Scarborough Town Hall

Scarborough Town Hall Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard

The Scarborough Town Council held a workshop on March 15 to review zoning items discovered from an audit that were inaccurately represented in the zoning map.

There were 52 zoning cases under review. Eight had identified issues, with three that ended up being okay after further review, two missed, two boundary lines, and one that was changed already.

Three portions of the zoning map in particular are being looked at to show updated changes: 12-48, a portion of 162 Black Point Road, 16-02311 on Willowdale Road, and 16-067 on 79 Mussey Road.

The town will give notice to any owners impacted. The change should not have any major effect on residents, as the map is simply being updated to reflect actions that were already approved.

The zoning map allows residents, business owners, and developers to use the map and understand the qualified uses of property they own, plan to own, or that are owned by their neighbors. These changes were already done by binding actions of the council and not the map. While the zoning issues themselves are not changing, the map that reflects them is being updated to prevent confusion.

Councilor Don Hamill expressed some concern over the same issue happening again. “This is great, all of the additional processing, the way you’ve gone through this, and the time and effort you’ve taken to go back and now go over this with us,” Hamill said. “But how will we know if we make an error in the future?”


Scarborough Planning Director Autumn Speer said she was confident this wouldn’t happen in the future as there are plans from the department to use digital tools to assist the process. She pointed out that the number of issues that existed were very small for the time period. Additionally, an application process now exists for further zoning items.

“We missed three in twenty years out of fifty-two and we didn’t have a process, we didn’t have an application,” said Speer. “So I feel really confident that now we put those things in place and now we are using more technology and things I think will be okay.”

The Planning Department has proposed to codify the process for updating and amending the zoning map to help prevent further issues. The Planning Department will look at applications when necessary. The zoning map will be reviewed digitally and the town council will approve or deny all zoning changes. Scarborough’s Geographic Information System (the tools used for digital geographic data) Department will update the map and the town clerk will attest to its accuracy. Paper copies and online PDF copies of the map will be available in the town clerk’s office and the Planning & Codes Department.

“In the event of a question, we have a very clear record to go back to and sort through and understand what the council did at the time and what is the answer,” said Town Manager Tom Hall.

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