Shoreland Zoning News Winter 2022

Shoreland Zoning Headerwinter

December 2022

In this Issue:

Individual Private Campsites (IPC’s) Located in the Shoreland Zone (Not Associated with Campgrounds)


Within the Shoreland Zone, one campsite is allowed on an existing legal lot of record or 30,000 square feet of lot area, whichever is less.  If the lot contains another principal use and/or structure, the lot must have the minimum lot dimensional requirements for a principal structure and/or use and 30,000 square feet of lot area for the individual private campsite.

Individual private campsites on any lot must meet the setback of 100 feet, horizontal distance, from the normal high-water line of a great pond, a river flowing to a great pond and 75 feet, horizontal distance, from the normal high-water line of other water bodies, streams, tributary streams, or the upland edge of a wetland.  This includes the area intended for a recreational vehicle or tent platform.  One recreation vehicle is allowed on the campsite, there shall be no type of permanent foundation, a gravel pad is allowed, and no structure attached to the recreational vehicle is allowed except for a canopy/awning.  If the individual private campsite is in the Resource Protection District, the clearing of vegetation will be limited to 1,000 square feet.  Each IPC is required to have a written sewage disposal plan describing the proposed method and location of the sewage disposal and the plan must be approved by the Local Pluming Inspector.  If the disposal is off site, a written authorization from the receiving facility or landowner is required.

If a recreation vehicle, tent, or similar shelter is in an IPC for more than 120 days per year, all requirements for a residential structure must be met, including installation of a subsurface sewage disposal system that is following the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules, unless it is served by a public sewage facility.

By Dawn M. Hurd

Erosion Control Training and Certification Updates Maine DEP Nonpoint Source Training Center


I have had the pleasure to meet many of you over the years, but if we haven’t yet crossed paths, I am John Maclaine and I took over for Bill Laflamme coordinating the DEP Nonpoint Source Training Center a few years ago. We offer training and assistance related to nonpoint source pollution, erosion control practices, natural resources and land use regulations and offer certifications in both erosion control practices and post-construction stormwater BMP inspection. Although the need for additional training is ever-present, over the past few years, DEP’s Nonpoint Source Training Center has been implementing some changes to our program to help contractors and municipal officials alike understand the concepts and provide additional guidance on erosion and sedimentation control practices.

Although we all still refer to “certified contractors”, the certification is now officially “Certification in Erosion Control Practices” and is open to inspectors as well as contractors. When disturbing soil in the Shoreland Zone, contractors must ensure a trained, certified person is on-site and responsible for the site’s erosion control practices, although those folks may also require some additional guidance from time to time. CEOs can also obtain Erosion Control Certification and CEO Training Credit free online using our new 8-hour online class:

We also have 10 hours of new online video trainings in various topics available for both certification credits and simply for interest. Anyone can view the videos for free, although a fee would apply for applying certification credit. CEOs can obtain credits and view any of our online training videos for free (online trainings are at the bottom of the page).

The importance of competent selection, installation, and maintenance of erosion and sedimentation controls is key to their proper function and protection of our waterbodies. While receiving proper training and guidance is important, ensuring the controls implemented are adequate and will work can be difficult; every location is a bit different and the controls we use will vary too. Although DEP provides training and Certification in Erosion Control Practices, it is most often up to municipalities to ensure the training is properly implemented on-site. DEP’s Nonpoint Source Training Center now holds trainings year-round and we are always working to expand training topics and availability, but we rely on local partners to help make it happen. Please reach out if you would like to host a training or if you have questions about our programs.

Happy mulching!

John Maclaine

Coordinator, Maine DEP Nonpoint Source Training Center

(207) 615-3279

Logger Resolves Shoreland Timber Harvesting Violations with Maine Forest Service

AUGUSTA – The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service (MFS) has entered into an administrative settlement agreement with Maschino and Sons Lumber Company, Inc. (Maschino), based in New Gloucester. The settlement resolves violations of Maine’s rules governing timber harvesting activities in shoreland areas. Maschino agreed to pay a $3,000 civil penalty for the violation, of which $2,400.00 is being directed to the Community Forest Fund as a Supplemental Environmental Project that will be used to support urban and community forestry programs in Cumberland County.

During a 2019-2020 timber harvest on land in New Gloucester, Maschino created cleared openings too close to a freshwater wetland and removed too many trees, both in violation of state shoreland regulations.

“Our goal is to improve the management of Maine’s forests,” said Patty Cormier, MFS Director. “We focus on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations. When violations do occur, however, we have a responsibility to uphold the law. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”

“Maschino was cooperative and took full responsibility for the violation,” commented Adam Cates, MFS Regional Enforcement Coordinator. “In this particular instance, had Maschino appropriately planned and implemented the harvest to comply with the regulations, the issues could easily have been avoided.”

Cates conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with the assistance of MFS staff.

Contact: Adam Cates, (207) 441-4139

Legislative Update

The Shoreland Zoning staff has fielded numerous inquiries over the past few months regarding the recently passed Public Law 672 Chapter 30-A 4364 A & B  (enacting LD 2003 - An Act To Remove Barriers to Accessory Dwelling Units and Allow Accessory Dwelling Units Where Single-family Houses Are Allowed), which mandates municipalities permit accessory dwelling units. The question being posed is whether this applies within the Shoreland Zone?  The answer is straightforward - if the ADU complies with minimum shoreland zoning guidelines adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection, subject to locally adopted accessory dwelling unit land use requirements, and either the primary or accessory dwelling is owner-occupied.  This means that the ADU must meet the same requirements as the primary structure did on the lot. So, if your town requires 40,000 sq ft of land and 200 ft of shore frontage per dwelling, then to have an ADU on the property, the lot will have to have 80,000 sq ft of land in the shoreland zone and 400 ft of shore frontage. 

By Colin Clark

Highest Astronomical Tide (AKA HAT)

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry has taken steps to deliver the Highest Astronomical Tide, as seen here:

This number may be a tad bit higher than the highest annual tide but provides stability in the number until the NTDE is recalculated (sometime in 2023).