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Town of Freeport
PLANNING

Hours & Contact Information

Office Hours:
Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Office Telephone: 207-865-4743: office=ext. 107; planner=ext. 103 | Fax: 207-865-0929

Mailing Address: 30 Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032

Town Planner: Donna Larson | dlarson@freeportmaine.com
Planning Assistant: Caroline Pelletier
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Town Council approved a Comprehensive Plan revision on February 8, 2011. The document is at right.


Comprehensive Plan 11.0208>>


CP Data.Facts.Trends.pdf>>
REVIEW PROCESS

Most development, other than construction or addition to a single family home, will require some type of review to ensure that the project meets the requirements of the Comprehensive Plan and town ordinances. If formal review is required, the applicant should contact the Town Planner and schedule a meeting to discuss preparation of the application. Upon reviewing the project, the Town Planner will determine which Board needs to review the project.

There are three Boards:
  • Staff Review Board
  • Project Review Board
  • Planning Board

Each Board serves different functions. The Staff Review Board and Project Review Board review applications for subdivision review, site plan review and Design Review Certificates.

The Planning Board reviews requests for amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, Zoning Map, or Comprehensive Plan, and works on long-range planning.

Each Board typically meets once per month at the Town Hall. Public notices are sent as required by the Freeport Zoning Ordinance and Freeport Subdivision Ordinance. Agendas are also posted at Town Hall, the Freeport Community Library, and on the Town's website.

All Boards encourage and appreciate public comment. Written comments may be sent to the Town Planner, prior to the meeting, where they will be distributed to all Board members and added to the public record. Members of the public may address the Board during a scheduled Public Hearing.
ORDINANCES AND CODES

The Town has a comprehensive set of ordinances and codes that regulate land use, construction, traffic, and other public activity in town. You may view these documents here.
STAFF DUTIES

  • Prepare all agendas
  • Write staff reports analyzing projects
  • Prepare reports on special issues
  • Administer project review process
  • Maintain complete, accessible files of past and present projects.
  • Coordinate expert review, construction inspection and bonding processes
  • Monitor construction projects and minor revisions.
  • Grant writing and administration
  • Actively search for outside funding for specific projects.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Which Board will review my application?

In order to streamline the review process and make it easier for the applicant, there are two different Boards that review applications:

• Staff Review Board - responsible for reviewing projects relatively small in nature. Some examples include change of use with limited expansions, minor (<1,000s.f.) building modifications, and residential fill permits.

• Project Review Board - responsible for site plan review for "minor" and "major" site plans, issues Design Review Certificates, and reviews all subdivision applications.


When and where are meetings held?

Meetings are held at the Freeport Town Hall in the Council Chambers.

• Staff Review Board - meets on an as needed basis on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 1:00p.m.

• Project Review Board - meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

• Planning Board - meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.


How may I contact a Board member?

The State of Maine's prohibition against Ex Parte communication requires Board members not to have private discussions about projects pending before the Board. Members of the public and applicants may contact the Board by writing them a letter and sending it to the Town Planner prior to the scheduled meeting. The Town Planner will make copies for all Board members and the letter will become part of the public record. Members of the public may also speak to the Board during a scheduled Public Hearing.


May I have a public notice sent to me?

Town ordinance requires that public notice be mailed to owners, as currently listed by the Town Tax Assessor, of all properties located within 200 feet of the proposed projects reviewed by the Staff Review Board and Project Review Board. Public notices are mailed to abutters within 500 feet of proposed subdivisions. The ordinance does not require that abutters be notified when the Board reviews minor requests for Design Review Certificates. Public notices for items being reviewed by the Planning Board are mailed as outlined by the Freeport Zoning Ordinance.

Due to the high volume of notices sent out within a 24-hour period, it is likely that special requests for notices beyond the legal requirement could be easily overlooked. Consequently, if you would not normally receive a public notice, we encourage you to telephone the Planning Office to determine the status of the project in which you are interested. All agendas are also posted at the Freeport Town Hall, the Freeport Community Library, and on the Town's website.


Is there an application form?

Yes. There is one form for all three Boards (Planning Department Application Form). It is a simple form basically providing address information and is available from the Planning Office or the website.


Is there an application fee?

A fee for each application is required and shall be paid in accordance with the current Fee and Fines schedule and shall be non-refundable.


When is the deadline for submitting an application?

Applications must be received 21 days prior to the meeting date.


What should be in my application?

In addition to the application form itself, plans and written documents are required to support the application. The submission requirements are listed in the Zoning and Subdivision ordinances.


What is an escrow account?

An escrow account is an account funded by the applicant which is used to pay for the time the Town Engineer, Town Attorney, or other professional spends reviewing the application. Prior to the Board meeting, the applicant will be requested to fund the account at an amount estimated by the Town Planner. Upon approval, any funds left over in the account will be returned to the applicant. If additional funds are needed, the applicant will be requested to add money to the account. The intent of the account is to shift the cost of development review from the taxpayer to the applicant. Typically, applicants who incur the cost of preparing quality plans for submission to the Board later benefit from lower escrow account costs.


How does the Board decide to approve a project?

The Board is required to apply standards in the town ordinance and determine if the application complies with the standards.


May I look at minutes of Board meetings?

Minutes are recorded at all Project Review Board meetings and at Planning Board meetings when a public hearing is held. Once approved, minutes are posted on the Town's website. Minutes can also be viewed at the Town Planner's Office at the Freeport Town Hall.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONS

  • Update and revise the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, and subdivision ordinance as needed; policy analyses, committee activities, zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance.
  • Maintain information resources - maps, model ordinances, and current ordinances.
  • Review all commercial and subdivision projects (site plan and subdivision review)
  • Coordinate with other departments on new developments and activities.
  • Write requests for qualifications and proposals and administer selection process for consultants for Town projects.