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Ordinance Consolidation

Comprehensive Plan Visions

Vision 1

Vision 1: The Scarborough Marsh is central to the Town’s identity, creating a special awareness by our residents of the importance of all of the Town's natural resources, therefore future land use will follow a pattern of development that is sensitive to protecting our beaches, dunes, rivers, open spaces, farmlands, and other elements that comprise our unique ecosystem.
 

About the Project

The Planning Department is working on a long-term project that includes simplifying our existing ordinances (Vision 3) and finding opportunities to incorporate changes where recommended with these consolidations. 

The project includes reviewing the Zoning Ordinance, Site Plan Ordinance, Commercial Design Guidelines, Subdivision Ordinance and other policies in the Town for opportunities to consolidate/merge ideas and review and enhance existing requirements. Over time, the Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed in its entirety and its contents will be merged into Chapter 405B Site Plan ordinance or other applicable sections.

The overall goal is to create a more cohesive set of standards, while removing ambiguity and subjectivity in the review process. These efforts also consider the other visons of the Comprehensive Plan and Town goals and seek to incorporate those ideas as well. 

*Included in current work plans
 

*Included in current work plans
 

Committee Review 

All of the various pieces of these ordinances and standards have been divided up and assigned to the board or committee that is best suited for review and additions.

To date the project proceeded as follows:

  • Lighting – Sustainability Committee Approved October 2023
  • Landscape Plant List – Conservation Commission
  • Landscaping Requirements – Long Range Planning Committee
  • Architectural Standards and Site Layout – Long Range Planning Committee
  • Environmental Standards – Conservation Commission

Near Term Efforts:

  • Parking – Transportation Committee – Long Range Planning Committee
  • Sign Standards - Long Range Planning Comittee

Proposed Landscape Standard Changes

The proposed Landscape Standards are being reviewed and amended through the Long Range Planning Committee.  The Conservation Commission recommended a revised plant list that is also being incorporated into the draft.  The applicable standards found in Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed and added to Chapter 405B Site Plan Standards.
 

The changes proposed include:

  • Requiring a minimum amount of landscape per type of development
  • Combining the street buffer yard standards from specific zoning districts into one consolidated table and requiring trees
  • Including standards for buffering between residential and commercial uses
  • Defining specific landscape required in parking areas
  • Defining specific landscape required for building foundation plantings
  • Clarifying screening standards for service and mechanical areas and outdoor storage
  • Adding protection measures if preservation is proposed
humming bird feeding at pink bee balm flower
  • Clarifying where and when site amenities and bicycle parking facilities are required 
  • Including specific parameters concerning snow storage on sites
  • Updating the approved plant species list to focus on natives and to prohibit invasive species
  • Updating the size of plants required to be installed
  • Clarifying installation, guarantee and maintenance provisions
  • Creating a template to be included on landscape plans for easy understanding of what is required and proposed
  • Adding specific waivers that are available with Planning Board approval

Landscape Standards Meeting Schedule

The Long Range Planning Committee began the review process at their meeting on June 7, 2023. Revised drafts were also presented and discussed at their meetings on July 12 and August 9, 2023.  At the September 15 meeting, the LRPC made a recommendation to move the final draft to the Ordinance Committee for review. 

The Ordinance Committee began the review of the draft Landscape Standards at their meeting on October 12, 2023.  The plant list and proposed ordinance amendments will be reviewed by the Ordinance Committee a second time on February 14,  2024.   

Proposed Environmental Standards

The proposed Environmental Standards are being drafted through the Conservation Commission.  The new standards, upon approval will be added to Chapter 405B Site Plan Standards.


The new ordinance proposal includes:

  • Protections for new development requiring site plan or subdivision approval
  • Definitions relating to natural resources
  • Natural resource setbacks for wetlands, vernal pools, rivers, streams and brooks, coastal marshes and coastal bluffs
  • Vegetated buffers for wetlands, vernal pools, rivers, streams and brooks, coastal marshes and coastal bluffs
  • Permitted activities within natural resource setbacks and vegetated buffer areas 
  • Specifications for natural resource protection plan
  • Placeholder for potential waivers 

Environmental Standards Meeting Schedule

The Conservation Commission began the ordinance drafting at their meeting on August 9, 2023.  Revised drafts were presented and discussed at their meetings on October 16, 2023, November 13, 2023, and December 11, 2023. 

On January 24, 2024, the Conservation Commission voted to recommend the final draft be presented to Ordinance Committee.  The Ordinance Commitee review is tentatively scheduled for March 13, 2024.

Proposed Architecture & Site Layout Standards

The proposed Architecture and Site Layout Standards are being reviewed and amended through the Long Range Planning Committee.  The applicable standards found in Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed and added to Chapter 405B Site Plan Standards.  These efforts are primarily a consolidation effort.

large glass and brick commercial building


The changes proposed include:

  • Clearly defined applicability
  • Adding definitions
  • Updating materials and colors to current standards 
  • Reviewing articulation and roofline standards
  • Creating a placeholder for future Village Standards (specific to certain locations of town)

Architecture & Site Layout Meeting Schedule

The Long Range Planning Committee began the review process of Architecture and Site Layout Standards during the Summer of 2023.  The review has been continuous since, with the next draft of Architectural Standards and Site Layout standards review scheduled for the LRPC meeting on February 9, 2024

Approved Lighting Standards

The first section for review by the Ordinance Committee were the proposed Section H Outdoor Lighting Standards that are incorporated in Chapter 405B Site Plan Review Ordinance. The lighting standards found in Design Standards for Commercial Districts have been repealed.

The changes include:
 

  • Clarified applicability, adding language to ensure redevelopment must comply with these standards.
  • Added definitions
  • Added specific requirements for the lighting plan, enabling staff and the Board a much easier review.
  • Added the requirement lighting plans must show the IES standards applied and that the site does not exceed minimums
  • Updated permitted lamps and fixtures
  • Removed all references to metal halide lamps and replace language with “LED or better fixtures”
  • Added time limits for lighting and addressed lighting when businesses are closed
  • Required that landscaping up-lights not be on all night.
  • Added specific requirements for energy demand, color rendering
  • Defined fixture height and placement
  • Removed redundant language
  • Removed service station lighting – (IES standards will apply)
  • Added lighting requirements for athletic fields.
  • Addressed service areas
  • Removed references to specific wattage.
  • Added non-cutoff fixtures and fixtures containing mercury to list of prohibited fixtures
  • Addressed temporary and permanent decorative lighting
  • Addressed seasonal and holiday lighting
  • Removed all language that “encourages” and replace it with requirements.
  • Added specific waivers that are available with Planning Board approval


 

Lighting Standards Meeting Schedule

The Sustainability Committee reviewed the proposed draft on May 24, 2023, and again on July 26, 2023. Staff also forwarded the final draft for a peer review from the Lighting Engineer on the Town's Planning Board.

The Ordinance Committee reviewed the proposed Lighting Standards at their meeting on August 24, 2023.  The Ordinance Committee voted to forward the proposal to the full Town Council on September 6, 2023.  Town Council voted to move the amendments to the Planning Board.  

The Planning Board held a public hearing to discuss the proposed draft Lighting Standards at their meeting on October 10, 2023.  Town Council adopted the revised Lighting Standards on October 18, 2023.

 

Staff Contact

Autumn Speer, Director of Planning & Codes
(207) 730-4042
Email