes, a copy of a report on Design Elements, and news clippings.


F33      Working Paper #1, 1969-1970

“New Towns: Concept, Definition, and History” and related research materials and notes.


F34      Working Paper #2, n.d.

            Research materials and notes.


I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


1          F35      Working Paper #3, 1940-1970

            Population growth charts for each county and a copy of a report.


F36      Water and Air Resources Commission, Third Annual Report, 1968-1969

            Copy of report.


            F37      Water and Waste Water Treatment, 1963-1968

Research notes, “Summary of Water Conditions in Delaware for October, 1967-March, 1968,” and other printed materials related to water treatment.



Lewes—Reference Files 

Contains files used by Cohen for research during his assignment as project director for the town of Lewes, Delaware.


F38      Aerial Photographs, 1969

Aerial photographs of the Delaware coastline with descriptive note by Cohen.


2          F39      Background Study, 1969-1978

Articles and correspondence related to Cohen’s efforts to have a manuscript published on the early settlement of Lewes. 


            F40      Cape Henlopen, “A Summary for Future Action,” 1960s

                        Report and materials prepared for legal action.


            F41      Cape Henlopen, Legality of Sand Dune for Public Lands, 1967-1970

                        Correspondence, news clippings, maps, and House bills.



                        Cape Henlopen, Sand Dune Controversy, 1968-1970

                        Includes letters, memorandum, and news clippings that show Governor Russell W. Peterson’s involvement in the controversy, and its effect on the development of the Lewes Comprehensive Plan.


            F42      Part I

                        News clippings and correspondence.


            F43      Part II

News clippings, correspondence, and maps related to the use of Cape Henlopen State Park as a possible industrial area.


F44      Part III

            Correspondence and news clippings.

I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


2          F45      Part IV

            Correspondence and news clippings.



            Charter, 1969


F46      I

            Charter for the town of Lewes.


            F47      II

                        Draft of the proposed new Charter.



                        Community Facilities and Services, 1960s


            F48      Part I

Information related to the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies, Beebe Hospital, and Zwaanendael Museum, in addition to other research materials and notes.


            F49      Part II

Additional research materials and notes as well as “Community Facilities and Services: a Background Study for Lewes, Delaware.”


            F50      Community Resident Survey, 1969

Copies of the surveys, an analysis of the responses, and a copy of “Lewes Community Opinion Survey: a Background Report for Lewes, Delaware.”


            F51      Delaware Coast Press, 1971

                        Copy of Delaware Coast Press, Thursday, January 7, 1971.


            F52      Lewes Development Plan, 1970

Copy of “Proposed Development Plan” including one with corrections.


            F53      Environmental Study of Inland Bays, 1969

Study presented to Governor Peterson which may be the first environmental study of the bays.  Also includes information and maps regarding the College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, located in Lewes.




I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


                        Fiscal Analysis (I), 1960s-1970s 


2          F54      I

                        News clippings, research notes, and a draft of a report.


            F55      II

Draft and a final copy of a fiscal analysis study for the town of Lewes.



                        History, Historic Sites, and Buildings


F56      Part I

Final draft of “History, Historic Sites, and Buildings of Lewes, Delaware” written by Cohen as well as correspondence regarding the work and news clippings.


F57      Part II

Draft of “History, Historic Sites, and Buildings of Lewes, Delaware,” in addition to other archaeological and bibliographic information.


F58      Part III

Largely handwritten draft of “History, Historic Sites, and Buildings of Lewes, Delaware.”





            F59      Part I

Handwritten draft, a first typewritten draft, and a final draft of a background study regarding housing in Lewes completed by Cohen.


            F60      Part II

                        Surveys completed as research for the Lewes housing study.



                        Land Use


F61      Part I

Various drafts of a land use study for Lewes completed by Cohen.


F62      Part II

Various drafts of a land use study for Lewes completed by Cohen.



I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


                        Lewes Planning Program, Background Studies, 1968-1970


2          F63      Part I

                        Final draft of a land use study completed in 1968.


            F64      Part II

Background study of economic characteristics of Lewes as well as a background study for community facilities and services.


            F65      Part III

                        Final draft of background study.


            F66      Lewes Planning Program, Commission Meetings, 1968-1970

                        Meeting minutes.


F67      Lewes Planning Program, Comprehensive Plan, Effectuation, and Miscellaneous, 1968-1970

Copy of “Preliminary Plan Lewes, Delaware” and memorandums.


            F68      Population

Research notes and materials as well as a draft of a population study for Lewes.


3          F69      Residential Density, 1969

            Memorandum related to residential density and working notes.


