Residential Open Space Ordinance

ADOPTED:	August 26, 1991 Proposed 3/14/91



The purpose of this ordinance is to allow for the preservation of open
space in order to maintain community character, to provide for public
or private use or enjoyment, to be used for non-commercial recreation,
to protect natural resource areas, or to maintain agricultural use.
Application of this ordinance will allow greater flexibility in the
creation of open space in residential subdivisions.


A . AUTHORITY. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to and consistent
with Home Rule Powers as provided for in Article VIII of the
Constitution of the State of Maine and Title 30-A Section 3001,
5I.R.S.A. (3iome Rule) and 30-A Section 4401 et.seq.

B.	ADMINISTRATION. The Planning Board of the mown of Paris shall
administer this ordinance in conjunction with the administration of
the Subdivision Standards of the Town of Paris, otherwise titled"
Planning Board Standards for Reviewing Land Subdivisions".

C.	ENFORCEMENT. Enforcement shall be as specified in Article VIII of
the Subdivision Standards.


Accessible: Available for use with access not restricted by property
line or structure. Agriculture: The use of land, not requiring any
structures, for production of crops, nurseries, or any allied
activity. Buffered: Separated from the surrounding plots of land by a
strip of sand with vegetation. Density: The number of dwelling units
per unit of land. Developer: The individual or organization proposing
or conducting division of a tract or parcel of land into three or more
lots within any five-year period, whether accomplished by sale, lease,
buildings, development, or otherwise, Development: Any change to real
estate, including but not restricted to carts movement, paving,
construction of buildings, etc. Dwelling: Any building or structure or
portion thereof designed or used for residential purposes, including
single-family, two-family (duplex, and multi-family three families or
more) dwelling units. Dwelling unit: Habitable rooms used as a
housekeeping unit for one or more individuals living as a family, and
containing living, cooking, sleeping, bathing, sanitary or other
similar facilities.  Frontage: The horizontal distance abutting the
road and measured In a straight line between the intersections of the
side lot lines with the road line. Infrastructure: Improvements to the
land designated as open space, including but not Limited to subsurface
sewage disposal systems, drinking water systems, lighting,
landscaping, and furniture. Lot: A ~parcel of land owned 5y a single
landowner, as differentiated from land owned in common or subject to
common rights or uses.  Net Residential Area: The net area of a parcel
of land that is suitable, in its natural state, for residential
development. This is determined by subtracting areas unsuitable for
residential development, which include:
		 1. Land with sustained slopes of twenty-five percent
or more. 2.	Land that is cut off from the main parcel by a road, by
existing land uses, or 		where no means of 	access is
provided, so that the land is isolated and 	unavailable for
building purposes or common uses. 3.	Land situated below the high
water mark of any water body. 4. 	Any inland wetland. 5.	Land
within the 100-year floodplain. 6.	Land which is part of a right of
way or easement that potentially restricts its 	use as
residential or common area. 7.	Land area consisting of unreclaimed
gravel pits. 

Open Space: Land which is available for public or private
non-commercial: recreation use, natural resource protection, or
agriculture. It shall be free of structures and other intensive
development. Open Space Development: A residential subdivision of land
in which residential lot sizes, frontages, and/or setbacks are reduced
in order to preserve open space for public or private non-commercial
recreation use, natural resource protection, Or agriculture. Setback:
The minimum distance from the front, side, or rear lot line that
establishes the boundary of the area in which principal or accessory
structures may be placed. Subdivision: A subdivision is a division of
a tract or parcel of land into three or more lots within any five-year
period, as defined in the Subdivision Standards .A subdivision may be
classified as major or minor. Subdivision, Major: ~Any subdivision
containing more than nine lots, or any subdivision requiring any new
public street extension, or the extension of municipal facilities.
Subdivision. Minor: A subdivision containing not more than nine lots.
Subdivision Standards: The Town of Paris Planning Board Standards for
Reviewing Land Subdivisions. Town Ordinances: Ordinances, standards,
and regulations enacted by the Town of Paris, including but not
limited to the Subdivision Standards, the Building Code, and the Site
Plan Review Ordinance. Wetland: An area of any size that is inundated
or saturated with surface or ground water at a frequency or duration
sufficient to support, and which under normal circumstances does
support, a prevalence of wetland vegetation typically adapted for life
in saturated soils.


