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Limington Zoning Ordinance
Article IX
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Article IX - ADMINISTRATION, ENFORCEMENT, AND PENALTIES

9.1   Permit Not Required.

Only the following activities shall not require a building permit: repairs, replacement, and/or normal maintenance not requiring structural elements, decorative changes in existing structures or buildings, provided that the activity is in conformance with Federal, State or local laws and does not involve any other physical modifications or changes requiring a permit under this ordinance.

9.2   Permit Application.

A. Every applicant for a permit shall submit a written application which shall include the following information:

1. Structures to be erected, structures to be moved, and exterior additions to existing structures:

a. The shape, size and location of the lot for which application is made.

b. The shape, size and location on the lot of the proposed structure, and of any proposed additions to existing structures.

c. The shape, size and location of any other existing structures on the lot.

d. The location of adjacent structures on adjacent lots, with reference to the distance from the lot line.

2. The above requirements shall not apply to alterations wholly within an existing structure.

3. All applications shall also include:

a. The name and address of the property owner.

b. The name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, or firms involved in the construction on the property.

c. The value of the proposed construction.

d. A statement of the proposed use for any new or moved structure or altered portion of an existing structure.

e. Any other information the applicant wishes to furnish.

f. Any other information requested by the Code Enforcement Officer to make the application intelligible, and to determine whether the proposed construction will conform to this ordinance, other local ordinances and state law. If the property is not served by a public sewer a valid plumbing permit or a completed application for a plumbing permit, including the site evaluation approved by the plumbing inspector, shall be submitted.

g. A certification that the information in the application is complete and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge and belief.

h. A residential growth permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer with any application for a permit for a new residential dwelling unit.

4. All applications shall be signed

a. by the person or firm to do the work; and

b. by the owner of the property or other person authorizing the work.

5. All applications shall be dated, and the Code Enforcement Officer shall note upon each application the date and time of its receipt at his office.

B. Upon receipt of a permit application the Code Enforcement Officer shall:

1. Decide whether the information in the application is sufficient for him to determine whether, under the ordinance, the permit should be issued, or if the application is otherwise inadequate. If he determines that the application is insufficient or inadequate, he shall at once notify the applicant in writing, indicating what necessary information is required to correct the application. If the application is not so corrected, he shall deny it.

2. When an application conforms to the provisions of this ordinance and other codes and ordinances of the town, upon payment of the required fee, he shall within 10 days of its receipt issue the permit. He shall notify the Tax Assessor and keep a copy of the application/permit in a permanent file in his office.

3. If the application does not conform, he shall, within 10 days, deny the permit in writing, stating therein his reasons for such denial. In the event the proposed building or structure is so constructed or is of such usage as to require a review of the application by other authorities or boards, as determined by reference to the land-use regulation file, the Code Enforcement Officer shall refer the applicant to the appropriate authority or board for review, approval or denial. Upon his receipt of the decision of the reviewing authority or board, in writing, and if such decision is an approval, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue the permit with any conditions prescribed by the reviewing authority or board. The Code Enforcement Officer shall not issue any building permit if he has knowledge that a particular structure would be located in an unapproved subdivision, and/or if he has knowledge that the structure would be in violation of a particular State law for which the municipality has enforcement responsibilities, or local ordinance. In denying any permit under these circumstances, the Code Enforcement Officer shall state in writing the reasons for the denial.

C. Unless the applicant picks up the building permit within thirty (30) days after the CEO notifies him that it has been approved, the permit shall lapse and become void.

D. Following the issuance of a building permit, other than one granted for a residence to be located in an approved subdivision, if no substantial start is made on the construction within three months of the date of the permit, and no extension of that time has been granted by the CEO due to adverse weather conditions, the permit shall lapse and become void. Thereafter no further work on such construction can be made until a new application has been made and approved as aforesaid. The fee for such permit shall be charged as a renewal fee.

E. Any permit issued which is not in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance confers no rights and is void.

F. No public utility, water district, sanitary district or any utility company of any kind may install services to any new structure located in the Shoreland Zone unless written authorization attesting to the validity and currency of all local permits required under this or any previous Ordinance has been issued by the appropriate municipal officials. Following installation of service, the company or district shall forward the written authorization to the municipal officials, indicating that the installation has been completed.