            F70      “Study Lists 34 Historic Lewes Homes,” 1969

                        Article published in the Evening Journal, July 29, 1969.


            F71      Subdivision Regulations, 1970

Copy of “Recommendations for Subdivision Regulations” and a memorandum.



                        Transportation Study, Background Data


F72      Part I

Research materials and notes in addition to a report on transportation in Lewes.


            F73      Part II

                        Additional research materials, notes, and maps.


F74      Part III

Additional research materials and notes and an initial draft of a report on transportation in Lewes.

I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


3          F75      Zoning Codes, 1958-1970

“Preliminary Report Town of Lewes Zoning Commission,” maps, and ordinances to amend zoning codes.


            F76      Zoning Code, 1970

                        “Recommended Basis for a Zoning Code for Lewes, Delaware.”


            F77      Zoning Code, Proposed

                        Draft of “Recommended Basis for a Zoning Code for Lewes, Delaware.”



Lewes-Comprehensive Development Plan

Contains files about the final Comprehensive Development Plan for Lewes, Delaware. 


            F78      Capital Improvement Program (CIP), 1969-1971

“Recommended Capital Improvements Program,” a budget for fiscal year 1970-1971; and “Fiscal Analysis: a Background Study for Lewes, Delaware.”


F79      Completion Report, 1969

            News clippings and a project completion report.


F80      Deleted from the Comprehensive Development Plan, 1970

Materials that did not appear in the “Comprehensive Development Plan.”


F81      Comprehensive Development Plan, Lewes, Delaware, December 1970

Copy with corrections from September 1970 and the final published copy (December).





F82      I

            Draft of the “Comprehensive Development Plan.”


F83      II

            Additional draft of “Comprehensive Development Plan.”


F84      III

            Additional draft of “Comprehensive Development Plan.”


I. A.  Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971 (cont’d)


3          F85      Establishment of Planning Program, 1966-1968

News clippings, a report “Suggested Comprehensive Development Plan Work Program,” research notes, and correspondence.


F86      Goals and Objectives, Final, 1969

Both a draft and final draft of “Discussion Memorandum No. 6: Lewes Planning Commission June 25, 1969, Recommended Goals and Objectives.”


            F87      Lewes Lifeboat Station, 1969



F88      Ordinances, 1966-1970

Copy of the building code for Lewes in 1966, an ordinance to amend zoning ordinances, research notes, and a Senate Bill.


F89      Preliminary Ideas, Working File, I

            Copy of “Preliminary Plan” and various drafts of the report.


F90      Preliminary Ideas, Working File, II

            Research notes and a draft of “Preliminary Plan.”


F91      Preliminary Plan, 1969

Final draft of “Preliminary Plan” and a copy of “The Lewes Planning Program—a One Year Assessment.”


            F92      Preliminary Recommendations, 1967-1970

News clippings, correspondence, memorandums, a report on “Delaware Coast, Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection” by the Chief of Engineers, maps, and research notes.


F93      Preliminary Recommendations, 1968

Copies of “Preliminary Recommendations for the Development of Lewes Beach.”


F94      Work Program

Progress report on Urban Planning Project, research notes, and news clippings.


F95      One-Year Assessment, Work Program

Two copies of “Suggested Comprehensive Development Plan Work Program,” one dated October 27, 1967 and the second dated December 7, 1967.


I.  B.  City of Newark, 1971-1977

In 1971 Cohen was appointed the Planning Director of Newark, the second largest city in Delaware.  After six years of service to a small city, his legacy included the first bike path system in the State as well as Newark’s and the State’s first flood-plain ordinance.  These papers also contain documentation about some controversies that developed during his tenure.  Examples are the Newark Beltway Project, KRAVCO Rezoning and Annexation, the Fader Building, and the development of Hidden Valley.


3          F96      The Architect’s Studio, 1973

Promotional materials and a curriculum vitae for James R. Nelson, FAIA.


            F97      Bikeway Paths in Delaware, 1968-1973

List of individuals on the Bicycle Task Force, correspondence, and a memorandum.


            F98      Christina River Stream Valley, 1977

Copies of a report on “Guidelines for Acquisition and Financing,” prepared by Cohen.


            F99      William J. Cohen’s Correspondence, 1970s

Correspondence, as well as an article “Public Administrator: Government Agent or Community Advocate?” that Cohen attempted to have published in Public Administration Review.


            F100    Festival of the Arts, 1971

Copy of “1971 Newark Festival of Arts Opinion Survey,” a program for the festival which was a predecessor to “Community Day,” and “1971 Newark Festival of Arts Plan.”


            F101    Flood Plain Zoning Regulations, 1972-1976

                        Correspondence and its attachments and a map.



