TOWN OF ALNA, MAINE
BUILDING CODE ORDINANCE
(As Amended, March 24, 2001)
Section 1. Purposes
The purposes of this Ordinance are to provide for safety, health and public welfare through regulations on new construction, regulations on the relocation, additions to, renovations and replacement of existing structures and regulations for businesses.
Section 2. Authority and Effective Date
This Ordinance has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Title 30-A, Section 3001 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA) and the Home Rule Powers as provided for in Article VIII-A of the Maine Constitution. This Ordinance shall be effective upon its adoption by vote of the Special Town Meeting on June 28, 1995. This Ordinance was amended by vote of the Special Town Meeting on June 26,1996, the Annual Town Meeting on March 29, 1997, and the Annual Town Meeting on March 124, 2001.
Section 3. Applicability
The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to all new construction, the relocation, additions to, renovations and replacements of all existing structures and regulations for businesses. Also included in this Ordinance are provisions for the siting and construction of manufactured housing which does not comprise a Mobile Home Park.
Section 4. Severability
Should any section or provision of this Ordinance be declared by the courts to be invalid, such decision shall not invalidate any other section or provision of this Ordinance.
Section 5. Conflicts with Other Ordinances
Whenever a provision of this Ordinance conflicts with or is inconsistent with another provision of this Ordinance or of any other ordinance, regulation or statute, the more restrictive provision shall control.
Section 6. Amendments
This Ordinance can only be amended by a majority vote of the Town Meeting.
Amendments may be initiated by a majority vote of the Planning Board, the Board of
Selectmen or on petition of l0% of the number of registered voters of the Town who
voted in the last gubernatorial election. The Planning Board shall conduct a public
hearing on any proposed amendment.
Section 7. Filing and Availability
A copy of this Ordinance and any amendments hereto shall be filed with the Town Clerk. Copies shall be available to any Town resident or property owner at no charge and to
others at a reasonable cost.
Section 8. Definitions
For the purpose of this Ordinance the following words and phrases shall have the
meaning herein described.
A. Accessory Apartment. A non-rental dwelling unit that is contained within the confines
of a principal dwelling unit, or is attached to that dwelling unit, or is contained within
the structure of a free standing out building, such as a garage or barn, on the same
lot as the principal dwelling unit.
B. Addition. An expansion in volume and/or area to an existing structure, including, but
not limited to, decks, porches and garages.
C. Business. Any enterprise engaged in the sale, lease, production or distribution of
any products, equipment, supplies, goods, commodities, including plants and
animals, or services which are sold, leased or distributed by the owner or an
affiliated person where revenue exceeds $500 per year.
D. Dwelling Unit. A room or group of rooms designed and equipped exclusively for use
as living quarters for one family including living, cooking, sleeping, bathing and
E. Lot. An area of land in one ownership, or one leasehold, with ascertainable
boundaries established by deed or instrument of record, or a segment of land
ownership defined by lot boundary lines on a land subdivision plan duly approved by
the Planning Board and recorded in the Lincoln County Registry of Deeds.
F. Manufactured Housing. As defined in Section 11 of the Town of Alna, Maine Mobile
Home Park Ordinance.
G. Mobile Home Park. As defined in Section 11 of the Town of Alna, Maine Mobile
Home Park Ordinance.
H. New Construction. All structures, newly constructed on a lot, said lot conforming to
specifications of this Ordinance.
I. Relocation. Any structure moved to a new lot or a structure moved to a new location
on the lot it occupied. Both lot and structure must conform to the provisions of this
J. Renovations. Any modification or addition to a structure's chimney, electrical and/or
K. Replacement. Any structure already constructed which is to be moved to the
existing site of a structure destroyed by fire or other natural calamity, or new
construction of a structure on the existing site of a building lost because of the
L. Shoreland Zone. As defined in Section 17 of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for
the Town of Alna, Maine.
M. Structures. Anything built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals,
goods or property of any kind, exclusive of fences. A structure also includes
manufactured housing when it is not located in a Mobile Home Park.
Section 9. Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer
The Board of Selectmen is hereby given the power and authority to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance. In carrying out their responsibilities, the Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and an
assistant Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. The Selectmen shall delegate to said Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and the assistant, the power and authority in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, to issue any and all permits, except permits for land use activities in the Shoreland Zone which shall be the responsibility of the Planning Board.
Section 10. Inspections
During reasonable hours and with due notice, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and/or the assistant Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, in
performance of their duties shall have access to any lot or building under construction for the purpose of enforcing provisions of this Ordinance.
Section 11. Non-Conformance
A non-conforming land use, building or structure may be continued, repaired, or
replaced within two (2) years if destroyed by fire, natural calamity or act of God, but the area in non-conforming use may not be extended or expanded except in conformity with
the provisions of this Ordinance.
