DACF Home → Bureaus & Programs → Municipal Planning Assistance Program → Publications
- How To Prepare a Land Use Ordinance; A Manual for Local Officials (MS Word) or (PDF) This manual is for local officials, planning committees and others in small to mid-size communities who are interested in preparing a local ordinance. It contains the basic information needed to draft a land use ordinance, which legally regulates how people can use their land. This manual also contains practical suggestions for encouraging future growth in growth areas, and discouraging incompatible development in rural areas.
- Scenic Assessment Handbook (PDF) A 'how-to' guide for using the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry's scenic inventory methodology. Use it to identify, evaluate, and document scenic resources and to identify scenic viewpoints of state or national significance for purposes of the state Wind Power Law (Title 35-A, Ch. 34-A). It is designed to supplement the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development's initial handbookHow to Conduct an Inventory of Scenic Areas.
- Creating Traditional, Walkable Neighborhoods: A Handbook for Maine Communities (PDF) This handbook will help municipal officials craft land use regulations that foster traditional neighborhood development.
- Comprehensive Planning: A Manual for Maine Communities 2005 Edition(PDF low resolution) or (PDF high resolution) This manual is written for citizen planners - the members of comprehensive planning committees, select boards and planning boards charged with preparing a comprehensive plan - and the many parties of interest who may be participating or advising in the planning process. It is part 'how-to,' part suggestions for policy, and part tool box. While the manual presents a complete picture of a comprehensive plan, each of its 19 chapters addresses a different requirement of the Growth Management Act so that different members or subcommittees of a planning or advisory committee can concentrate on one chapter at a time.
Density - A Visualization Tool (PowerPoint) The Municipal Planning Assistance Program has created a brief PowerPoint presentation using Maine-based examples of different housing densities to help town planners, planning boards, and others understand what different densities look like on the ground.
- The Great American Neighborhood -
A Guide to Livable Design (PDF) This guide provides residential developers, homebuilders, and town
officials with a set of principles and design ideas that can be used to create the livable, quality
neighborhoods that homebuyers are looking for. When adapted to fit specific sites and projects, these
principles can help developers respond to these market preferences, stem sprawl, and direct growth to
selected 'growth areas' within the community.
Across the nation developers are tapping these markets and building new neighborhoods based on the time tested design concepts illustrated in this Guide. The results have been referred to as 'traditional neighborhood design' (TND), ' new urbanism,' 'neo traditional design,' or 'the Great American Neighborhood.'
- Community Visioning Handbook: How to Imagine - and Create - A Better Future (PDF) Before there can be a meaningful comprehensive plan, the residents must agree on a mental picture of what they want the community to look like, feel like, and be like. They must imagine what people walking along Main Street should experience; imagine the businesses, sidewalks, roads and bike trails; picture the fields, forests, parks and nature preserves; and identify the best places for new houses and what those houses might look like. This mental picture is a "vision." Part I of this handbook describes what a community vision is, Part II provides a step-by-step guide to creating a community vision, and Part III gives an example of a vision from one Maine community.
- Financing Infrastructure Improvements through Impact Fees: A Manual for Maine Municipalities on the Design and Calculation of Development Impact Fees (PDF) This handbook is designed to provide Maine communities with the information and tools necessary when considering implementation of an impact fee ordinance. The manual includes information on how an impact fee works, issues a town should consider before implementing an impact fee ordinance, examples of Maine towns using impact fees, and spreadsheets for calculating impact fees.
- Land Stewardship Resource Guide (PDF)
- Updating Your Comprehensive Plan: A Guide for Making Plan Updates Bolder and Smarter (DOC)
- Protecting Local Scenic Resources: Community-Based Performance Standards (PDF)
- Gateway 1: Performance Standards for Large Scale Developments (PDF)
- Maine Flood Resilience Checklist
Model Ordinances and Regulations
- Maine Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance (DOC) This model ordinance offers a comprehensive wind energy facility review process and standards for voluntary adoption by Maine municipalities. Should be downloaded with its companion publication: Draft Guidebook for the Maine Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance (PDF)
- Model Subdivision Regulations for Use by Maine Planning Boards, with expanded commentary and model forms SMRPC, 12th edition
- Site Plan Review Handbook (PDF) (or download the Site Plan
Review Handbook by Section):
- Cover and Table of Contents (PDF)
- Introduction (PDF)
- Part A - Overview of Site Plan Review
- Section 1 - The Purpose of Site Plan Review (PDF)
- Section 2 - Where Should the Site Plan Review Provisions be Located? (PDF)
- Section 3 - What Activities Should Be Subject to Site Plan Review? (PDF)
- Section 4 - Who Should Be Responsible for Reviewing Site Plans? (PDF)
- Section 5 - What Aspects of a Development Proposal Should Be Covered by Site Plan Review? (PDF)
- Section 6 - What Information is Required from an Applicant for Site Plan Review? (PDF)
- Section 7 - How Will the Review Process Work? (PDF)
- Part B - Developing a Site Plan Review System (PDF)
- Appendix A - Basic Model Site Plan Review Ordinance for a Community with Limited Nonresidential Development and Limited Staff Support (PDF)
- Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Siting Ordinance
- Adult Entertainment Establishments (PDF)
Technical Assistance Bulletins
- Decentralized Wastewater Systems (links to GROWashington-Aroostook website)
- Lighting Manual (PDF)
- Easements (PDF)
- Good Neighbor Policies (PDF)
- Noise (PDF)
- Archeological Resources (PDF)
- Buffers (PDF)
- Groundwater (PDF)
- Creating User Friendly Land Use Ordinances And Procedures (PDF)
Reports to the Legislature and Governor
- 2023 Four-year Growth Management Program Evaluation
- LD 11 - To Encourage the Preservation of Dark Skies: A Report to the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee of the 124th Session of the Maine Legislature (PDF)
- 2011 Four-year Growth Management Program Evaluation
- 2007 Four-year Growth Management Program Evaluation
- An Evaluation of the Growth Management Act and its Implementation
- Revitalizing Maine's Downtowns: A report resulting from Executive Order 16 FY 04/05: An Order to Strengthen and Restore Maine's Downtowns
- Making Schools Important to Neighborhoods Again: A Joint Report by the State Board of Education and the State Planning Office to the Joint Committee on Natural Resources
- Report on an Education Strategy for Public Water Supply Protection Aimed at Municipalities and the General Public: Report to the Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources
- Report on the Use of Incentives to Keep Land in Productive Farming, Fishing and Forestry Use: Report to the Joint Standing Committees on Natural Resources, Taxation, and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Sprawl, Land Use, Smart Growth, Great American Neighborhoods, Etc.: Additional Publications and Reports
- Density Visualization (PDF)
- Markets for Traditional Neighborhoods in Midcoast Maine - Summary Report (PDF)
- Introduction to Transfer of Development Rights Programs (PDF)
- Great American Neighborhood (PDF)
- Indicators of Livable Communities (PDF)
- Expansion of Development in Maine (PDF)
- Markets for Traditional Neighborhoods (PDF)
- Why Households Move: Two Maine Surveys (PDF)
- The Cost of Sprawl (PDF)
- Reviving Service Centers (PDF); More info on Service Centers
- An Assessment of the Economics of Natural and Built Infrastructure for Water Resources in Maine (PDF)