L.D. 2003 Related Items
In 2022 the State Legislature passed a law commonly known as L.D. 2003, which mandates state-wide legislation on various land use standards in an effort to address the housing shortage. With the adoption of this law, municipalities are now required to amend local land use ordinances to be in compliance with this State Law. In summary, every municipality is required to:
- Allow up to four residential structures or units on lots where housing is allowed.
- Allow an accessory dwelling unit on any lot where a single-family dwelling unit is located & permitted.
- Allow a density bonus for certain affordable housing developments.
Municipalities are expected to amend all applicable local land use ordinances by January 1, 2024 when the state law goes into effect.
- Allow up to four residential structures or units on lots where housing is allowed
Westbrook Land Use Ordinance already permits this.
Multiple dwelling units or structures are permitted on a lot provided:
- The lot is located in a zoning district where residential use is permitted;
- The lot has adequate residential density to support more than one dwelling unit; and
- All other performance standards of the zoning district in which the lot is located can be met (ex: setbacks, building footprint, etc.)
For example, the Residential Density Factor for the Residential Growth Area 1 (RGA1) District is 1-dwelling unit/5,000 sf. Therefore, if a lot located in the RGA1 District is 20,000 sf, that lot could support 4-residential dwelling units or structures, provided all other standards of the RGA1 District are met. If a lot located in the RGA1 District is 7,000 sf, that lot may only have 1-residential dwelling unit as a minimum of 10,000 sf would be required to support 2-residential units.
The intent of this law was to prohibit a municipality from only allowing 1-residential unit on a lot in a particular district regardless of that lot's size. Where Westbrook regulates residential uses based on a lot's size and not by the number of structures or units permitted, no changes to the Westbrook Land Use Ordinance are proposed or required to meet this standard.
- Allow an accessory dwelling unit on any lot where a single-family dwelling unit is located
Westbrook Land Use Ordinance mostly permits this.
An accessory dwelling unit is a dwelling unit that is permitted on a lot where the lot does not have adequate square footage to support a second unit. In the example described above, a single-family dwelling located on the 7,000 sf lot located in the RGA1 District could be afforded an accessory dwelling unit where the lot is not large enough for a second dwelling unit by right. The difference between a permitted second dwelling unit and an accessory dwelling unit is that accessory dwelling units is subject to size & occupant restrictions and additional performance standards that a permitted second unit does not.
§335-2.2 of the Land Use Ordinance permits an accessory dwelling unit on any lot where a single-family dwelling unit located. The current ordinance requires an ADU to be attached to or part of the principal single family structure. L.D. 2003 expands this to require municipalities to allow for detached ADUs within a new structure that was constructed for the purpose of creating an accessory dwelling unit. L.D. 2003 further prohibits a municipality from implementing any additional parking requirements for an ADU beyond the parking requirements of the single-family dwelling on the lot where the ADU is located.
On October 3, 2023 the Planning Board will hold a workshop on an amendment to §335-2.2 to address the requirements of L.D. 2003 and (1) permit detached ADUs and (2) remove the existing parking requirement of 1 space/ADU. A draft of the proposed amendment can be found on the Planning Board Materials page, once available: Planning Board Meeting Materials
- Allow a density bonus for certain affordable housing developments
This requirement is new to Westbrook and requires amendments to the Comprehensive Plan & Land Use Ordinance
L.D. 2003 defines an "Affordable Housing Project" as a project where at least 51% of the units provided are rented at 80% AMI or sold at 120% AMI. With the passing of L.D. 2003 the State requires municipalities to permit a density bonus of 2.5x the base density for all Affordable Housing Projects that are located within a municipality's growth area as defined in that municipality's most recently adopted comprehensive plan.
On September 5, 2023 the Planning Board held a workshop on an amendment to the 2012 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Plan (chapter 10) which includes the City's Growth and Rural Area map. A Public Hearing on this item is anticipated to be held at the Planning Board's meeting on November 7, 2023.
Please see the following links more information on the proposed amendment to the 2012 Comprehensive Plan:
- Staff Memo for the 9/5/2023 Planning Board Workshop (PDF)
- Staff Presentation for the 9/5/2023 Planning Board Workshop (PPT)
- Proposed Growth-Transitional-Rural Area Map
- Proposed Amendment to 2012 Comprehensive Plan Chapter 10
- L.D. 2003 State Statute
On October 3, 2023 the Planning Board will hold a workshop on an amendment to the Land Use Ordinance to insert a 2.5 Density Bonus for Affordable Housing Projects within areas defined as Growth in the 2012 Comprehensive Plan. A draft of the proposed amendment(s) can be found on the Planning Board Materials page, once available: Planning Board Meeting Materials