9.3   Certificate of Occupancy Required

A. A certificate of occupancy issued by the Code Enforcement Officer is required in advance of the use or occupancy of:

1. Any lot, or change of the use thereof.

2. A structure hereafter erected or a change in the use of an existing structure, or as the building code requires.

B. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless the lot or building or structure complies with all the provisions of this Ordinance, and of the current edition of the BOCA National Building Code, which is incorporated herein by reference. A record of all certificates of occupancy shall be kept on file in the office of the Code Enforcement Officer, and a copy shall be furnished, on request, to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the structure or land involved. A duplicate copy shall be filed in the office of the tax assessor and the certificate of occupancy shall state specifically the uses which it permits.

9.4   Enforcement Officer

A. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to enforce the provisions of this ordinance. If the Code Enforcement Officer shall find that any provision of this ordinance is being violated, he shall notify, in writing, the person responsible for such violations, indicating the nature of the violations and ordering the action necessary to correct it. He shall order the removal of illegal buildings, structures, additions or work being done, or shall take any other action authorized by this ordinance to insure compliance with , or to prevent violation of, its provisions.

B. The Code Enforcement Officer should maintain a current file of all pertinent Federal, State and local statutes, ordinances, regulations, codes, and plans relating to land-use regulation including local subdivision plans.

C. The Code Enforcement Officer shall keep a complete record of all essential transactions of the office, including applications submitted, permits granted or denied, variances granted or denied, revocation actions, revocations of permits, appeals of court actions, violations investigated, violations found, and fees collected. On an annual basis, a summary of this record for all activity within the Shoreland Zone shall be submitted to the Director of the Bureau of Land Quality Control within the Department of Environmental Protection.

9.5   Legal Action and Violations

When any violation of any provision of this ordinance shall be found to exist, the Municipal Officers, upon notice from the Code Enforcement Officer, are hereby directed to institute any and all actions and proceedings, either legal or equitable, including seeking injunctions and the imposition of fines, that may be appropriate or necessary to enforce the provisions of this ordinance in the name of the Town of Limington. The Municipal Officers, or their authorized agents, are hereby authorized to enter into administrative consent agreements for the purpose of eliminating violations of this Ordinance and recovering fines without court action. Such agreements shall not allow an illegal structure or use to continue unless the removal of the structure or use will result in a threat or hazard to public health and safety or will result in substantial environmental damage.

9.6   Fines

Any person being the owner, contractor or having control or use of any structure or premises who violates any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall upon conviction be fined in accordance with provisions of 30-A M.R.S.A. 4452. Each day such a violation is permitted to exist after notification shall constitute a separate offense. Fines shall be payable to the town.

9.7  Conditional Use Permits

A. Authorization. The Planning Board is hereby authorized to hear and decide upon applications for Conditional Use Permits, in accordance with State law and the provisions of this ordinance. The Board shall approve, approve with modifications or conditions, or disapprove an application for a Conditional Use Permit. No Conditional Use Permit shall be authorized unless specific provision for such Conditional Use is made in this ordinance.

B. Existing Conditional Use or Structure. A Conditional Use which existed prior to the effective date of this Ordinance may not be changed to another Conditional Use nor substantially expanded or altered except in conformity with all regulations of this Ordinance pertaining to Conditional Uses. No changes shall be made in any approved Conditional Use without approval of the change by the Planning Board.

C. Application Procedure. A person informed by the Code Enforcement Officer that a proposed use requires a Conditional Use Permit shall file an application for the permit with the Planning Board on forms provided for the purpose. The applicant shall be responsible for a filing fee, which covers administrative and legal advertisement costs. All plans for Conditional Uses presented for approval under this section shall be drawn at a scale of not smaller than one (1) inch equals fifty (50) feet and show the following information unless the Planning Board waives these requirements:

1. The name and address of the applicant (or his authorized agent) plus the name of the proposed development, and a copy of the deed or record of ownership, the assessor's map and lot number.

2. Total floor area, ground coverage, and location of each proposed building, structure, or addition.

3. Perimeter survey of the parcel made and certified by a registered land surveyor licensed in Maine, relating to reference points, showing true north point, graphic scale, corners of parcel and date of survey and total acreage.

