Site Plan Ordinance


Section I. Purpose Substantial development or major changes in the
uses of land can cause profound effect upon the cost and efficiency of
municipal services and on the environment of the town. Such
development can affect schools, sewers, water lines and other public
utilities; recreational facilities; liquid and solid waste disposal;
police and fire protection, open space, road systems and circulation,
parking, traffic congestion; placement of building(s) and
structure(s); property values; water quality; the aesthetic and visual
characteristics of the neighborhood and town, and the general health,
safety, welfare of the community. It is the purpose of this ordinance
to control the effects of development(s) including commercial retail,
industrial, institutional building(s) and structure(s) and multiple
family dwelling(s) consisting of three or more attached dwelling

Section II. Authority and Administration Authority This ordinance is
adopted pursuant to Home Rule Powers provided for in Article VIII-A of
the Maine Constitution and Title 30, M.R.S.A. Section 1917. The
changes incorporated into this ordinance shall become effective by
vote of the annual town meeting 5/31/97.

B. Administration The Planning Board of the Town of Paris shall
administer this ordinance. No building permit or plumbing permit shall
be issued by the Building or Plumbing Inspector for any use or
development within the scope of this ordinance until a Site Plan of
Development Application has been approved by the Planning Board. All
Site Plan Development Applications approved by the Planning Board
shall be effective for a period of two (2) years after the date of
approval unless substantial construction thereunder has commenced. If
work is not completed within three (3) years from the date of
approval, the permit lapses and a new application must be made and
approved. There will be no additional charge for application review
provided application is unchanged. All applications for Site Plan
Review shall be made in writing to the Board on forms provided for
that purpose. Applications will be submitted by the owner of the
property or the owner's agent as designated in writing by the owner.
If the services of outside consulting engineers or other professionals
are required by the Board to assist in the review of the application,
or the amount or conditions of any performance guarantee that may be
required, the Board shall notify the applicant of the nature of such
services. The cost of such services shall be paid by the applicant and
evidence of such payment shall be provided to the Board before the
final plan is approved.

Section III. Applicability
	This ordinance shall apply to all proposals for use,
construction, or alterations to new or existing commercial, retail,
industrial, institutional building(s), structure(s), multiple family
dwellings, recreational facilities, and their accessory uses and
structures. This ordinance DOES NOT APPLY to detached single or two
family dwelling units, agricultural land management practice or forest
management practices.

Section IV. Site Plan Content and Application Procedures The Site Plan
Development Application shall include as a minimum: A map or maps
prepared at a scale of not less than one (1) inch to 50 feet and shall
include: Name and address of the applicant or his authorized agent and
name of proposed development and any land within 500 feet of the
proposed development in which the applicant has title or interest.
Existing soil conditions as described by either a soil scientist,
geologist, engineer or S.C.S. medium soil intensity survey. Lot
numbers and names of abutting landowners from municipal tax maps;
Copies of letters mailed by the applicant to the abutting land owners,
notifying them of the proposed development: sent by certified mail,
receipts returned to the Board. Perimeter survey of the parcel made
and certified by a registered land surveyor relating to reference
points show true north point, graphic scale, corners of parcel and
date of survey and total acreage. Areas within 200 feet of the
proposed development site shall be included. Existing and proposed
locations and dimensions of utility lines, sewer lines, water lines,
fire hydrants, easement drainage ways and public or private
right-of-way; If the site is not to be served by a public sewer line,
then on-site soil investigation report by a Department of Human
Services licensed site evaluator shall be provided. Location and
dimensions of on-site pedestrian and vehicular access ways, parking
areas, loading and unloading facilities, design of entrance and exits
for vehicles to and from the site, curb and sidewalk line: Landscape
plan and location and dimensions of all fencing and screening;
Topography indicating contours at all intervals of 5 feet elevation
Location of aquifers and aquifer recharge areas.

