|Civil Division- Kent County
||August 19, 2002
Mr. David F. Edwards, Jr.
114 Lakeside Drive
Laurel, DE 19956
Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Laurel
Dear Mr. Edwards:
We received your letter on July 29,
2002 alleging that the Town of Laurel ("the Town" violated
the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") by not providing
you with access to public records you requested. Specifically, you
allege that by letter dated July 12, 2002 you asked for but did not
receive a copy of "an annexation report" and the Town's
"2002 Comprehensive Development Plan." (1)
By letter dated July 30, 2002, we
asked for the Town's response, which we received on August 13, 2002.
The Town acknowledged that there is not, as yet, a comprehensive
development plan. Under FOIA, a public body is not required to
create a document that does not exist. See Att'y Gen. Op.
96-IB28 (Aug. 8, 1996).
According to the Town, the Town
Manager sent you a copy of the annexation report on August 6, 2002.
Because the Town has complied with that portion of your request, we
find that issue resolved.
For the foregoing reasons, we
determine that the Town did not violate the public records
requirements of FOIA.
Very truly yours,
W. Michael Tupman
Deputy Attorney General
Malcolm S. Cobin, Esquire
1. You also allege
that the Town has not complied with the requirements of Chapter 7 of
Title 22 of the Delaware Code. That is not a FOIA
issue, but we note that the establishment of a planning commission
and a comprehensive development plan are within the discretion of a
city or town. The Town has indicated that it is working on a plan
with help from state planning officials and the University of