Design Lewiston: Updates to Lewiston Design Regulations


Lewiston, Maine is taking another step in becoming a great place to live, play, and invest. “Design Lewiston” is a new project that updates the city’s design regulations.  An Advisory Committee has finished their work assisting in the creations of Design Lewiston and Staff is nearing the completion of the final edits.  Design Lewiston will amend relevant parts of the Zoning Ordinance, and the Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines. (See below for a link to the final draft)

Based on recommendations from the 2017 Legacy Lewiston Comprehensive Plan, as well as the 2014 Riverfront Island Master Plan, this new initiative will address architectural and site design in a manner that respects Lewiston’s heritage and encourages high-quality development that benefits the entire community.  The updated design regulations will be more easily understood, ensure cost-effective projects for developers and create predictability for property owners.  We encourage you, your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who cares about our historic city to get familiar with Design Lewiston, the new direction in improving the quality of new development.

What are the goals of the Design Lewiston project?

  • Improve the appearance of new development throughout the city
  • Preserve Lewiston’s Heritage
  • Encourage infill development in Lewiston’s Historic Core
  • Foster a safe and pleasurable environment that encourages pedestrian activity

What are some of the changes proposed and deliverables in the Design Lewiston project? 

  • An update of the Site Plan and Design Guidelines that will be an easy to follow guide for developers and property owners
  • A summary of the development approval process and streamlined development review application
  • City-wide recommendations for ways to improve the appearance of new and infill development for site layout, buffering and screening, landscaping, on-site circulation, and lighting
  • A new Design District Overlay for Lewiston’s Historic Downtown Core (for the following zoning districts: Riverfront (RF), Mill (M), Centreville (CV), and Downtown Residential (DT).  
  • New Design District Standards for Ground Floor Uses, Parking Location and Design, Architectural Design Elements, Roofs, Mid-Block Accessibility, and Context Sensitive Design within the Design District Overlay District
  • New, easier to understand graphics for Space and Bulk Standards in the Design Districts
  • Text amendments to Lewiston’s Zoning Ordinance that reflect the content of the Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines
  • A zone change in the Tree Street Neighborhood that will promote infill development, convert some non-conforming lots into new buildable lots, allow compatible density, and support small neighborhood businesses.
  • A new and improved Development Review Application with helpful mapping and zoning links 

Links to the Final Drafts for: Text and Map Amendments and the New Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines:

Implementation and Meeting Schedule:

  • June 8 - Update to Planning Board and Design Lewiston Advisory Committee
  • July 13 - Planning Board Workshop # 1
  • July 14 - City Council Workshop # 1
  • July 27 - Planning Board Workshop # 2
  • August 4 - City Council Workshop # 2
  • August 24 - Planning Board Public Hearing for Text and Zoning Map Amendments (recommendations to the City Council) and Adoption of “Design Lewiston” Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines document.
  • September 1 - City Council public hearing and first reading of Text and Zoning Map Amendments, Zone Changes and Final Adoption of “Design Lewiston” Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines document.
  • October 6 - City Council public hearing, second reading and final adoption of Text and Zoning Map Amendments, Zone Change and Adoption of “Design Lewiston” Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines document.
  • November 6 - Design Lewiston amendments go into effect

For more information, contact:
Doug Greene, City Planner, Deputy Director of Planning and Code Enforcement at: 207-513-3000 ext. 3223