2. A written statement by the applicant that shall consist of:
Evidence by the applicant of his title and interest in the land for
which the application covers. A description of the proposed uses to be
located on site, including quantity and type of residential unit, if
any Total floor area and ground coverage of each proposed building and
structure and percentage of lot covered by each building or structure:
Summary of existing and proposed easements, restrictions and covenants
placed on the property: Method of solid waste disposal: Erosion and
sedimentation control plan approved by Oxford County Soil Conservation
Service: If public water or sewer are to be used, a statement from the
Paris Utility District as to the adequacy of public water and or sewer
lines: A statement from the road commissioner that the proposed road
or street construction will meet town specification. An estimate of
the date when construction will start and when the development will be

Application Procedures The application shall be filed with the
Planning Board for review and accompanied by a fee of $10.00 for
processing the application. Within 30 days of the filing of an
application, the Planning Board shall notify the applicant in writing
either that the application is a complete application or, if the
application is incomplete, the specific additional material needed to
make a complete application. After the Planning Board has determined
that a complete application has been filed, it shall notify the
applicant in writing and begin its review of the proposed development.
The Planning Board may hold a public hearing within 30 days of the
filing of the completed application. The Planning Board shall publish
time, date and place of the hearing at least seven days prior to the
hearing in a newspaper of area wide circulation. The Planning Board
may require the developer to notify the abutting land owners of the
hearing. Within 30 days of the public hearing or 60 days of receiving
the application the Planning Board shall either approve, approve with
conditions, or disapprove the applications. The time limit for review
for review may be extended by mutual agreement between the Planning
Board and the applicant. Within seven (7) days of reaching their
decision, the Planning Board shall notify the applicant in writing of
any action taken and the reason for taking such action.

Section V. Performance Standards The following standards are to be
used by the Planning Board in judging applications for site plan
reviews and shall serve as minimum requirements for approval of the
site plan. The site plan shall be approved, unless in the judgment of
the Planning Board the applicant is not able to reasonably meet one or
more of these standards. In all instances the burden of proof shall be
on the applicant and such burden of proof shall include the production
of evidence necessary to complete the application. 1.	Preserve and
Enhance the Landscape: The landscape shall be preserved in it's
natural state insofar as practicable by minimizing tree removal,
disturbance of soil, retaining existing vegetation during
construction. 2.	Relationship of the Proposed Buildings to
Environment: Proposed structures shall be related harmoniously to the
terrain and to existing buildings in the vicinity which have visual
relationship to the proposed buildings. Special attention shall be
paid to the bulk location and height of the building(s) and such
natural features as slope, soil type and drainage ways. 3.	Phosphorus
export from the proposed development shall be calculated according to
the procedures defined in "phosphorus control in lake watersheds: A
Technical Guide for Evaluating New Development" (Maine Department of
Environmental Protection, September 1989 with revisions in 1992 and
may be revised). Upon request, copies of all worksheets and
calculations shall be provided by the Planning Board. 4.	Vehicular and
Pedestrian Access: The proposed site layout shall provide for safe
entrances and exits from public and private roads by providing
adequate locations, numbers and control of access points including
site distances, turning lanes and traffic signalization when required
by existing and projected traffic flow on the municipal road system
and for pedestrian ways within the development appropriate to the type
and scale of the development. The Board may require a Traffic Impact
Study be prepared. The Planning Board shall consider the following
criteria accommodate the additional traffic generated by the
development. a.	Any exit driveway or driveway lane shall be designed
in profile and grading and be so located as to provide the minimum
sight distances in each direction. The measurement shall be from the
driver's seat of a vehicle standing on the portion of the exit
driveway from distances between 10 and 15 feet behind the curb line or
edge of shoulder, with the height of eye, 3.5 feet to the top of an
object 4.25 feet above the pavement. b.	Vehicle access to the site
shall be on roads which have adequate capacity to

				Posted Speed Limit			Sight Distance
				25mph					250'
				30mph					300'
				35mph					350'
				40mph					400'
				45mph					450'
				50mph					500'
				55mph					550'

Where truck traffic is expected to be substantial, the minimum site
distance shall be increased by fifty (50) percent of that required in
the table above. Height of eye should be six (6) feet with the height
of the object no more than 4.25 feet above pavement. 

Where more than one business or structure is located on a single
parcel, all vehicular access to and from a public or private road
shall be via a common access or entrance way(s) serving all business
and structures except as may be provided herein.

