Conservation Subdivision Ordinance

Description: Subdivision ordinances are a common regulatory tool among most Maine towns. Many towns have adopted local subdivision ordinances that allow “open space” approaches to subdivision design. The intent of the open space subdivision approach (often referred to as “clustering”) is to create a compact development that establishes protected green space through the development process. From a habitat conservation perspective, however, most typical open space subdivisions provide limited value. The requirement of open space set-asides was typically written in a way that provided little guidance or direction to the developer regarding what types of land should be protected, and what the objectives were in terms of overall town open space protection goals. More recently, communities have started to adopt the “conservation” subdivision approach. This enhanced approach to the open space subdivision process is designed to go one step further in terms of encouraging development projects that take into consideration the surrounding landscape and do not simply focus on the specific project parcel.

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