Planning Board Review

Most development, other than construction or addition to a single family home, will require some type of Planning Board review.

The authority of the Planning Board to review development proposals is derived from the Subdivision Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Board also reviews and comments on Zoning Ordinance Amendments and Subdivision Ordinance Amendments before the Town Council considers adoption.

The need for Planning Board review is determined by the Code Enforcement Officer, often when a building permit is requested. If Planning Board review is required, the applicant should contact the Town Planner and schedule a meeting to discuss preparation of the development application. The Planning Board conducts the following types of review:

Subdivision Review

The Planning Board conducts major and minor subdivision review of a division of land which creates at least three parcels within five years. Much of the Planning Board's procedure and review is required by the State Subdivision Law. Many homeowners also request an "amendment to a previously approved subdivision" when their home is not constructed according to the original subdivision plan and they want to fix irregularities in their land title.

Site Plan Review

Site Plan review is generally required for construction or conversion of nonresidential buildings on a single "site." Site Plan review is required for construction of a single family home on a lot of less than 80,000 sq. ft. in the Town Center District. Site Plan Review is intended to minimize adverse impacts,, such as traffic, lighting, waste disposal, and stormwater flow, on abutting properties and taxpayers. See Sec. 19-9 of the Zoning Ordinance.  

Resource Protection Permit

Most alterations to wetland areas and construction in the 100-year flood plain require a permit from the Planning Board. You should ask the Code Enforcement Officer if your project will require a Resource Protection Permit. Because most land in Cape Elizabeth has wetland characteristics, it is not unusual for a Resource Protection permit to be issued concurrent with other reviews done by the Planning Board. If you need a Resource Protection Permit, please meet with the Town Planner to go over the regulations in the Zoning Ordinance. The description of the Resource Protection zones and what activities require a Resource Protection Permit are located in [Sec. 19-6-9 of the Zoning Ordinance.] ( The Resource Protection Permit is described in Sec. 19-8-3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Private Access Review

If a lot does not have sufficient frontage on a town-accepted road, or has frontage on a private road only, then no building permit will be issued for the lot without review by the Code Enforcement Officer or possibly the Planning Board. The Planning Board makes sure that there is adequate access to the lot for emergency vehicles and that any potential future development can occur in a logical manner. See Sec. 19-7-9 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Earth Materials Review

Did You Know?

If you disturb more than one acre of land during your project, you must apply for coverage under the Maine Construction General Permit (MCGP) through the Department of Environmental Protection (for individual residential sites) or get a Permit by Rule from Chapter 500 Stormwater Management Rules (for residential, industrial, and commercial developments).

Please visit the State of Maine Stormwater Management Law website for more information.

General Information
Town Planner
Maureen O'Meara
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
320 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth,

Tuesday - Thursday
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.