Community Guided Planning and Zoning

in Washington County Unorganized Territories

Launched in January 2015, WCCOG is assisting Washington County with a 2-year Community Guided Planning and Zoning (CGP&Z) process for the Unorganized Territories of Washington County.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The CGP&Z planning process will be an open one with plenty of opportunities for public input. Community Outreach meetings schedule here.

Inventory, meeting times/minutes, draft documents and opportunities for input will be posted on the CGP&Z Process page.

The first 3 meetings to create the Process Document and overall scope of the project are complete.

Why Plan Now?

There are many planning issues facing the Washington County Unorganized Territories.  The Maine Land Use Planning Commission (the LUPC or Commission) serves as the planning and zoning authority for the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State, including townships and plantations. These areas either have no local government or have chosen not to administer land use controls at the local level. Prior to the creation of the LUPC in 2012, the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) had regulatory authority within the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State.

In 2012, the Maine Legislature made a number of changes to the statute that applies to the Commission’s activity (Guidance for Interpreting the 2010 Comprehensive Plan Use Plan, 10-5-2012). In addition to changing the Commission's purpose statement and scope, the 2012 changes direct the new Commission to initiate prospective zoning in coordination with local planning organizations and regional planning and development districts.

Since these changes took effect, Community Guided Planning and Zoning has started in Aroostook County and the Western Mountains of Maine. Community Guided Planning and Zoning is now underway in Washington County to achieve the following:


The products to be created by the Community Guided Planning and Zoning Process will include:

Of highest priority: a prospective zoning proposal for the Unorganized Territories of Washington County. This will be supported or complemented by:

These products, once approved by the Land Use Planning Commission, will be in effect in the Washington County portion of the Commission's jurisdiction.

In the course of preparing these products, the effort will examine key issues according to the following three areas of analysis:
The first three areas of analysis are closely related and often overlapping and will inform and support the final decisions about where to:

Designate growth and rural areas to define locations for residential and commercial growth, its location relative to towns and rural areas, and supporting services and infrastructure. 

Results of the three areas of analysis will be combined with other information such as service availability, natural resource mapping, patterns of residential development and employment, and impacts on existing communities to determine rural and growth designation.

Recommendations emerging from this effort will be informed by, and draw from, existing plans for matters such as transportation and solid waste. 

This is an ambitious agenda; in the course of the planning effort, the product may be narrowed to prospective zoning for limited areas in the Washington County U.T., and some areas and topics will be treated in more depth than others.  Given the ambitious agenda, if the analysis of key issues demands excessive amounts of time and effort, priority will be given to the goal of designating prospective zoning districts.

Background Documents

Presentation by WCCOG to County Commissioners Jan 8, 2015 (NOTE - large file: 16MB PDF)

Community Guided Planning & Zoning information from Land Use Planning Commission (10-22-13)

Title 12. Conservation Land Use Planning (statute governing land use regulation in the Unorganized Territories) as amended through August 30, 2012

Current (2010) Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Maine's Unorganized Territories:


Chapter 1 Vision, Goals and Policies

Chapter 2 The Commission

Chapter 3 The Jurisdiction

Chapter 4 Development

Chapter 5 Natural and Cultural Resources

Chapter 6 Compliance

Chapter 7 Implementation


Land Use Districts and Standards for Areas within the Jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Planning Commission

Chapter 10 Subchapter I General Provisions

Chapter 10 Subchapter II Land Use Sub Districts

Chapter 10 Subchapter III Land Use Standards

Chapter 10 Fees

Chapter 10 Appendices




For more information, contact Judy East at 454-0465