The maps, zoning on property in Houlton Maine.
What does the comprehensive zoning plan ordinance say about residential, business, industrial or rural farm zone uses? It is always good planning to check on the zoning for a real estate property purchase BEFORE you close the sale. Because if you have to be able to have this use that conflicts with zoning regulations, way way better to know about it early one before the purchase. So you can shift gears and look for a suitable property that is wearing the right zoning classification.
Taking the issue to the zoning board of appeals when an exemption to permitted uses is needed all takes time with no guarantee of the outcome.
There is nothing better than looking up online or leafing through the zoning plan. Seeing okay, fine and dandy for the use. The zoning plan for a small town does allow just what you intend to do with the land location and structures planted on top.
Small Maine towns don't have home owner's associations (HOA), no snarky layers of zoning regulations or bylaws as a rule. That restrict the use of the real estate big time. In unorganized townships, plantations there is LURC, the land use regulation commission to approve the do's and don'ts when local planning and zoning boards are missing. On the 250' zone back from and around your Maine waterways, there is shoreland zoning regulations to wrestle with on new construction.
When your structures were built before the the lake front zoning became law, you are grandfathered in. But when it comes time to hope to add on or to replace a deck with something bigger, to repair a boathouse, whatever. It starts and ends with reading over current shore land zoning regulations.
So back to zoning on property in a small town like Houlton Maine. I was chairman of the local zoning board of appeals and the process works. The comprehensive plan in Houlton Maine, Aroostook County's oldest town is excellent. Great brains hammered it out to last and endure back in 1966. With updates along the way to reflect the times and changing uses. More on getting a building permit for your Maine land.
What's the difference in R-1 and R-2 ? What about B-1, B-2 in the Houlton ME zoning regulations?
Mobile homes, what's the skinny on can you have them in the residential zones in town? There are a half dozen mobile home trailers grandfathered in before the 1966 zoning deadline one midnight. That prohibited them in Houlton ME residential neighborhoods but out in the R-F, rural farm regions you can set up your mobile home trailer without any hassles from town hall. Here is a copy of the Houlton ME zoning classifications and regulations. Zoning regulations, the map zone classifications tell you what you can do and where in a small Maine town.
Driveway permits and their locations are tied to the speed limit by your land and the ease of use when blind spots add danger to your building plans.
I have worked on subdivisions of Houlton ME land where the Department of Transportation and the surveyor deemed this section of a building lot is restricted from driveway placement. No go from here to here in the blacked out region with the big red "X". Again, find out before you build if you are able to access the land with a future driveway. You don't already own a helicopter right? They're expensive! Better to know before than find out after the land purchase that your plans need to be altered. The dream of building should not have any nightmares on unexpected changes.
The septic system soil test plan for a country location or an area in Houlton ME not served by water or sewer means check the leach field design.
Make sure if the original HHE 200 calls for a two bedroom leach field, that you are not trying to land a modular, double wide or stick built home with three or four bedrooms.
The local code enforcement office, Kevin Tingley in Houlton ME will have to point out the substandard design for the new use you have in mind when building a home. But when trying to save money and use an existing septic system sewerage plan if the land is not served by the Houlton Water Company.
Experiences to share as past chairman of the zoning board in Houlton Maine?
Lots to share and each situation just a tad different. The make up of the board members changes too and each meeting often had more than one request for zoning changes. More controversial zoning board request decisions were usually moved from a small office setting to the town council chambers. Enough room for the anticipated attendance is always your best start to any zoning board of appeals meeting which can run long and be a little heated as the debate ensures.
Often the meeting a continuation of an earlier one where more questions than answers were raised. As the Houlton Maine board of zoning appeals helped thrash out the request details to questions raised by members and other parties watching for the outcome that can affect more than the property owner. To arrive at the best possible decision or solution possible working together for solutions that are often hard fought compromises that everyone can be proud of as the best you go do with the situation.
Most of the zoning board meetings are usually held at night and some are rubber stamp quick in and out easy. Others long, drawn out and not so much fun as personalities clash and emotions increase between the podium and the audience.
Because the board members have day jobs and volunteer their time to serve on the local zoning board of appeals. In small Maine towns, service by volunteers is done on more than one board or association for each member. Only so many people in sparse population areas in Northern Maine and other counties.
Maine is a big state with more wildlife than people. The locals step up to take their turn. To help the community because that's the way smaller populations work. That's why small town living is more hands on personal and intimate. Pride grows in the community because you don't just live here. You take part in everything that happens here and try to improve the way of life in your personal contribution of resources and creative thinking.
The typical zoning variance request was someone want to build a larger garage or create an addition to their house.
And it's location to build was measured out to be a tad less than ten feet from the neighbor's property line. Where no board meeting for a zoning variance would be needed. Check the zones to see the set backs because they change in the zoning plan classifications.
When the "I need a variance" applicant brings in a lawyer, that does not cause a warm fuzzy feeling for the volunteer zoning board members. It works against the applicant who says nothing and the legal beagle does all the billable hours talking.
He or she presents the case to drive home the point. But it sends a signal that maybe a lawsuit challenge is in the wings if the zoning decision does not go the way the applicant with the lawyer desires. More on the zoning code enforcement contacts and information on the statute in Houlton ME.
Bring in the neighbors, collect the letters of support to reference and plead your case. Do your home work to help the zoning board of appeals see the logic in your request.
It works a lot better than trying to force someone into your way of thinking that may not be in the best interest of the town, the neighborhood at the meeting that you need to respect and consider.
Spot zoning is not the way to guide the growth of your Maine town and the zoning comprehensive plan is a thoughtful, consistent method. To refer to in the where and what kind of building design process is called for, what approved uses are permitted or not. In the determination or opinion in what's legal, what's best today and tomorrow for the zoning classifications in place in the small Maine town of Houlton or whatever municipality.
Zoning regulations, what each section of the town of Houlton ME has for classification on the map zone classifications.
Building on raw unimproved land, modifying existing structures you want to use in a new way. MOOERS REALTY is here to help in your buying and selling the local land listings that may need some study to figure out what is allowed in the present town zoning regulations.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730