Town of Freedom Subdivision
Article I PURPOSES
The purposes of this ordinance
are to assure the comfort, convenience, safety, health and welfare of the people
in the town of Freedom, to protect the environment, and to promote the
development of an economically sound and stable community. To this end, in
approving subdivisions within the town of Freedom, Maine, the Planning Board
shall consider the following criteria, and before granting approval shall make
findings of fact that the provisions of this ordinance have been met and that
the proposed subdivision will meet the guidelines of Title 30-A, M.R.S.A. §4404.
1.1 Will meet existing state and town standards for natural
resource, water quality and flood protection and will not negatively impact the
safety and health of town residents.
1.2 Will not cause soil erosion or
reduction in the capacity of the land to hold water so that a dangerous or
unhealthy condition may result.
1.3 Will not cause unreasonable public road
congestion or unsafe conditions with respect to use of the public roads existing
1.4 Will allow for adequate sewage waste disposal.
allow for adequate fire protection.
1.6 Will avoid adverse impact to state
significant natural, cultural and historic resources.
1.7 Will not cause
drainage problems on neighboring properties or roads.
1.8 Will be implemented
by a subdivider who has adequate financial and technical capacity to meet the
above stated standards.
Article II PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW
applicant shall present to the Planning Board, at or before its regularly
scheduled monthly meeting, a preliminary sketch plan showing the proposed layout
of the subdivision and other features in relation to existing conditions. This
is to assist the Planning Board in understanding the geographic context of the
proposed subdivision. It is recommended that the sketch plan showing the outline
of the proposed subdivision be superimposed on a topographic map or an aerial
photograph of the land where it is located.
2.2 The subdivider or his/her
duly authorized representative shall attend the meeting of the Board to present
the sketch plan and other details of the proposed subdivision.
2.3 At this
initial meeting, the applicant will describe the proposed subdivision and the
Planning Board will review the proposal in light of the general purposes of this
2.4 Within 30 days the Board will hold an on-site inspection of
the property if deemed necessary, discuss with the applicant any potential
concerns and/or recommendations concerning the subdivision, and offer an
opportunity for the applicant to address these concerns.
2.5 The submittal or
review of the sketch plan shall not be considered the initiation of the review
process for the purposes of bringing the plan under the protection of Title I,
Article III SUBDIVISION PLAN
3.1 After the Planning
Board has discussed with the applicant its recommendations or findings, the
applicant will file a Subdivision Application along with a Subdivision Plan (see
3.6 below) to begin the process of formal review of the proposed subdivision. An
application fee of $50 payable to the Town of Freedom shall accompany the
3.2 Any changes in town zoning or land use requirements made
prior to the subdivision application must be incorporated into the Subdivision
plan and be included in the requirements to be met by the subdivision.
The Subdivision Plan shall show the final surveyed layout of the Sketch Plan and
address concerns made by the Board based upon the Purposes in Article I of this
ordinance and General Standards in Article V.
3.4 The Applicant shall notify
by certified mail the owners of all property abutting the proposed subdivision
of the pending proposal before the Planning Board and when the Planning Board
will be considering the proposal for approval or denial. This notification must
be made at least 14 days prior to the scheduled meeting. Abutters to be
contacted include all private owners directly abutting or across the road or
street from the subdivision, all property owners whose land is crossed as a
result of an easement granting access to this lot, and all owners of any private
road accessing the property.
3.5 Within 30 days of receipt of a Subdivision
Plan application form and fee, the Board shall notify the applicant in writing
whether or not the application is complete and what, if any, additional
submissions are required for a complete application. If the application is
complete, the Planning Board will notify the applicant of the next Planning
Board meeting at which the proposed plan will be discussed.
3.6 At least one
copy of the Subdivision Plan shall be submitted to the Board chairman and shall
a. An aerial photograph or topographic map of the land, either
marked or with an acetate overlay showing the general configuration of the
subdivision lots, the number of acres within the proposed subdivision, location
of the property lines, wooded and clear land, watercourses, wetland areas,
existing buildings, utility poles, location of culverts, soil test sites, and
other essential existing physical features. If any portion of the subdivision is
in a flood-prone area, the boundaries of any flood hazard areas and the 100-year
flood elevation shall be delineated on the plan.
b. An actual field survey of
the boundary lines of the tract, giving complete descriptive data by bearings
and distances, made and certified by a licensed land surveyor. The corners of
the tract shall be located on the ground and marked by monuments.
c. A copy
of any covenants, deed restrictions, easements, other rights-of-way and
encumbrances intended to cover all or part of the lots in the subdivision.
A soil analysis (perc test) for a subsurface sewage disposal system shall be
prepared by a licensed site evaluator and the location of test sites marked on
the plan. The location of suitable sites must follow standard building permit
requirements for location of septic sites in relation to neighboring lots and
e. If applicable, the location of any open space to be preserved
for public or private use and a proposal for its improvement and
3.7 The Board may waive any submission requirement that it feels
is unnecessary for reaching its findings of fact in approving or disapproving
the proposed subdivision in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance and
3.8 The applicant shall notify the Town's road commissioner
and fire chief of the proposed subdivision, the number of house lots or dwelling
units planned, and request comments upon the adequacy of their department's
existing facilities to service the subdivision. Their comments, if any, shall be
submitted as part of the Subdivision Plan, and will be considered in regard to
minimizing any potentially adverse impact of the subdivision to the town based
on the Purposes stated in Article I of this ordinance. The Planning Board
reserves the right to directly contact these officials if necessary.