                        Hidden Valley, 1973-1980

            Contains materials about this land development project that caused various reactions from public officials and residents; this project was never approved; today the property is developed as Christiansted, which is located off of Nottingham Road, Newark.


            F102    Part I

Legal documents related to a civil suit filed against the City of Newark by residents, memorandums, and information regarding a presentation of the Hidden Valley Development Plan.

I.  B.  City of Newark, 1971-1977 (cont’d)


3          F103    Part II

Legal documents related to a suit filed against the Department of Transportation by the developers of Hidden Valley, site plans, agenda for New Castle County Council meeting, and news clippings.


            F104    Part III

Copy of “Hidden Valley-Diversified Planned-Unit Development Narrative Description,” research notes, a copy of “Fairfield Civic Association Traffic Survey,” memorandums, and correspondence.


4          F105    Management Information System, 1976-1977

Final copy of “The Newark Management Information System” as well as drafts and correspondence.  Also includes a “1976 Update Report on the Newark Management Information System.”


            F106    Miscellaneous, 1973-1974

                        Correspondence and research notes.


F107    Newark Mall, 1971-1974

Documentation on KRAVCO and their petition for Newark’s first regional shopping center, which was denied by the City of Newark.  Includes the opinions of Cohen’s staff at the City Planning Department as well as opinions of members of city government.


            F108    News Clippings, 1971-1977

                        Clippings that mention Cohen and his planning activities.


            F109    Operation Breakthrough, Ferris School, 1970-1973

                        Plans, correspondence, and other information gathered.


            F110    Planning Events of the 1970s

List of planning events that took place during the decade as well as other events significant to Newark city government.


            F111    Public Transportation, 1973

“A Feasibility Study for Newark Local Bus Service” and a study by the Public Transportation Committee of Newark.


            F112    Projects, 1971

                        Correspondence, plans, and reports on various projects.



I. B.  City of Newark, 1971-1977 (cont’d)


4          F113    Projects, 1972

Project evaluation for a subdivision of office buildings located at Barksdale and Hillside Roads.


            F114    Salisbury Mall, Maryland, 1971

Correspondence and information related to a visit to Salisbury by Cohen and other members of Newark city government to examine Salisbury’s downtown area.


            F115    Subdivision Regulations, 1971-1977

                        Reports, city council resolutions, and correspondence.


            F116    Technical Library

Cohen used the same system that he adapted at the State.  He added to the library over the course of his career.  Includes items pertaining to Newark that were removed and added to Appendices A and B.


F117    WILMAPCO, Energy Workshop, Summary, 1977

            Summary report.


F118    Zoning, 1971

Memorandums, City Council and Planning Commission meeting agendas, and City Council resolutions and meeting minutes.


F119    Zoning, General, 1974-1977

                        Cohen’s last project with the City of Newark; documents a proposal to demolish the Main Street historic Fader Building and be replaced by a Gino’s Restaurant; Cohen was the only department head against this project, which was approved.  Contains information regarding this project as well as an additional study “Demographic, Capacity, Cost Analysis for Blair Village” and maps.



Newark Beltway, 1971-1977 

                        Cohen called this issue the “most significant transportation issue of the 1970s.”


            F120    Robert Varrin Committee, 1971-1973

Information gathered by Cohen while a member of the Varrin Committee regarding the proposed Newark Beltway.


F121    WILMAPCO, Background, 1973

            Planning information regarding the Beltway.


I. B.  City of Newark, 1971-1977 (cont’d)


4          F122    Relationship to Hidden Valley, 1972-1974

“Exhibits and Correspondence Pertaining to State of Delaware Department of Highways Plans for Newark Ring Arterial as They Relate to the Development of Hidden Valley.”  Item removed to technical library Appendix A.


            F123    Beltway Responses, March 1975

Memorandums from both Cohen and City Manager Peter Marshall involving Cohen’s controversial vote on a segment of the Newark Beltway.  Also included are notes and letters from various supporters of Cohen.


F124    Hidden Valley Annexation, Background, 1974

            Minutes from a special meeting of the Newark City Council.



            F125    WILMAPCO Action, City Council

Minutes from a City Council meeting held on March 10, 1975 in which Cohen was questioned regarding his vote on the Newark Beltway.


F126    WILMAPCO, News Clippings, March 11-June 17, 1975


F127    Additional Materials, 1975-1977

News clippings, Cohen’s letter of resignation from the city Planning Department and correspondence related to the Newark Beltway.


F128    Weekly Post Articles, 1977 

            News clippings from a three part series related to the Beltway.



UD Special Collections > Finding Aids > William J. Cohen Papers Index > Series Outline

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