Shoreland Setback & Expansion Requirements

38 MRSA §439-A, sub-§4:

4. Setback requirements. Notwithstanding any provision in a local ordinance to the contrary and except as provided in this subsection, all new principal and accessory structures and expansions of such structures within the shoreland zone as established by section 435 must meet the water body or wetland setback requirements approved by the board, except functionally water-dependent uses. This subsection is not intended to prohibit a municipal board of appeals from granting a variance, subject to the requirements of this article and Title 30-A, section 4353, nor is it intended to prohibit an otherwise permissible expansion of a legally existing nonconforming structure, as long as the expansion does not create further nonconformity with the water body or wetland setback requirement.

A. All new principal and accessory structures, excluding functionally water-dependent uses, must meet the water body or wetland setback requirements approved by the board. An expansion of a legally existing nonconforming structure pursuant to this subsection may not create further nonconformity with the water body or wetland setback requirement.

B. Expansion of any portion of a structure within 25 feet of the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland is prohibited, even if the expansion will not increase nonconformity with the water body or wetland setback requirement. Expansion of an accessory structure that is located closer to the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland than the principal structure is prohibited, even if the expansion will not increase nonconformity with the water body or wetland setback requirement.

(1) Notwithstanding this paragraph, if a legally existing nonconforming principal structure is entirely located less than 25 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland, that structure may be expanded as follows, as long as all other applicable standards of land use adopted by the municipality are met and the expansion is not prohibited by paragraph A.

(a) The maximum total footprint for the principal structure may not be expanded to a size greater than 800 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of the principal structure may not be made greater than 15 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater.

C. All other legally existing nonconforming principal and accessory structures that do not meet the water body or wetland setback requirements may be expanded or altered as follows, as long as other applicable standards of land use adopted by the municipality are met and the expansion is not prohibited by paragraph A or B.

(1) For structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,000 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 20 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater.

(2) For structures located less than 100 feet from the normal high-water line of a great pond classified as GPA or a river flowing to a great pond classified as GPA, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,500 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 25 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater. Any portion of those structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland must meet the footprint and height limits in subparagraph (1).

(3) In addition to the limitations in subparagraphs (1) and (2), for structures that are legally nonconforming due to their location within the Resource Protection District when located at less than 250 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or the upland edge of a wetland, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,500 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed at the time the Resource Protection District was established on the lot, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 25 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater, except that any portion of those structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland must meet the footprint and height limits in subparagraph (1).