The grade of any exit driveway or proposed street for a distance of at
least fifty (50) feet from its intersection with any existing street
shall be a maximum of three (3) percent wherever possible.

Where a lot has frontage on two (2) or more streets, the primary
access to and egress from the lot shall be provided from the street
where there is less potential for traffic congestion and for traffic
and pedestrian hazards. Access from other streets may be allowed if it
is safe and does not promote short cutting through the site.

Access ways shall be designed and have sufficient capacity to avoid
queuing of entering vehicles on any street.

The following criteria shall be used to limit the number of driveways
serving a proposed project. The planning Board may allow for variation
from these criteria when the type and or nature of traffic and or
vehicles require it.

No use which generates less than one hundred (100) trips per day shall
have more than one (1) two-way driveway onto a single road way. Such
driveway shall be no greater than thirty (30) feet wide. No use which
generates one hundred (100) or more vehicle trips per day shall have
more than (2) points of egress to a single roadway. The combined width
of all access ways shall not exceed sixty (60) feet.

Private entrances exits shall be located at least fifty (50) feet from
the closest unsignalized intersection and one hundred fifty (150) feet
from the closest signalized intersection. This requirement may be
reduced if the shape of the site does not allow conformance with this

Packing and Circulation

All streets, public or private, shall conform to or surpass the Town's
road standards. The layout and design of all means of vehicular and
pedestrian circulation, including walkways, interior roads, drives and
parking areas shall provide for safe general circulation, separation
of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, service traffic, loading areas,
and arrangement and use of parking areas. A use shall not be extended
and no structure shall be constructed or enlarged unless sufficient
off-street parking space is provided that conforms to the following:

1.	Parking areas with more than two (2) parking spaces shall be shall
be arranged so that it is not necessary for vehicles to back into the
street. 2.	Where the development will abut an existing or potential
parking area provisions shall be made for internal vehicular
connections. 3.	Parking areas shall be designed to permit each motor
vehicle to proceed to and from parking space provided for it without
requiring the moving of any other motor vehicle. 4.	Off-street parking
spaces shall comply with the following standards a.	Except as provided
below, each parking space shall contain a rectangular area at least
eighteen (18) feet long and nine (9) feet wide. Lines demarcating
parking spaces may be drawn at various angles in relation to curbs and
aisles, so long as the parking spaces so created contain within them
the rectangular required by this section. b.	Up to twenty (20) percent
of the required parking spaces need contain a rectangular area of only
eight (8) feet in width by fifteen (15) feet in length. If such spaces
are provided, they shall be conspicuously designated as reserved for
small or compact cars.

5.	Off- street parking shall be provided to conform with the number
required in the following. New dwelling in existing building			1-2

						Of gross floor area
Retail						one per 300 sq. ft.

Office						one per 200 sq. ft.

Wholesale/warehouse				one per 1,200 sq. ft. of storage or
							gross floor area

Industrial/manufacturing				one per employee on maximum
							working shift

Hotels, motels, tourist homes			one per room plus 1-2 per

Hospitals					one per bed plus one for each 							employee on
the largest working 							shift

Nursing convalescent homes			1-2 per bed

Elementary					one per classroom

Secondary					5 per classroom

Theaters/auditoria/churches			one per five seat and one space per
							100 sq. ft. of area for assembly

Eating/drinking establishments			one per three seats

For those uses not specifically listed or able to be placed into one
of the above categories there shall be sufficient off-street spaces to
accommodate the normal parking demand as determined by the Planning

Required off-street parking for lots which cannot provide their own
parking because of location, lot size or other existing development
may be substituted by parking facilities which, in the public's
interest may be provided for private parking resources. No such public
or private off-street parking shall be considered as a substitute
unless located within 500 feet of the principal building or use as
measured along lines of public access.

If required off-street parking is to be provided by off site private
parking such areas shall be held in fee simple by the owner of the use
served or in other tenure as assures continued availability for
parking as long as the particular land will be needed for such use,
provided that if the tenure is other than ownership in simple fee, the
form of the tenure shall be approved by the Town Manager prior to
final approval by the Planning Board.