4. The appropriate fees.

D. Public Hearing. Following the filing of an application, and before taking action on any application, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the application within 30 days. The Board shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer and Municipal Officers, and shall publish notice of the time, place and subject matter of hearing at least 10 days in advance in a newspaper of general circulation in the area.

1. The Board shall notify by regular U.S. mail, first class, postage prepaid, the applicant and the owners of all property within 200 feet of the property involved at least 10 days in advance of the hearing, of the nature of the application and of the time and place of the public hearing.

2. The owners of property shall be considered to be those against whom taxes are assessed. Failure of any property owner to receive a notice of public hearing shall not necessitate another hearing or invalidate any action by the Planning Board.

3. The Code Enforcement Officer or his designated assistant shall attend all hearings and may present to the Planning Board all plans, photographs or other material he deems appropriate for an understanding of the application.

4. The applicant's case shall be heard first. To maintain orderly procedure, each side shall proceed without interruption. Questions may be asked through the Chair. All persons at the hearing shall abide by the order of the Chairman.

E. Projects needing Board of Appeals Review

When an applicant needs a variance from a requirement in this Ordinance before the Planning Board is able to approve the application as submitted, an appeal may be submitted to the Board of Appeals prior to final action by the Planning Board. If an appeal is filed with the Board of Appeals prior to the Planning Board making a final decision, the Planning Board shall table final action on the application pending the Board of Appeal's decision and shall notify the Board of Appeals of that action.

F. Decision.

1. Within 20 days of the public hearing the Planning Board shall reach a decision on a Conditional Use and shall inform, in writing, the applicant, the Code Enforcement Officer and Municipal Officers of its decision and shall prepare a detailed finding of facts and conclusions. Upon notification of the decision of the Planning Board, the Code Enforcement Officer, as instructed, shall immediately issue, issue with conditions prescribed by the Board, or deny a Building Permit.

2. A Conditional Use Permit secured under the provisions of this ordinance by vote of the Planning Board shall expire if the work or change involved is not commenced within two years of the date on which the Conditional Use is authorized.

3. An appeal may be taken within 30 days after a decision is rendered to Superior Court.

G. Standards Applicable to Conditional Uses.

1. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the proposed use meets all of the following criteria. The Board shall approve the application unless it makes written findings that one or more of these criteria have not been met.

a. The use will not have an adverse impact on spawning grounds, fish, aquatic life, bird or other wildlife habitat.

b. The use will conserve shore cover and visual, as well as actual, access to water bodies.

c. The use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

d. Traffic access to the site meets the standards contained in this ordinance; and traffic congestion has been addressed in accordance with performance standards in this ordinance.

e. The site design is in conformance with all municipal flood hazard protection regulations.

f. Adequate provision for the disposal of all waste water and solid waste has been made.

g. Adequate provision for the transportation, storage and disposal of any hazardous materials has been made.

h. A storm water drainage system capable of handling a 25-year storm without adverse impact on adjacent properties has been designed.

i. Adequate provisions to control soil erosion and sedimentation have been made.

j. There is adequate water supply to meet the demands of the proposed use, and for fire protection purposes.

k. The provisions for buffer strips and on-site landscaping provide adequate protection to neighboring properties, including public areas, from detrimental features of the development, such as noise, glare, fumes, dust, odor, adverse visual impact, and the like.

l. All performance standards in this ordinance, applicable to the proposed use will be met.

m. The use will not result in unsafe or unhealthful conditions.

n. The use will not have an adverse impact on natural beauty, historic sites, or rare and irreplaceable natural areas.

H. Conditions Attached to Conditional Uses. Upon consideration of the factors listed above, the Planning Board may attach such conditions, in addition to those required in this ordinance that it finds necessary to further the purposes of this ordinance. Violation of any of these conditions shall be a violation of this ordinance. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, specifications for: type of vegetation; increased setbacks and yards; specified sewage disposal and water supply facilities; landscaping and planting screens; period of operation; operational controls; professional inspection and maintenance; sureties; deed restrictions, restrictive covenants; locations of piers, docks, parking and signs; type of construction; or any other conditions necessary to fulfill the purposes of this ordinance. In evaluating each application the Board may request the assistance of the County Soil and Water Conservation District, a State or Federal agency, or consultant which can provide technical assistance.

