Adjacency Subdivision Review

Last Updated: November 8, 2018

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission has a process underway for reviewing and possibly revising parts of its rules governing residential subdivision development. As part of this process, the Commission has been gathering advice and suggestions from property owners, individual stakeholders, businesses and other organizations familiar with the development process in the LUPC service area.

As a first step, the Commission conducted a survey of a small group of stakeholders in April of 2014, to get a sense for the types of issues that might come up in the review. We posted an online survey in September of that year to reach out to a much larger group of stakeholders for advice and suggestions about how the Commission's subdivision rules can be improved. In addition, the Commission held a workshop in October of 2014 with a panel of experts to discuss what makes for good subdivision rules. Issues that were identified in the surveys and the workshop were incorporated into a Master Issues List; a link to the List is included in the Resources, Meeting One, links below.

In follow-up to the surveys and workshop, the Commission held a series of stakeholder meetings to further develop the issues list, prioritize issues that have been identified, and discuss ways the rules could be revised to address these issues. The last scheduled meeting for stakeholders, Meeting Four, was held on April 1, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. Also, the Commission met with several stakeholder focus groups in December of 2015 and January of 2016 to discuss concepts for subdivision objectives, layouts, and standards. Background information, meeting reports, and Commission items are included in the Resources links below.

In February of 2016, the Commission decided to broaden the scope of the discussion and develop a refined interpretation of adjacency for all types of development. Adjacency, or the adjacency principle, is a tool the Commission uses to guide the location of new development. During the time that the Commission was actively working on location issues, staff was working in the background to further develop subdivision layout and design concepts, collaborating with individuals and small groups in developing the standards, including meeting with subdivision design professionals with experience in the Commission’s service area and across the State.

Based on research and the input received, staff developed draft concepts for revised subdivision layout and design standards to further the discussion. An electronic copy of the Conceptual Subdivision Layouts and Standards document is available in the Resources, Policy Issues links below. The conceptual standards formed the basis for draft rule language to replace the Commission’s current subdivision layout and design standards.

In August of 2018, the Commission made a pre-rulemaking draft of the revised Subdivision Layout and Design Standards available for public review. Then, in October of 2018, the Commission voted to move the revised Subdivision Layout and Design Standards into a combined Adjacency and Subdivision Rulemaking package. With that vote, the rulemaking processes for application of the adjacency principle and for revisions to the subdivision standards were joined. For further information on this rulemaking process, please see the adjacency website.

The Adjacency Principle

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Stacie Beyer, Chief Planner, Land Use Planning Commission, address: 22 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0022; e-mail:; and phone number: (207) 557-2535.

Documents are provided in PDF and Microsoft Word formats. To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. To view MS Word documents, you will need Microsoft Word or the free Word Viewer.

Date Description Additional Information
  Policy Issues
  Technical Issues
4/1/2015 Meeting Four
2/15/2015 Meeting Three

GIS Shapefiles (SHP) and Google KMZ files are available upon request to Stacie R Beyer

1/7/2015 Meeting Two
10/29/2014 Meeting One
  Background Information