Androscoggin River

Mandatory Shoreland Zoning

Contacts
Chapter 1000 (Guidelines)
Statutory sections
State-imposed ordinance chapters
Supplemental materials -- including the Shoreland Zoning News

The Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act (MSZA) requires municipalities to adopt, administer, and enforce local ordinances that regulate land use activities in the shoreland zone. The shoreland zone is comprised of all land areas within 250 feet, horizontal distance, of the

  • normal high-water line of any great pond or river;
  • upland edge of a coastal wetland, including all areas affected by tidal action, and
  • upland edge of defined freshwater wetlands; and
  • all land areas within 75 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of certain streams.

 The purposes of the MSZA are as follows:

  • to prevent and control water pollution;
  • to protect fish spawning grounds, bird and wildlife habitat;
  • to protect buildings and lands from flooding and accelerated erosion;
  • to protect archeological and historic resources;
  • to protect commercial fishing and maritime industries;
  • to protect freshwater and coastal wetlands;
  • to control building sites, placement of structures and land uses;
  • to conserve shore cover, and visual as well as actual points of access to inland and coastal waters;
  • to conserve natural beauty and open space; and
  • to anticipate and respond to the impacts of development in shoreland areas.

Since, shoreland zoning regulations are administered and enforced by each municipality through municipal specific ordinances, the local code enforcement officer is typically the first point of contact for shoreland zoning questions. Shoreland Zoning Staff at the MDEP assist municipalities with shoreland zoning related questions and issues, as well as provide technical assistance and training on the shoreland zoning rules.

Contacts.  For general questions, please use the ON-CALL system.  Call one of the following numbers, and ask to speak with the Land on-call person. 

  • Augusta: 800-452-1942. 
  • Bangor: 888-769-1137.
  • Portland: 888-769-1036
  • Presque Isle: 888-769-1053.

The Shoreland Zoning Unit. Colin Clark at 207-441-7419 (Augusta), Michael Morse at 207-822-6328 (Portland), and Stephenie MacLagan 207-356-1643 (Bangor).

Statutory sections.  Title 38, Chapter 3, §§ 435-449. Note: this link is to the text at the Office of Revisor of Statutes' site. Always check the disclaimer there -- the text may not include the most recent changes.

Chapter 1000 (Guidelines). These are standards that the MDEP uses as a guide when reviewing municipal ordinances. A municipalities need not adopt the guidelines word for word. Municipalities are encouraged to consider local planning documents and other special local considerations. A municipality may wish to adopt a more stringent ordinance, or an ordinance different from the "Guidelines". This is acceptable as long as the ordinance is equally or more effective in achieving the purposes of the Shoreland Zoning law.

Chapter 1000, Pre-rulemaking working draft

Supplemental materials

State imposed ordinance chapters

Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Troy
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Merrill
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Whitefield
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Orient
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Athens
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Stacyville
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Bradford
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Vanceboro
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Charlotte
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Wade
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Chester
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Aurora
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Columbia
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Bowerbank
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Edinburg
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Carthage
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Hanover
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Exeter
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Knox
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Farmingdale
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Limerick
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Frankfort
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Moose River
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Guilford
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Springfield
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Milo
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Steuben
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of North Haven
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Talmadge
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Penobscot
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Passadumkeag
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Plymouth
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Waite
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Waldo
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Woodville
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Crystal
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Amity
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Durham
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Bancroft
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Etna
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Cooper
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Isle Au Haut
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Corinth
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Stow
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Hersey
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Swanville
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Hiram
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Columbia Falls
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Lagrange
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Danforth
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Ludlow
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Wellington
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Medford
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for Municipality of Lubec