A.	This ordinance shall apply to all subdivisions, as defined by State
taw or Town ordinance, for which a reduction in lot size or frontage
proposed in order to create open space by a method henceforth referred
to as Open Space Development.

B. The requirements specified herein flay be used in place of the
minimum lot size, frontage, and other requirements of town ordinances
and where such reductions are proposed shall be used to establish
density and open space provisions for residential development which
requires subdivision review.

C. Unless otherwise specified herein all provisions of all other Town
ordinances shall apply.

D. The standards and procedures established by this ordinance shall be
a voluntary method of land subdivision in the Town unless a zoning,
land use, or other ordinance enacted by the Town specifically requires
or prohibits the use of open space design.


A. The application procedure will be the sane and concurrent with the
subdivision review procedure established by Articles IV, 7, VI, and
VII of the Subdivision Standards. Procedural requirements and their
reference paragraph in the Subdivision Standards are listed below:
		 1. Preapplication (a) procedure (4.1) (b)Submissions
(4.2) 2.	Minor subdivision (a)	General (5.1) (b)	Procedure (5.2)
(c)	Submissions (5.3) 3 Preliminary Man for a major subdivision
(a)	Procedure (6.1) (b) Submissions (6.2.1) (c) Preliminary Dian
(6.2.2) 4.	Final Man for a major subdivision (a)	Procedure (7.1) (b)
Inspection (7.2) (c)	Submissions (7.3) (d) Final approval and filing
(7.4) (e)	Plan revisions (7.5) (f)	Public acceptance (7.6)

B.	For proposals intended for review as open space development, the
following information should be submitted: 1.	As part of the
Preliminary Application, whether for a Major or Minor
	Subdivision: (a) A map specifically identifying wetlands , hydric
soils, sustained slopes of 	25% or more, the land within the
100 year floodplain, surface water bodies, 	and the area
proposed as open space. (b)The extent and final contours of and
proposed changes to me areas 	specified as open space. (c) The
proposed use of the open space areas. (d) The proposed method(s) to
protect, manage, and maintain the open 	space, which nay
include but shall not be limited to covenants, deed
	restrictions, association bylaws, and/or agreements with land trusts.
(e) Proposed method(s) to maintain common facilities and utilities
which may 	include, but shall not be limited to, association
bylaws with assessment 	Provisions. 2.	As part of the Final
Application: (a) The final Man to be recorded shall indicate open
space and clearly 	identify its boundaries, its 	use,
and extent of any clearing. The Man shall 	also clearly
indicate that open space shall not be subdivided or further
	developed. (b) A complete set of documents establishing the
Homeowners Association 	or other entity responsible 	for
maintaining and managing common 	facilities, utilities, and
open space. (c) Legal documents protecting, in perpetuity, open space
from subdivision or 	further development and insuring
maintenance as specified in the 	application.


MINIMUM AREA. The land to be subdivided shall contain the following
minimum area: 1- Five acres, if the development is of individual lots
for single family detached or 	two-family dwellings. 2. Five
acres per dwelling unit, if the development is of one or more
multi-family 	dwellings.

B. OPEN SPACE AREA. A minimum of 40% of the open space development
(subdivision) shall be reserved as open space In compliance with the
standards specified herein.

C. ROAD FRONTAGE. The land to be subdivided shall normally have a
frontage of 200 feet or more on an existing public right of way. The
Planning Board shall have the authority to reduce this distance to no
less than 100 feet if the open space development design, location, and
surrounding architecture so warrant.

