Today, Greenville has a comprehensive Land Use Ordinance that regulates building and development within the town. Village, Residential, Rural and Industrial districts have been designated, with permitted uses clearly defined for each. Fees are based on a scale determined by the size of the structure to be constructed.
Shoreland projects are regulated by both State and local laws. There is currently a 100 ft. setback required on all residential structures in shoreland districts; except for a 75 ft. setback in what has been determined to be the High Density Residential Shoreland District.
The town employs a state certified Codes Enforcement Officer (CEO) who is responsible for reviewing and issuing building permits within the town. The CEO may issue several types of building and use permits without Planning Board approval. For those permits considered "Special Exceptions" and for certain shoreland permits, Planning Board review and approval are required.
The Town's Planning Board meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. The Board consists of seven members each having one vote. Applications are reviewed and decisions rendered based on the voter approved Basic Land Use Ordinance for the Town of Greenville. This lengthy document sets down guidelines and rules for all construction and "use" activities within the Town. The Codes Enforcement Officer is available Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. This guide has been created to introduce you to the local permitting process and to guide you through the process of securing a permit for your project.
1. Building Permit Applications
Three types of permit applications are available, depending on the zoning district the property is in and the type of construction planned.
In the Shoreland Districts applications are for either a Shoreland Zone Building Permit or a Special Exception Building Permit. Shoreland Zone Building Permit applications are required for any project in a shoreland district that is listed as a permitted use in the Basic Land Use Ordinance for the Town of Greenville 1995. Special Exception Building Permit applications are required for all projects in the Shoreland District that are identified as Special Exceptions in the Ordinance. There is a $75 fee for filing a Special Exception Building Permit application. This fee covers the costs of the Planning Board, including notification of abutters, advertising, and Public Hearings.
All permit applications are reviewed by the Code Enforcement Officer. If the request is for a permitted use and meets the criteria for the district, a permit will be issued. If the request does not meet local criteria you will be notified of the decision and why it was rejected. You will also be informed of appeal procedures.
If the request requires Planning Board review, it will be placed on the Board's next agenda, and you will be notified of the date and time your application will be reviewed.
You do not have to be present when the Planning Board reviews your application. If the application is compete the Board is usually able to make a decision on the request during their meeting. However, if your application is for a Special Exception Building Permit , you may want to be present to address any questions the Board may have regarding your project.
Once the Board has made a decision on your application the Code Enforcement Officer will notify you by mail of their decision. If your project is approved you will be advised of the permit fee due and told when you may pick up your Building Permit card. If your application is denied you will also be notified by mail and informed of the appeal procedure.
Shoreland Zone Building Permits are good for one year from date of issue. If at the end of one year a 'substantial start' has not been made, the permit becomes null and void and you must apply for a new permit. Shoreland Zone Building Permits are not allowed to be renewed under State of Maine law. A substantial start is defined as 'completion of thirty percent (30%) of a permitted structure or use, measured as a percentage of estimated total cost.
Each shoreland zone has its own setback requirements form the normal high water line (NHWL) of the water body it borders. This setback establishes the buffer zone in which no construction may take place. In most districts the setback from the NHWL is 100 feet. Individual district guidelines are available at the Town Office.
3. Clearing for Development
It is not permissible to remove the vegetation within the shoreline buffer strip to create a cleared area. Guidelines in the Ordinance allow only for the clearing of a foot-path to the water body, with limits on width, and 'provided that a clear line of sight to the water through the buffer strip is not created.' Adjacent to a great pond classified GPA, the width of the foot path shall be limited to six feet. These regulations were established to preserve the shoreland areas and the adjacent water body as well as the natural beauty which probably attracted you to the property in the first place.
Copies of the clearing standards are available at the Town Office, explaining what can be removed and what cannot. If you call and request a copy, the Code Enforcement Officer will mail one to you.
4. Minimum Lot Size
Minimum lot sizes have been established for the various shoreland zone districts. Depending on whether the Moosehead Sanitary District or a subsurface waste water disposal system will serve the property, the minimum lot size requirements will vary. Allowances are made for non-conforming lots of record. Your Realtor should be able to tell you if the property you are considering is a non-conforming lot or if it meets the minimum lot size requirements.
5. Erosion and Sedimentary Control
All activities that involve filling, grading, excavation, earth moving or other land use activities which result in un stabilized soil conditions in shoreland zones require the submission of a written soil and sedimentation plan. In addition, an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan certified by a Maine registered professional engineer may be required. Additional information on erosion and sedimentary control measures is available from the Code Enforcement Officer.
6. Plumbing Permits
All activities which involve plumbing fixtures or subsurface waste water disposal systems require a permit from the local plumbing inspector (LPI). Liscenced Plumbing Inspector Brian Turner can be reached at 207-997-3287
7. Permit Fees
Permit fees have been established by the board of Selectmen based on the square footage of the project proposed. Copies of the 'Revised and Approve Fee Schedule' are available at the Town Office.
A copy of the Basic Land Use Ordinance for the Town of Greenville 2001 is available to the public during business hours.
Individual copies may be purchased for $10.
The Code Enforcement Officer is available Monday - Friday, 8am – 4pm (call first) to answer any questions you may have concerning property you're interested in or projects you may be considering