Core Zoning Code

The Board of Selectmen voted in June 2019 to establish a committee to assist them in crafting a new land-use code which:

  • Removed all design standards for the rural areas of town
  • Simplified the process of obtaining permits in the Design Review districts by making standards clear and easily administered
  • Fully complied with the 2018 Comprehensive Plan
  • Did not serve as “window dressing” of the prior character code proposal

In February, the Zoning Committee completed its work and presented the draft to the Board of Selectmen. After some minor formatting changes made this summer, below is the latest draft of this proposal which the Board of Selectmen believe complies with the mandate they set forth. The Selectmen invite you to look over this new document and provide feedback on this effort.

You can download a copy of the proposal here or if you wish, you may print out a copy… this draft is just over 100 pages. But if you are unable print or view online, copies of the latest draft are available the Town Office for review during normal business hours.

Roads, Driveways, and Entrances Ordinance

With development of the Core Zoning Code this past winter, it was clear to the Zoning Committee and the Board of Selectmen the Town needed to codify the best practices for management of the town’s transportation network. These best practices have been used for decades Newcastle and include items which did not fit with the needs of the Core Zoning Code but cover such items as entrance permits, driveway culverts, and basic road standards. The proposed ordinance below offers clear guidance in areas that were previously unwritten and arbitrary.

Q & A from Pop Up sessions and Change Log

The lists below are a result of questions from residents and the answers provided.

Here is the Change Log for all of the changes made to the Core Zoning Code since March 2020

Core Zoning Code Town Meeting Question

While the Core Zoning Code is much smaller document than the current Land Use Ordinance, there are a number of standards in the current ordinance which will need to be pulled out so that the Town has standards in areas such as storm water management, floodplain management, and shoreland zoning. Additionally, in the event of an affirmative vote, the Town will require some time between the November 3rd referendum vote and the effective date of the new ordinance to be prepared for the “switch” on the code to be flipped on.

Accompanying Ordinances

In accordance with the question above, some sections of the existing land use ordinance will need to be pulled out until the Planning Board can finalize their review of items such as shoreland zoning. Here are the accompanying ordinances called out:

Comprehensive Plan

The basis behind any land use ordinance, or in Newcastle’s case the Core Zoning Code, is the town’s approve Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan establishes the vision for the community within which the Core Zoning Code is meant to enact.

On June 12th 2018, the Town adopted the new Comprehensive Plan by a 2 to 1 margin. The approved Comprehensive Plan can be found here: Comprehensive Plan June 12 2018 Approved