D. DENSITY. The maximum density of the open space development thus
created shall in no case be greater than that otherwise specified for
any subdivision, and shall be calculated as follows: 1.	Determine the
net residential area of the parcel. 2.	To determine the maximum number
of dwelling units allowed, divide the net 			residential area
by the minimum land area per dwelling unit otherwise
				specified by town ordinance.

standards for individual lots within the open space development shall
not exceed the following:
     1. Minimum size of lots on which dwellings which utilize public
water and 				sewer are located is ten thousand (10,000) square
feet per dwelling unit. 2. Minimum size of lots on which dwellings
which utilize individual subsurface 	sewage disposal systems
are located is as specified by state ~aw, unless design 	of the
sewage disposal system requires a larger lot size. 3. Minimum size of
lots on which dwellings which utilize joint subsurface sewage
	disposal systems are located is ten thousand (10,000) square feet per
dwelling 	unit. 4. Minimum road frontage of lots created within
the open space development 	shall be 100 ft. measured along the
road. In the case of a curving road a lot on 	the inside of the
curve shall be measured along the cord of the curve, while on
	the outside of the curve it shall be measured along a line tangent to
the edge of 	the road and right angle to the side line. 5.
Minimum front yard setback of lots created within the open space
	development shall normally be 25 feet. The Planning Board shall have
the 	authority to reduce this distance to no less than 10 feet
if the open space 	development design, location, and
surrounding architecture so warrant. 6. Minimum side and rear setback
of lots created within the open space 	development may be
reduced by a maximum of 10 ft.

	     1. If individual subsurface sewage disposal systems are
used, the Planning Board may require submission of a hydro geologic
report prepared by a registered Professional Engineer or a Certified
Geologist if surrounding soil conditions or development density so
warrant. Such report would at a minimum evaluate nitrate loading to
the ground water and recommend system Placement and design standards.
2. If a joint subsurface disposal system is used, the design of tills
system must 	be based on the type of housing construction
planned for the site, and the 	system must be installed prior
to sale of any lots. Development may not exceed 	the designed
capacity of that system, with restrictions included in deeds to the
	lots, with the Town a party to the deeds. Installation is defined as
creation of a 	functional system, including all excavation,
above and below ground structure, 	backfill, return of the
landscape to its natural state insofar as possible, and 	sewer
piping carried to the frontage of each lot. 3.	In either case, the
Town may hire a registered Professional, engineer or 	Certified
Geologist to review the application materials. The costs of such
review 	shall be borne by the applicant

G. BUFFERING. The open space development thus created shall be
buffered from the surrounding land as follows:
		1. The developed area shall normally be set back from
the existing road no ~less 			than 50 feet. The Planning Board
shall have the authority to reduce this distance 			to no less
than  10 feet if the open space development design, location, and
			surrounding architecture so warrant.

2. Lots and open space shall be bonded by a continuous buffer of
natural 		vegetation, or landscaping if natural vegetation is
inadequate. The width of this 	buffer shall normally be no less
than 20 feet. The Planning Board shall have the 	authority to
reduce this distance to no less than 10 feet if the character of the
	vegetation and the design and location of the open space development
so 	warrant. 3. Where agricultural land is retained and
designated as open space, the site 	plan shall include a buffer
between residential lots and agricultural land. The 	width of
this buffer shall be 100 feet or more if required by State Law (the
	Farmland Adjacency Act, 7 M.R.S.A. section

H.	ROADS. Roads within the open space development shall be constructed
to the standards specified in town ordinances with the intent that
they be conveyed to the Town. The Planning Board shall have the
authority to reduce the width of the traveled surface to no less than
13 feet, with corresponding reduction to 40 feet in the width of the
right of way, and to require only one sidewalk, if the open space
development design, location, and character so warrant. Except as
provided herein, road construction standards may not be waived.

SECTION 7. OPEN SPACE. All land within the open space development not
designated as residential lots shall be restricted from further
development as set forth herein.

A.	DESIGNATION ON SITE PLAN. The open space created by the development
shall be shown on the recorded subdivision plan with the notation that
:t shall not be used for future building lots or development.

B.	CONFIGURATION. All land designated as open space shall be
contiguous, except the Planning Board shall have the authority to
permit a portion of the open space requirement to be satisfied by
areas created by the setback of jots from the existing road, the
buffer from the surrounding land, and designated agricultural land
retained by the original landowner as specified elsewhere in this
ordinance, if the open space development design, location, and
character so warrant.

