The 2016 rezoning INCREASED residential development by 35%*

*When you compare Capped development post rezoning to the previous 9 years (See “2007-2018 Growth Data” document)

In 2016, Falmouth’s Town Council voted to change the town’s zoning. It created Growth Districts where they want to direct the majority of new residential development. The largest new Growth District is Residential District A (“RA”).

“RA” Growth District Zoning Changes

Added Two Family, Multi-Family & Accessory Dwelling Units to Permitted Structures

Cut the Single Family Minimum lot Size by 50% – from .46 acres to .23 acres

Two Family development can occur on just .23 of an acre

Multi-family developments can occur on just .34 of an acre (up to 6 units/development)

Cut the allowable road frontage by 60% – from 125′ to 50′

 Cut the front setback by 60% – from 25′ to 10′

Cut the side setback by 50% – from 20′ to 10′

Cut the back setback by 25% – from 40′ to 30′

A large section of the new RA District is already as densely populated as Portland!

Falmouth Foreside population density – 962 people/square mile
City of Portland population density – 963 people/square mile

Find out if you live in the RA District or a different new Growth District

See all 2016 Residential Rezoning Changes

Town Logic

“LPAC believes that if existing non-conformities in the growth area can be reduced, building in this area will be made easier…” – LPAC

The Town Council adopted the Long Range Planning Advisory Committee’s (“LPAC”)  Comprehensive plan in 2013 and it was approved by the State of Maine in 2014. The logic for many of LPAC’s suggested zoning changes were briefly described in their 2015 draft document “Comprehensive Plan Implementation Growth Are Recommendations – Year 1” , page 3.


The Board of Zoning Appeals is busy

Non-conforming lots require Board of Zoning Appeals approval for development which takes time

Current rules discourage development of non-conforming lots

Owners of non-conforming lots have left Falmouth due to the process 

Consequently, the Town Council cut in half the minimum lot size in the entire RA District to conform to non-conforming lots because the Zoning Appeals Board was busy…

For the Record

“Three-quarters of residents indicate the Town should develop smaller zoning districts that more closely relate to the character of existing development…” LPAC survey finding

LPAC conducted a statistically-valid survey in 2011 of Falmouth residents and those with businesses in Falmouth to guide the creation of the town’s Comprehensive Plan. 


Education – 84%

Public Safety – 75%

Driving/Roads – 69%

Falmouth resident’s top 3 priorities are directly, and negatively impacted by accelerated growth and increased density.

(for more information about the survey, see “Town of Falmouth 2013 Comprehensive Plan, Volume II Appendices“, page 16)

2016 to 2018 was the FASTEST three year growth period in the past twelve years

What You Can Do

There are three ways to tell the Falmouth Town Council that you want to repeal the 2016 zoning changes:

Vote in the 2016 Rezoning Poll

Send the Town Council an email

Attend LPAC and Town Council meetings and share your thoughts

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive email alerts from the Town of Falmouth regarding committee meetings, announcements and more. 

2 thoughts on “2016 Rezoning”

  1. I was quite stunned tonight to hear the Council Chair admit that one of the reasons for the 2016 changes was because the BZA is busy.
    In 2016 we were made to go before the BZA in order to build a 7 foot by 7 foot addition on our house (which is on 2 1/2 acres). The addition was for an elevator. My husband is 80 years old, and we’d like to “age in place”, a goal the Town supposedly supports. The problem according to the Town was not setbacks or anything like that, it was the fact that we live on a private road (which has existed since at least 1862!!!!!!) and therefore have no public road frontage.

    Perhaps if the BZA spent less time chasing after ridiculous minor matters, they wouldn’t have been so busy. Ironically under the 2016 RA changes, we now have two huge new houses on this road that are out of scale and squeezed in on the smallest of lots. Thanks to the 2016 changes, the people developing those homes did NOT have to go before the BZA.

    What in the world are these Councilors thinking?

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