Amendments to Cape Elizabeth’s pesticide ordinance have garnered the support of those who got the ordinance on the ballot in the first place last November.

The Town Council on Monday scheduled a public hearing for May 13 on amendments that expand on the voter-approved ordinance that restricts the use of synthetic pesticides on residential properties.

Richard Bryant, who spearheaded the petition effort last year to get the ordinance on the ballot, said he thinks the amendments are “an improved product.”

“It’s exactly what the backers of the referendum wanted,” he told the council Monday. “We were focused on residential pesticide use hoping it would inspire the town to do more.”

The initial goal was to protect public health and resources from the harms of pesticide pollution and the council’s amendments bolster the ordinance. A definition section was added to define terms such as “integrated pest management,” “invasive insects” and “invasive plants” to clarify and make the ordinance more easily enforceable, councilors said.

Other changes include giving the Public Works director, rather than the code enforcement officer, the right to grant a 10-day waiver to residents who are unable to get rid of an invasive species with environmentally-friendly pesticides. It also lays out a step-by-step process for which a resident can request a waiver, which was lacking in the original version.


“The improvements do not do anything to essentially alter the thrust of the ordinance that was adopted at the referendum by a 21-point margin in November,” Bryant said.

His petition drive last year garnered over 1,000 signatures in just one week. The November 2023 referendum passed by 2,291 to 1,493.

Town Councilor Stephanie Anderson, a member of the council’s ordinance committee, said the committee was thorough in drafting the amendments.

“The ordinance committee has met with respect to this ordinance nine times and I have 18 pages of notes from discussions with people who have participated,” Anderson said, noting that it’s come before the council itself three times already. “The public participation in getting to this point has been very significant.”

Comments are not available on this story.