3.9 If a
public hearing is deemed necessary by the Board, the hearing will be scheduled
at least 30 days before a final determination on the Subdivision Application.
The Board shall have notice of the date, time and place of the hearing given to
the applicant and published at least 2 times in a newspaper of general
circulation, with the first notice published at least 7 days before the hearing.
An additional fee shall be charged to the applicant to cover the costs of
3.10 The Board shall within 30 days after a public hearing, if
held, or within 60 days of a complete Subdivision Plan application, or within
another time limit as may be otherwise mutually agreed to by the Board and the
applicant, make findings of fact on the application, and approve, approve with
conditions, or deny the Subdivision Plan. If the Board finds that any of the
standards of the statute or this ordinance have not been met, the Board shall
either deny the application or approve the application with conditions to ensure
that all of the standards will be met by the subdivision.
3.11 It is expected
that the subdivider will use professional services as required for development
of the subdivision to meet these and all state standards for subdivision and
land use development (e.g. wetland buffers, septic design, etc.)
3.12 If the
plan is approved, the subdivision remains in effect indefinitely, regardless of
a change in ownership, subject to the following conditions:
a. If there is a
zoning change and lots remain to be sold, the remaining lots may adhere to the
originally approved zoning standards for up to 5 years from the zoning change.
b. Lots within the subdivision that are unsold 5 years after a zoning change
must adhere to the most recent zoning standards.
4.1 Development of a subdivision without Board approval shall be
a violation of law. Any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity who
conveys, offers or agrees to convey any land in a subdivision which has not been
approved as required by these regulations shall be punished by a fine of not
less than $100, and not more than $2,500 for each conveyance, offering or
agreement. The Town of Freedom may institute proceedings to enjoin the violation
of this ordinance, and may collect attorney's fees and court costs if it is the
4.2 No lots may be sold until all conditions referenced in
the approved subdivision plan are met.
Article V GENERAL STANDARDS
Lots shall conform to the requirements in Freedom Building Ordinance, other
related town ordinances and all existing state regulations. In a subdivision,
dwellings may be clustered in a residential development up to a density not to
exceed the average minimum lot size in the land use district in which it is
located. Such clustering is encouraged in order to reduce the number of
driveways into a subdivision and to maintain rural character. The subdivision
cannot result on the creation of any landlocked lots without deeded
5.2 Topsoil shall be considered part of the subdivision and shall not
be removed from the site except for surplus soil from roads, parking areas, and
5.3 Sufficient vegetation shall be left intact to
prevent soil erosion, however, normal thinning, landscaping, and cutting trees
to provide access to direct sunlight is permitted. Forestry activities or
extensive cutting or clearing shall follow state guidelines. An existing buffer
of trees is to be maintained for a depth of at least 50 feet alongside state and
town road frontage. The intention is to preserve existing character of wooded
roads in the town.
5.4 The subdivision shall be designed so as to minimize
access points to any public road, utilizing side roads and combining driveways
where reasonable. Clustering home sites along a shared driveway is
5.5 Subdivision roads shall conform to the provisions of minimum
state road standards and be sufficient for town emergency vehicles for fire,
etc. Also, the Board may require that the developer, a Homeowners' Association,
or other responsible party with the ability to collect revenue from lot owners
be made legally responsible for the maintenance of the road as a condition of
subdivision approval. This may occur when a subdivision is on a road that is not
maintained by the town.
5.6 The subdivision will provide for adequate
off-road parking for anticipated residents, customers, guests and deliveries.
Parking areas shall not be permitted within the buffer area described in 5.8
5.7 For all subdivisions, a buffer strip of at least 50 feet shall be
maintained along the exterior property boundaries. No structures, roads or
utilities may be placed in the buffer strip except that they may cross a buffer
strip to provide services to the development. Within the first 25 feet of the
buffer strip, as measured from the exterior boundary of the development,
existing visual screening shall be maintained. Screening may consist of natural
or landscaped vegetation.
Article VI WAIVERS
Where the Board makes
written findings of fact that there are special circumstances involving a
proposed subdivision or a portion thereof, it may waive certain requirements or
standards to permit a more practical and economical development, provided the
public health, safety and welfare are protected, and provided the waivers do not
have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of this
Article VII SEVERABILITY
If any portion of this ordinance
shall be held to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the
remaining portions of this ordinance.
Article VIII APPEALS
decisions of the Planning Board, pursuant to this ordinance, may be appealed
within 30 days to the Board of Appeals in accordance with the Board of Appeals
Ordinance for the Town of Freedom. This Board shall have the authority to grant
a variance from the terms of this ordinance, where necessary, to avoid undue
hardship, provided there is no substantial departure from the intent of this
ordinance and remains consistent with other applicable laws.
At any time this ordinance is amended, the Town Clerk, upon advice
from the Planning Board, is authorized to insert and/or delete amended language,
insert and/or delete clearly inconsistent references caused by such amendments,
renumber sections of the amended ordinance in a logical and appropriate fashion,
and correct typographical errors, provided such changes do not result in any
substantive alteration in the meaning of the ordinance.