The joint use of a parking facility by two or more principal buildings
or uses may be approved by the Planning Board where it is clearly
demonstrated that said parking facilities would substantially meet the
intent of the requirements by reason of variation in the probable time
of maximum use by patrons or employees of such establishments.

The use of an existing building for its current use shall be deemed to
be in compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this
section. However any change in the use above the first floor or any
renovation which will increase the floor area shall be required to
comply with the required off street parking requirements for the
increased floor area.

9. Surface Water Drainage: Adequate provision shall be made for
surface drainage so that removal of surface waters will not adversely
affect neighboring properties, downstream water quality, soil erosion
or the public storm drainage system. On-site absorption of run-off
water shall be utilized to minimize discharge from the site.

10. Existing Utilities: The development shall not impose an
unreasonable burden on sewers, sanitary and storm drains, waterlines
or other public utilities.

11. Advertising Features: The size, location design, lighting and
material of all exterior signs and outdoor advertising structures or
features shall not detract from the design of the proposed buildings
and structures and the surrounding properties: and shall not interfere
with or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

12. First time sign and signs that replace existing signs.
	a. In the case of a multi-tenant development, it shall be the
responsibility of the owner or property manager of such premise to
allocate sign space upon the premise, under the terms of this section.
	b. On each premise, there shall be permitted one (1) wall or
roof sign affixed to the exterior of the structure for each occupancy
under common ownership, operation or control therein. Such signs shall
not occupy more than twenty (20) percent of the wall to which it is
attached or is above. For the purpose of this section, wall is defined
as the fa‡ade of the building up to the roof line excluding windows,
doors and major architectural features.
	c. Window and door signs are allowed without regard to the
percentage of the door or window in which they are displayed.
	d. One projecting sign is permitted per structure, projecting
signs shall extend no lower than (10) feet above ground level
projecting from the wall at an angle of ninety (90) degrees. No
projecting sign shall exceed twenty-four (24) square feet.
	e. One free standing sign is permitted per lot. No free
standing sign shall be greater than twenty four (24) square feet.
	f. Awning and canopy signs are permitted. Canopies over fuel
islands shall only advertise fuel and fuel products.
	g. Signs shall be illuminated only by the following means:
		1. A steady, stationary light(s) of single color
shielded and directed solely at the sign and not casting light off the
		2. Interior, non exposed, white lights of reasonable

13. Special Features of the Development: Exposed storage areas,
exposed machinery installation, service areas, truck loading areas,
utility buildings and similar structures shall have sufficient
setbacks and screening to minimize their adverse impact on other land
uses within the development area and surrounding properties.

14. Exterior Lighting: All exterior lighting shall be designed to
minimize adverse impact of neighboring properties and the safe flow of
pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

15 Emergency vehicle access: Provision shall be made for providing and
maintaining convenient and safe emergency vehicle access to all
buildings and structures at all times. Municipal Services: The
development will not have an unreasonable  adverse impact on  the
municipal services including municipal roads, fire department, police,
solid waste, sewage treatment plants, schools, open spaces,
recreational programs and facilities and other municipal services.

16. Will not result in undue water pollution.

17. Will not result in undue air pollution.

18. Will not cause an unreasonable burden on an existing water supply,
if one is to be utilized.

19. Will not cause unreasonable soil erosion or reduction in the
capacity of the land to hold water so that a dangerous or unhealthy
condition may result.

20. Will provide for adequate sewage waste disposal.

21. Will not have an undue adverse effect on the scenic or natural
beauty of the area, aesthetics, historic sites or rare and
irreplaceable natural areas.

22. Whenever situated in whole or in part within 250 feet of any pond,
river or stream, will not adversely affect the quality of such body of
water or unreasonably affect the shoreline of such body of water.

Section VI. General Provisions A.	The Planning Board may nullify or
waive any of the above application requirements or Performance
standards when the Planning Board determines that because of the
special circumstances of the site, such application requirements or
standards would not be applicable or would be an unnecessary burden
upon the applicant and not adversely affect the abutting owners and
the general health, safety and welfare of the town. B.	The Planning
Board may require the filing of a Performance Bond, the execution of a
conditional agreement with the municipality by the applicant. C.	All
construction performed under the authorization of a building permit
issued for development within the scope of this ordinance shall be in
conformance with the approved site plan.

