from Chapter 1000: GUIDELINES FOR MUNICIPAL SHORELAND ZONING ORDINANCES

This publication is presented for "Classroom Use Only."  Its intended use is to stimulate and aid in discussion and role playing within a classroom setting.

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Establishment of Districts

A. Resource Protection District. The Resource Protection District includes areas in which development would adversely affect water quality, productive habitat, biological ecosystems, or scenic and natural values. This district shall include the following areas when they occur within the limits of the shoreland zone, exclusive of the Stream Protection District, except that areas which are currently developed and areas which meet the criteria for the Limited Commercial, General Development, or Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities Districts need not be included within the Resource Protection District.

(1) Areas within 250 feet, horizontal distance, of the upland edge of freshwater wetlands, salt marshes and salt meadows, and wetlands associated with great ponds and rivers, which are rated "moderate" or "high" value by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) as of January 1, 1973.

NOTE: The Natural Resources Protection Act, Title 38 Sections 480-A through 480-S, requires the Department of Environmental Protection to designate areas of "significant wildlife habitat". Significant wildlife habitat includes:

Habitat for species appearing on the official state or federal lists of endangered or threatened species; high and moderate value deer wintering areas and travel corridors as defined by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; high and moderate value waterfowl and wading bird habitats, including nesting and feeding areas as defined by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; critical spawning and nursery areas for Atlantic sea run salmon as defined by the Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Commission; and shorebird nesting, feeding and staging areas and seabird nesting islands as defined by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

As these areas are mapped and development standards are established, municipalities should incorporate such areas and standards into their locally adopted ordinances.

(2) Flood plains along rivers and flood plains along artificially formed great ponds along rivers, defined by the 100 year flood plain as designated on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps or Flood Hazard Boundary Maps, or the flood of record, or in the absence of these, by soil types identified as recent flood plain soils. This district shall also include 100 year flood plains adjacent to tidal waters as shown on FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps or Flood Hazard Boundary Maps.

(3) Areas of two or more contiguous acres with sustained slopes of 20% or greater.

(4) Areas of two (2) or more contiguous acres supporting wetland vegetation and hydric soils, which are not part of a freshwater or coastal wetland as defined, and which are not surficially connected to a water body during normal spring high water.

(5) Land areas along rivers subject to severe bank erosion, undercutting, or river bed movement and lands adjacent to tidal waters which are subject to severe erosion or mass movement, such as steep coastal bluffs.

NOTE: Municipalities may also include the following other areas which have been recommended for protection in the comprehensive plan of the municipality such as:

A. Other important wildlife habitat;

B. Natural sites of significant scenic or esthetic value;

C. Areas designated by federal, state or municipal governments as natural areas of significance to be protected from development; and

D. Other significant areas which should be included in this district to fulfill the purposes of this Ordinance, such as, but not limited to, existing public access areas and certain significant archaeological and historic sites deserving of long-term protection as determined by the municipality after consultation with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

 

B. Limited Residential District. The Limited Residential District includes those areas suitable for residential and recreational development. It includes areas other than those in the Resource Protection District, or Stream Protection District, and areas which are used less intensively than those in the Limited Commercial District, the General Development District, or the Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District.

 

C. Limited Commercial District. The Limited Commercial District includes areas of mixed, light commercial and residential uses, exclusive of the Stream Protection District, which should not be developed as intensively as the General Development District. This district includes areas of two or more contiguous acres in size devoted to a mix of residential and low intensity business and commercial uses. Industrial uses are prohibited.

D. General Development District. The General Development District includes the following types of areas:

(1) Areas of two or more contiguous acres devoted to commercial, industrial or intensive recreational activities, or a mix of such activities, including but not limited to the following:

(a) Areas devoted to manufacturing, fabricating or other industrial activities;

(b) Areas devoted to wholesaling, warehousing, retail trade and service activities, or other commercial activities; and

(c) Areas devoted to intensive recreational development and activities, such as, but not limited to amusement parks, race tracks and fairgrounds.

(2) Areas otherwise discernible as having patterns of intensive commercial, industrial or recreational uses.

Portions of the General Development District may also include residential development. However, no area shall be designated as a General Development District based solely on residential use.

In areas adjacent to great ponds classified GPA and adjacent to rivers flowing to great ponds classified GPA, the designation of an area as a General Development District shall be based upon uses existing at the time of adoption of this Ordinance. There shall be no newly established General Development Districts or expansions in area of existing General Development Districts adjacent to great ponds classified GPA, and adjacent to rivers which flow to great ponds classified GPA.

NOTE: See definition of "great pond classified GPA" in Section 17.

E. Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District. The Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District includes areas where the existing predominant pattern of development is consistent with the allowed uses for this district as indicated in the Table of Land Uses, Section 14, and other areas which are suitable for functionally water-dependent uses, taking into consideration such factors as:

(1) Shelter from prevailing winds and waves;

(2) Slope of the land within 250 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line;

(3) Depth of the water within 150 feet, horizontal distance, of the shoreline;

(4) Available support facilities including utilities and transportation facilities; and

(5) Compatibility with adjacent upland uses.

NOTE: A municipality may opt to identify one or more CFMA Districts, each of which may be as small as a single parcel, provided that the municipality includes in this district or combination of CFMA districts, all land currently occupied by or suitable for active water dependent uses, taking into consideration the above-listed factors.

F. Stream Protection District. The Stream Protection District includes all land areas within seventy-five (75) feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of a stream, exclusive of those areas within two-hundred and fifty (250) feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of a great pond, river or saltwater body, or within two hundred and fifty (250) feet, horizontal distance, of the upland edge of a freshwater or coastal wetland. Where a stream and its associated shoreland area are located within two-hundred and fifty (250) feet, horizontal distance, of the above water bodies or wetlands, that land area shall be regulated under the terms of the shoreland district associated with that water body or wetland.