C.	UNSUITABLE LAND. Land determined to be unsuitable for development
in the net residential area calculation is not to be designated as
open space -

0.	ACCESS. The open space, except That retained by the original owner
for agriculture, shall be legally and readily accessible by all
residents of the open space development or, if owned by the town, by
all residents of Paris, and shall be readily accessible by emergency

USES. the open space shall be intended to be used for agriculture,
passive recreation, and preservation of the natural resources or
natural beauty of the site. Portions of it may be used for subsurface
waste disposal systems and drinking water systems. It shall not be
used for:
     1. Rights of way, except sewer easements. 2. Roads or sidewalks.
3. Parking areas. 4. Any use restricted by the Planning Board at the
time of open space 	development approval

OWNERSHIP. The open space may be owned: 1.	Jointly or in common by the
owners of the building lots, or of the 	development in the case
of multi-family dwelling; or 2.	By the Town of Paris, subject to legal
acceptance as otherwise required; or 3.	By the original landowner,
provided that a permanent conservation 		easement precluding
non-agricultural development has been granted to and 	accepted
by the Town. The agreement shall specify the rights and maintenance
	requirements of the owner and shall provide for reversion to the
Town. The 	owner fails to adhere to those requirements. 4.	By a
Land Trust registered as such in the State of Maine.

C.	PROPERTY TAXES 1.	If the open space is owned jointly or in common,
the property taxes for the 	open space shall be divided equally
among the owners of the building lots. The 	owners shall pay
these taxes directly to the own 2.	if the open space is owned by the
original landowner, he or she shall remain 	liable for the
property taxes.

H.	HO)IECWNERS' ASSOCIATION. If the open space is owned jointly or in
 	     1.The developer shall sign a permanent conservation
easement restricting 			development of the open space. 2.	The
definer must form and incorporate a Homeowners Association, which
	shall be responsible for maintenance, upkeep, and required
improvements to the 	open space and the infrastructure. 3.	The
Homeowners' Association shall be funded by: (a) An agreement with the
lot owners; or (b) Interest from an escrow account established by the
developer, with a principal determined by the Planning Board to be
adequate for current and future funding requirements. 4.	If funded by
an agreement with the lot owners: (a) At the time of purchase each
owner must sign an agreement, approved by the Planning Board, to pay a
proportional share of the annual maintenance cost of the open space
and infrastructure. (b) This agreement must be made part of the deed
to each lot, allowing placement of a lien against the property in the
amount of the unpaid dues plus accumulated interest and collection
costs, specifying that payment must be made before the property is
sold. 5.	The developer must retain control of the Homeowners'
Association aria carry out its responsibilities until the Planning
Board determines that the Homeowners Association is actually and
financially operable.

This will normally not occur until at least 51% of the properties nave
been sold.

requirements of the Subdivision Standards shall apply to open space
developments to which this ordinance applies except:

A.	The review procedure and general requirements shall apply except as
specifically exempted or supplemented herein.

B.	The review standards contained in State Law 30-A.M.R.S.A. section
4402. et.seq.) shall all apply

C.	The variance and waiver provision of the Subdivision Standards
(article XII) shall apply.


A.	An appeal of this ordinance shall be taken to the Board of Appeals
within 30 days of the Planning Board decision.

B.	An ap~ea1 from a decision of the Planning Board shall be as
specified n the Subdivision Standards (Article XIII).


A.	The invalidity of any provision of this ordinance shall not
~invalidate any other part of the ordinance or any other town

B.	This ordinance shall be effective upon the affirmative vote of the
Town Meeting.


A.	This ordinance may be amended by a majority vote of the Town

B.	Amendments shall be brought before the Town Meeting at the request
of the Planning board or the Board of Selectmen, or upon petition
signed by a number of voters registered in the Town of Paris equal to
or greater than 1-3% of the total votes cast in the Town for governor
in the most recent gubernatorial election.
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