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Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
(207) 781-5253

Building Code & Zoning FAQs

What is a variance?

A variance is a relaxation of the restrictions imposed by the Zoning Ordinance and can only be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Variances may be granted by the Board from the restrictions imposed on height, lot size, lot coverage and setback. The ordinance only makes variance provisions for structures not uses. The variance criteria are very difficult to satisfy.

What is a conditional use?

A conditional use is also a relaxation of the ordinance requirements. The only structures or uses which are permitted as conditional uses are those listed in the zoning ordinance for a zoning district, or specifically described in other provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Any conditional use has to be revieved and approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

What Information Do I Need To File An Appeal?

You will need to complete an application form and address all the questions on the application. You will also need to prepare a clear plot plan of the property. Depending upon the request, the Zoning Board may want additional information. Sometimes photos, drawings of proposed buildings or additions, floor plans, a survey, etc. are requested. You should review your application with the Code Enforcement Office to help you prepare for the hearing.

When Does The Information Have To Be Submitted?

An application must be received on the 4th Tuesday of the month. The Board meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

How Much Does It Cost?

Application Fees are:

BZA application: $100.00

Administrative appeal fee: $50.00

What Does "Grandfathered" Mean?

Any structure, lot or use legally in existence on 2/25/1965 is "grandfathered". This means that although a use, structure, or lot would not be permitted in a particular zoning district today, it is legal if at the time it was created it met the requirements of the zone where it is located. Another term to describe this situation is "non-conforming". There may be restrictions on expanding a grandfathered structure or use.


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