Mixed-Use Neighborhood Zone (Formerly Business Park)

Mixed Use Neighborhood Image

Following an extensive review and development process, the administration, in collaboration with the Kittery Open Space Advisory Commitee (repurposed for this effort), and the Economic Development Committee, is pleased to be advancing zoning amendments to the former Business Park Zone.  These amendments were developed to support investment in and build-out of one of Kittery's primary "target growth areas" as identified by the Comprehensive Plan.

Recent Updates

  • To view the Mixed-Use Neighborhood Re-zoning (Formerly Business Park) Public Forum hosted on October 29, 2018, please click here.
  • For the current version of the proposed Mixed-Use Neighborhood Ordinance, please click here.

Re-zoning of Business Park to Mixed-Use Neighborhood Overview:


Existing Business Park Zone Map

To view the existing Business Park Zone map, please click here.  The map includes parcels for inclusion in the Proposed Neighborhood Mixed-Use Zone.

Business Park Use Study

In 2016, the Economic Development Committee was fielding information from a parcel owner within the Business Park Zone about potential development opportunities. The owner was seeking town support to utilize the Tax Incentive Financing district to invest in roads, water, and power access to his parcel. At the time, the EDC wished to better understand the opportunities and challenges with development of the whole zone, prior to providing the Council with a recommendation on the specific request. The EDC and Council agreed to pursue a land-use study as a prudent next step.

In 2017, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission was engaged to conduct the land-use study. The scope included identifying the build-out options for the full zone and determining the best possible layout for roads, access to water, and three-phase power to support that build-out. The consultant team, working with staff and the owners of the parcels, evaluated the physical conditions of the land, the zoning regulations, and the market opportunities.

The study was completed in August of 2017. Its primary conclusion was that the wetlands and vernal pools serve as the most significant impediment to development in the zone. The zoning regulations further restricted the site, such that beneficial development was all but stifled. Recommendations included adjusting zoning to maximize the limited pockets of developable land that existed between the wetlands. The complete study was provided to Council and is available for viewing or download here.

Zoning Amendment Development

In July of 2017, the Council was advised of the plan to utilize the Kittery Open Space Committee as a working group to develop ideas on zoning amendments for the Business Park zone. KOSAC includes representatives from a majority of the land-use focused boards, commissions, and committees in town including Council, Planning, Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Economic Development Committee, Parks Commission, Kittery Land Trust, and the Comp Plan
Update Committee. Over the fall and winter, KOSAC worked with staff on the zoning amendment.  The result is a new “Neighborhood Mixed-Use” zone in place of the Business Park Zone.

KOSAC’s work was guided by the understanding that the zone is designated as a targeted growth area, the majority of the land is undevelopable due to wetlands, and this particular area of town is truly a fitting place for new growth given its location, its natural buffers with other neighborhoods, and its access to major road systems. KOSAC finalized their process in February, supporting the main principals of the zoning amendment being brought forward.

Planning Board Review

The Planning Board discussed the proposed amendments at a number of meetings, and held a public hearing on June 14, 2018. The Planning Board sought increases in density, and expressed divergent opinions on the height allowance (50 feet, or up to 70 feet if parking is constructed under the building). The Planning Board also discussed whether affordable housing incentives could be incorporated into the zone. The Planning Board voted 4-2 in favor of recommending the zoning amendment to the Town Council.

Recent Updates

The Council has conducted its workshop with the Planning Board on the proposed amendment to Title 16, and gathered public input. The comments overwhelmingly focused on building height and proposed zoning boundaries. Please note, the zoning boundaries are not part of the Council’s consideration at this time, but are provided simply as informational. The Council will be asked to consider the zone boundaries at a future meeting. The building height in the original zoning proposal was 50 feet maximum unless parking was contained within the building footprint (meaning under the building), in which case the building could go up to 70 feet maximum. If building heights were to be 70 feet, the town would need to replace its fire aerial (ladder truck) with a model that could service the higher buildings. Currently our fire aerial is appropriate for a maximum 50 feet building height. The revised proposal has eliminated the 70 feet maximum height allowance. All buildings within the zone will have a 50 feet height maximum.

Past Meetings, Reports and Materials

Town Manager Reports to Town Council

Other Reports to Town Council

Planning Board Meeting Minutes

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