I. Performance Guarantees.

1. At the time of approval of the application for Conditional Use, the Planning Board may require the applicant to tender either a certified check payable to the Town, an irrevocable letter of credit from a lending institution, or a performance bond payable to the Town issued by a surety company in an amount adequate to cover the total costs of all required improvements, taking into account the time-span of the bond and the effects of inflation upon costs. The conditions and amount of the certified check or performance bond shall be determined by the Board with advice from the town administrator.

2. Prior to the release of any part of or the entire performance guarantee, the Board shall determine to its satisfaction, in part upon the report of the engineer hired by the town to inspect the development and whatever other agencies and departments may be involved, that the proposed improvements meet or exceed the design and construction requirements for that portion of the improvements for which the release is requested. Any interest accumulated on an escrow account shall be returned with any money owed by the town to the developer after it has been determined that the proposed improvements meet all design and construction requirements.

3. If the appointed engineer finds, upon inspection of the improvements performed before release of the guarantee, that any of the required improvements have not been constructed in accordance with plans and specifications filed by the applicant, he shall so report to the Board and Code Enforcement Officer. The Board shall then notify the applicant, and, if necessary, the bonding company or lending institution, and take all necessary steps to preserve the town's rights under the guarantee.

4. Performance guarantees, when required, shall be tendered for all improvements required under this ordinance, including but not limited to, sidewalks, drainage facilities, parking areas, lighting, signs, landscaping and buffer areas.

9.8   Site Review.

A. The purpose of site plan review shall be to allow for additional performance standards and specific submission requirements on certain new large commercial, industrial, and multi-family housing structures of three or more units.

B. Site Plan Review, in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, shall be required for the following activities before a building permit may be issued:

1. New construction with at least one thousand (1000) square feet of gross first-floor area.

2. Additions to existing structures of at least one thousand (1000) square feet of gross floor area.

3. Creation of impervious surfaces of at least two thousand (2000) square feet.

4. Creation of unvegetated surfaces of at least two thousand (2000) square feet excluding impervious surfaces. Exempt from this section will be all single family and two-family residential structures. Site Plan Review shall be conducted by the Planning Board in concert with all other requirements of this Ordinance as well as any other requirements which may be applicable. Review may be conducted as one application along with application for conditional use.

C. Construction, site development, and landscaping shall be carried out in accordance with the plans, sketches, drawings, and other documents approved by the Planning Board, unless amended with Planning Board approval. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the ordinary repair and improvement of existing structures and facilities.

D. If the development requires action by the Board of Appeals or any other government authority, Planning Board review shall not commence until all other applications and decisions have been made.

E. Failure to comply with any conditions of the Site Plan Review, subsequent to approval, shall be grounds for revoking the approval, initiating legal proceedings to enjoin the construction or any specific activity violating the conditions of approval, or imposing such fines as the Municipal Officers shall have established for violations of this Ordinance, for each day that the violation continues to exist after official notification by the Code Enforcement Officer.

F. Submission Requirements. When the owner of the property or an authorized agent of the owner makes formal application for Site Plan Review, the application package shall contain at least the following exhibits and information:

1. A complete, signed copy of the application for Site Plan Review.

2. At least three (3) copies of the Site Plan drawn at a scale sufficient to allow review of all performance standards required in this Ordinance, but not more than fifty (50) feet to the inch for that portion of the total tract being proposed for the development, showing the following:

a. Owner's name, address, and signature;

b. Names and addresses of owners of all property within two hundred (200) feet of the subject property's boundaries;

c. Sketch map showing the general location of the site within the Town;

d. Boundaries of all contiguous property under the control of the applicant, regardless of whether it is part of the development or not;

e. The lot area of the parcel and the road frontage;

f. The location, size, and type of all existing and proposed structures, including: height, driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, loading areas, open spaces, large trees, open drainage courses, signs, exterior lighting, service areas, easements, and landscaping;

g. Existing and proposed topography of the site at two-foot contour levels if major changes are to be made to the existing topography; and

h. A storm-water drainage plan showing:

i. The existing and proposed method of handling storm-water run-off;

ii. The direction of flow of the run-off by the uses of arrows;

iii. The location, size, and elevation of all catch basins, dry wells, drainage ditches, swales, retention basins, and storm drains;

iv. A septic plan showing the location of waste water disposal devices and water supply sources.

v. A landscaping schedule keyed to the site plan, indicating the sizes, types, and location of al plants and other landscaping elements to be planted on the site;

vi. Copies of any proposed or existing easements, covenants, deed restrictions, etc.