Section VII. Violation, Enforcement and Fines Violation and
	The Planning Board, the Selectmen or appropriate municipal
officials upon finding that any provision of this ordinance or the
condition(s) of a permit issued under this ordinance is being violated
are authorized to institute legal proceedings to enjoin violations of
this ordinance. Fines: A person or corporation who violates the
provisions of this ordinance or condition(s) of a permit shall be
guilty of a civil violation and on conviction shall be fined not less
than $100.00 nor more than $2500.00 as provided by State law. Each day
such violation continues, shall constitute a separate violation. Such
person shall also be liable for court costs and reasonable attorney
fees incurred by the municipality.

Section VIII. Validity and Separability and Conflict with Ordinances
Validity and Separability: Should any section or provision of this
ordinance be declared by any court to be invalid such decision shall
not invalidate any other section or provision of the ordinance.
Conflict with other ordinances: Whenever the requirements of this
ordinance are inconsistent with the requirements of any other
ordinance, code or statute, the more restrictive requirements shall

Section IX. Appeals
	If the Planning Board disapproves an application or grant
approval with conditions that are objectionable to the applicant or
any other abutting land owner or any aggrieved party, or when it is
claimed that the provisions of the ordinance do not apply, or that the
true intent and meaning of the ordinance has been misconstrued or
wrongfully interpreted, the applicant, an abutting land owner, or
aggrieved party may appeal the decision of the Planning Board in
writing to the Board of Appeals within 30 days of the Planning Board's
decision. The Board of Appeals may reverse the Planning Board's
decision or may grant a variance as defined herein after holding a
public hearing.

Section X. Amendments
	The ordinance may be amended by a majority vote of a Town
Meeting. Amendments may be initiated by a majority vote of the
Planning Board or by request of the Board of Selectmen to the Planning
Board or on petition of 10% of the votes cast in the last
gubernatorial election in the town. The Planning Board shall conduct a
public hearing on any proposed amendment.

Section XI. Definitions Accessory Use or Structure: A subordinate use
of a building, or structure or land, or subordinate building or other
structure: 1.	Whose use is customary in connection with the principal
building, other structure, or use of land; and 2.	Whose use is clearly
incidental to the use of the principal building, other structure or
use of land: and 3.	Which is located on the same lot with the
principal building, other structure or use of land or on a lot
adjacent to such lot if in the same ownership or part of the same

Alteration: Structural changes, re-arrangement, change of location,
demolition, or addition to a building, or structure other than repairs
and modifications in building equipment, involving more than 25% of
the overall floor space or bulk of the building or structure at any
time or in total since the effective date of this ordinance and
installation or replacement of signs. Building: Any structure having a
roof or partial roof supported by columns or walls used for the
shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property of any kind. A
building shall include a multiple family dwelling. Commercial:
Connected with the buying or selling of goods or services or the
provision of facilities for a fee. Dwelling Unit: A room or group of
rooms designed and equipped exclusively for use as living quarters for
one family. Industrial: Connected with the assembling, fabrication,
finishing, manufacturing, packaging or processing of goods or the
extraction of minerals. Institutional: A building devoted to some
public, governmental, educational, charitable, medical or similar
purpose. Multiple Family Dwelling: A building(s) consisting of three
or more attached dwelling units. Persons: Means any person, firm,
association, partnership, corporation, municipal or other local
government entity, quasi-municipal entity, state agency, educational
or charitable organization or institution or other legal entity.
Structure: Anything constructed, erected, or placed except a boundary
wall or fence Variance: A relaxation of the terms of this ordinance
where such variance would not be contrary to the public interest
where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result
of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of this
ordinance would result in unnecessary undue hardship. A financial
hardship shall not constitute grounds for granting a variance. The
crucial points of a variance are undue hardship and unique
circumstances applying to the property. A variance is not justified
unless both elements are present in the case.