Section 12. Permits
A. Outside of the Shoreland Zone, prior to new construction of a structure of greater
than 200 square feet or the addition to, renovation, relocation or replacement of an
existing structure where the proposed work exceeds 200 square feet, the owner,
lessee, architect, contractor or builder employed by owner or lessee shall obtain a
permit from the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or assistant Building
Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. Although permits will not be issued for any
structure, or work thereto, of less that 200 square feet, the structure, or work thereto,
must comply with all other provisions of this Ordinance.
B. Within the Shoreland Zone, prior to new construction of a structure of any size or the
addition to, renovation, relocation or replacement of an existing structure where the
proposed work is of any size, the owner, lessee, architect, contractor or builder
employed by owner or lessee shall obtain a permit from the Planning Board.
C. Application. The permit application shall be on a form supplied by the Town and
contain a description of the proposed new construction, addition to, relocation,
renovation or replacement of any structure. The application shall be filed with the
Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or the assistant Building
Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer if the proposed work is outside of the Shoreland
Zone and with the Planning Board if the proposed work is within the Shoreland Zone.
D. Permit Approval. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or the assistant
Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer for proposed work outside of the
Shoreland Zone or the Planning Board for proposed work within the Shoreland Zone,
after proper examination of the application, shall either issue the permit or notice of
refusal within 30 days of application submittal. Failure of the Building
Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or the assistant Building Inspector/Code
Enforcement Officer or the Planning Board, as applicable, to act on the application
within the 30 days of application submittal shall constitute automatic denial. Notice
of refusal shall be in writing, stating reasons therefore. Applicant may appeal an
adverse ruling to the Board of Appeals within thirty days of such action.
E. Life of Permit. All permits are non-transferable and unless renewed, shall be void
unless work thereunder is substantially completed within two years of date of
F. Fees. Fee shall be $2.00 for first estimated $l,000 or part thereof and $l.00 for each
additional $l,000 or part thereof of work. All fees to be a minimum of $l0.00.
Section 13. Size of Lot
A. Each dwelling unit, except for Accessory Apartments, shall be on a lot of ground not
less than two acres (87,l20 square feet) in area and the lot shall be of such
dimensions that the lot will accommodate within its boundaries a square of not less
than l50 feet on a side.
B. The division of any lot shall not result in a lot, including the residual lot, with less
than these minimum dimensions.
C. A single lot of record, as of June l9, l980, which does not meet the area (two acres)
or width requirement (a square of 150 foot on a side), or both, may be built upon
provided that such lot shall be in a separate ownership and not be contiguous with
any other lot in the same ownership, and that all other provisions of this Ordinance
and 12 MRSA Section 4807 (Minimum Lot Size Law) shall be met.
D. If two or more contiguous lots are in single ownership of record at any time since
June l9, l980, and if all or part of the lots do not meet the dimensional requirements
of this Ordinance, the lands involved shall be considered to be a single lot for the
purpose of this Ordinance.
Section 14. Location
A. No structure or subsurface sewage disposal system shall be closer than 50 feet to
the center line of any street or highway and shall be setback at least 20 feet from
any adjoining lot.
B. Ample off-street parking shall be provided for structures. This may be accomplished
by driveway space, garage space, parking lot space or any combination of these
Section 15. Minimum Floor Area and Height
Except for Accessory Apartments, no dwelling unit shall be constructed, added to or
replaced that encloses less than 600 square feet of living space. Living space shall not
include porches, patios or similar areas, enclosed or not. No new structure or an
existing structure added to or replaced shall exceed 35 feet in height measured from the structure's sill.
Section 16. Accessory Apartments
Accessory Apartments shall adhere to the following standards:
A. The owner of the principal dwelling unit must reside in either the principal unit or the
B. When the accessory apartment is contained in an out building, the principal purpose
of the out building must be for non-human occupancy, such as a barn or garage.
C. The occupants of the accessory and principal units must be members of the same
extended family, or a certified medical caregiver of a family member. Extended
family shall mean: father, mother, son daughter, sister, brother, (or in-law
relationships of any of the preceding), grandparent, aunt, or uncle
D. Guest occupancy of an accessory unit by an unrelated party is permissible so long
as the total of such occupancies does not exceed ninety (90) days in any calendar
year and no rent or other consideration is received for such occupancy.
E. The existing or proposed septic system must be of a size appropriate to serve both
the principal dwelling and the accessory unit, as certified by the CEO or the
F. The accessory unit may not exceed eight hundred (800) square feet of living space.
G. Proper ingress and egress shall be provided to the accessory unit.
H. Upon approval of the accessory apartment by the CEO, a deed restriction shall be
placed on the property, which shall be recorded at the Lincoln County Registry of
Deeds. The restriction shall restate the limited use of the accessory unit, as
specified in this section.