G. Administration.

1. The following procedures and requirements shall apply to all applications for Site Plan Review:

a. All applications for Site Plan Review shall be made in writing to the Planning Board on the forms provided for that purpose. The application shall be made by the owner of the property or by the owner's authorized agent, as designated in writing by the owner, and shall be accompanied by the payment of an application fee for Site Plan Review, to the Town of Limington to cover administrative costs of processing the application. The completed application with the required documentation shall be placed on the Planning Board agenda for consideration within thirty (30) days of its receipt; however, any application which is not complete shall be sent back to the applicant with an indication of the additional information needed. Within sixty (60) days of the receipt of a completed application, the Planning Board shall act to approve, disapprove, or approve with conditions, the site plan as submitted or amended, unless the applicant and the Planning Board agree to a continuance. If the Planning Board does not act upon the application, the site plan shall be deemed to have been disapproved. If the Planning Board shall vote to disapprove the application, the applicant shall be notified in writing and the specific cause for disapproval shall be noted.

The Planning Board may attach such conditions as it finds necessary to ensure compliance with the purpose and standards of this Ordinance. Requests for changes in the conditions of approval require Planning Board review under the provisions of this section.

The Planning Board may require that an expert consultant review one or more submissions of an application and report as to the compliance or noncompliance with this Ordinance, and advise, if necessary, of procedures which will result in compliance. The consultant shall be properly qualified to provide this information, and shall be agreed upon by the Planning Board and the applicant mutually. The applicant shall maintain responsibility for all costs incurred for the use of these consultants.

The Planning Board may require the applicant to undertake any study which it deems necessary and reasonable to insure that the requirements of this Ordinance are met. The costs of all such studies shall be borne by the applicant in accordance with the provisions of section 9.9, below.

b. Prior to taking the final action on any Site Plan Review application, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing to afford the public the opportunity to comment on the application.

Notice of the nature of the application and of the time and location of the hearing shall be given by mail to the applicant and the owners of all property within two hundred (200) feet of the property involved, at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing, and shall be published at least seven (7) days in advance in a newspaper of general circulation in the area.

The owners of property shall be considered to be those against whom taxes are assessed. Failure of any property owner to receive a notice shall not necessitate another hearing nor invalidate any action by the Planning Board.

c. Prior to formal application, an owner or agent may request an informal review of the site plan by the Planning Board to determine its compliance with Town regulations.

d. One copy of the approved site plan shall be included in the application for a building permit.

2. The Planning Board may require the applicant to post, prior to final approval of any plan, a bond, escrow agreement, irrevocable letter of credit, or other surety in such amount as is approved by the Planning Board as being reasonably necessary to ensure completion of all improvements required as conditions of approval of such plan, in such form as approved by the Planning Board.

A certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until the Code Enforcement Officer determines that the completed project meets all of the requirements of the plan as approved by the Planning Board.

9.9   Fees.

The Municipal Officers shall annually set the amount of all fees required by this ordinance. For Conditional Use Permit and Site Plan Review Applications, the fee structure shall require each applicant to pay into a special account maintained by the Town an amount sufficient to cover the anticipated cost of any independent consulting services necessary for Planning Board review of his or her application. The fee shall be determined by the Planning Board after it has secured an estimate of the cost of the services and the applicant has had an opportunity to review and comment on the estimate. If the balance in the special account is drawn down by 75%, the Planning Board shall notify the applicant, and the applicant will be required to pay into the account sufficient funds to bring the account balance to one-half of the original fee amount. Any balance in the account remaining after a final decision on the application shall be returned to the applicant.

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