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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 Over time, the Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed in its entirety and its contents will be merged into Chapter 405B Site Plan ordinance or other applicable sections.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 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  The applicable standards found in Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed and added to Chapter 405B Site Plan Standards.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 final draft of Architectural Standards and Site Layout standards reviewed at the LRPC meeting on March 13, 2024.  The proposed architecture and site layout color coded drafts were reviewed by the Ordinance Committee on May 8, 2024.  This will be advanced to Town Council in July.    

Proposed Landscape Standards

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 were reviewed by the Ordinance Committee a second time on February 14, 2024.   The draft site plan ordinance will be presented to Town Council on May 1, 2024. The Planning Board held a public hearing on the proposed changes on May 20, 2024.  The second reading will be held at Town Council on June 26, 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 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.

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


Staff Contact

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