Maine Revised Statutes

Updated October 2022

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Accessory Dwelling Units

Maine’s Municipal Planning and Land Use Regulation Statutes allows for an accessory dwelling to be located on the same lot as a single-family home. The statute explains the regulation of the accessory dwelling unit (LD2003/HP1489;30A-§4364-D).

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Maine’s planning and zoning enabling statute requires local comprehensive plans to include an inventory and analysis of significant or critical natural resources as one of the growth management program elements (30A-§4326). Significant or critical natural resources include lakes, aquifers, estuaries, rivers, and coastal areas. The guidelines for policy development section indicates that critical rural areas must receive priority consideration to manage wildlife and preserve sensitive natural areas (30A-§4326(3-A)).

Planning and Zoning Enabling Laws

Maine requires some cities and towns to prepare comprehensive plans. And it authorizes all cities and towns to adopt zoning regulations.

Jurisdiction Comprehensive Planning Enabling Statutes  Zoning Enabling Statutes 



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Village NA NA
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Scenic View Protection

Maine’s municipal planning enabling statute protects scenic views as part of review criteria for subdivision approval. It specifies that proposed subdivision must not cause undue adverse effects on scenic areas, including historic sites. It also protects public rights to access shorelines either physically or visually (30A-§4404.8).

Tiny Houses and Micro-Apartments

Maine’s Municipal Planning and Land Use Regulation Statutes defines tiny home as a permanent structure that will be used as a living space(30A-§4363; 29-A§101(80-C)). Tiny homes are allowed to be placed on lots where single-family dwellings are allowed and are subjected to the same land use requirements (30A-§4363).

Transfer of Development Rights

Maine’s planning and zoning enabling act authorizes municipalities to establish transfer of development rights programs (30A-§4328). It also permits interlocal agreements between two or more municipalities for the same purpose.