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Ordinance Consolidation

The Planning Department is working on a long-term project that includes simplifying our existing ordinances and finding opportunities to incorporate changes where recommended with these consolidations. The Comprehensive Plan identifies five Visions for the Town of Scarborough. Under each of these visions are action items that have been assigned to various boards and committees within the Town.

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 Over time, the Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed in its entirety and its contents will be merged into Chapter 405B Site Plan ordinance or other applicable sections.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 has been proceeding as follows:

Near Term Efforts:

  • Parking – Transportation Committee – Long Range Planning Committee
  • Environmental Standards – Conservation Commission

Proposed Lighting Standard Changes

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 The lighting standards found in Design Standards for Commercial Districts will be repealed.

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 changes proposed 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 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 will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed draft Lighting Standards at their meeting on October 10, 2023.  They will then be scheduled for public hearing at the October 18, 2023, Town Council meeting. 


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 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 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
  • 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 reviewed the draft Landscape Standards at their meeting on September 15, 2023.

The Ordinance Committee will review the draft Landscape Standards at their next available meeting.

Staff Contact

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