The Planning Board will be presenting the following changes to our Land Use Ordinance at this year’s town meeting.
Proposed Changes to Article 4 Shoreland Zoning District Standards
State law requires all municipalities to adopt, administer, and enforce ordinances regulating land use activities within the shoreland zone which are consistent with, and no less stringent than guidelines promulgated by the State. Long Island’s current provisions were last amended in May 2010. Since then, the State has revised its guidelines.
The Board is asking voters to approve updated shoreland zone provisions, which are consistent with the State’s guidelines and which essentially mirror the State’s guideline with one significant exception. Working with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Planning Board has added language that provides an avenue for property owners to secure a permit that allows for “hazard trees” on the shoreline to be removed under certain, specified, circumstances. The Board added that language as a result of a series of discussions with West End property owners and state regulators.
Proposed Update of Article 12 Floodplain Standards
The second proposed change to the Land Use Ordinance is a complete rewrite of the current Floodplain Standards in Article 12. These standards are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency if property owners on the island want to participate in the Federal Flood Insurance program. The proposed language was provided by the State, and what voters are being asked to approve at Town Meeting has already been determined by the State to meet the federal requirements and should be quickly accepted by the relevant State and Federal agencies.
Proposed Amendment to Land Use Ordinance Article 11 Subdivisions to Allow Cluster Housing Development
The third ordinance change the Board is bringing to voters would amend the current subdivision provisions in Article 11 to allow for cluster development. Cluster development is a zoning method which allows detached single-family homes within a subdivision or a section of a subdivision to be clustered or concentrated more densely onto one or more portions of a subdivision than would otherwise be permitted under a zoning district’s minimum lot size requirement. While homes in a cluster development subdivision would be arranged differently, no development would be allowed to have a greater density of homes than otherwise allowed. Please note that only single family residential housing will be allowed in a cluster subdivision. Condominiums will not be allowed. Also every aspect of a proposed cluster development would have to be approved by the Planning Board. The Board has approved, this change with the assumption it could open up housing opportunities on the island.