I. Should the owners of the principal structure be found in non-compliance with the
requirements contained in this section, the CEO shall order that occupancy of the
accessory unit be discontinued.
J. Nothing in this section shall restrict a properly permitted bed and breakfast or other
place of lodging for transitory guests.
Section 17. Building Standards
All construction shall conform to generally accepted standards of good building practice. Each dwelling unit shall have at least two suitable exit doorways.
A. Chimney. If the building is to have a chimney, it shall be a type approved by the
State of Maine Fire Marshall or Oil Burnerman's Licensing Board.
B. Exterior Walls. The exterior walls visible from a public way shall be finished within l2
months after occupancy. Builder's paper, l5 pound felt paper, tarred paper or similar
substances shall not be used for more than twelve months after occupancy, unless
an extension is granted by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or
assistant Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer.
C. Manufactured Housing. Manufactured Housing shall meet the safety standards
specified in Section 9, Subsection Q of the Town of Alna, Maine Mobile Home Park
Section 18. Electrical Installations
Electrical work shall be in accordance with the National Electrical Code published by the National Fire Protection Association.
Section l9. Plumbing and Subsurface Sewage Disposal
All plumbing and/or sewage disposal for any structure covered by the provisions of this
Ordinance shall be in strict accordance with the State of Maine Internal Plumbing Rules
and/or Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules. No plumbing or subsurface sewage
disposal system shall be covered until it has been inspected and permission to cover
given by the Town of Alna Licensed Plumbing Inspector.
Section 20. Businesses
A. New Businesses. All new businesses not covered under the Subdivision and Site
Review Ordinance, shall apply in writing for a New Business Permit from the
Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or assistant Building Inspector/Code
Enforcement Officer, who shall within seven (7) working days notify the Planning
Board. When the Planning Board has received a complete application, including a
$10.00 application fee and a review of the site by the Building Inspector/Code
Enforcement Officer or assistant Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, the
Planning Board will either approve the application, if it is agreed that such new
business does not or will not constitute a nuisance because of noxious fumes, odors,
dust, unsanitary waste disposal, water pollution, vibration, glare, noise or undue
parking problems, or call a Public Hearing on the application. Notice of said hearing,
including a description of the proposed business, will be posted at the usual
locations and mailed by the applicant to all abutting property owners and all other
property owners within 1,000 feet along any public highway from the proposed
B. Expanded Businesses. Any time a business permitted under this section proposes
to increase the square footage devoted to its enterprise by an amount in excess of
twenty-five (25) percent of that originally permitted, the expansion must be reviewed
under the procedures of this section. Any new business or expansion which would
result in a total business facility in excess of 2,000 square feet is reviewable under
Section IV of the Subdivision and Site Review Ordinance.
C. The Planning Board may deny a permit if upon its own review, or upon
recommendation of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or assistant
Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, or upon reviewing comments from the
Public Hearing, it determines that such a business would constitute a nuisance
because of noxious fumes, odors, dust, unsanitary waste disposal, water pollution,
vibration, glare, noise or undue parking problems, or would otherwise place an
undue burden upon the municipal services of the Town of Alna.
D. Permanent signs shall conform to the following criteria:
1. Directional signs shall be limited to three square feet and shall not exceed six
2. Freestanding signs relating to goods and/or services sold on the premises
shall not exceed twelve square feet in area, per sign, and shall be limited to
two signs, which may be two-sided.
3. Temporary signs (garage sales, etc.) shall be permitted for seventy-two hours
4. All existing signs are grandfathered, as long as they conform to State Law.
E. An applicant may appeal an adverse action by the Planning Board to the Board of
Appeals within thirty days of the date of such action.
Section 21. Violations and Enforcement
The Selectmen, Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector or assistant Code
Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector, upon a finding that any provision of this
Ordinance or the condition(s) of any approval is being violated, are authorized to
institute legal proceedings to enjoin violations of this Ordinance. Any violation of this
Ordinance shall be considered a nuisance. Any person, firm or corporation violating
any provision of this Ordinance shall be subject to fines and shall be liable for court
costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Town, as provided by Title 30-A,
MRSA Section 4452.
Section 22. Appeals and Variances
Appeals and variances shall be governed by the Town of Alna Board of Appeals
Section 23. Special Exceptions
In regard to the location of structures on a lot, Section 14, by special exception the
Planning Board may allow structural location to be reduced provided that the applicant
demonstrates that all of the following conditions and/or requirements are met:
A. The setback for an addition to a structure may be the same distance from the
centerline of a street or roadway as the original structure provided that the original
structure existed in its current location prior to December 14, 1970, that the addition
will not be within the right-of-way of the street or roadway and that the addition will
not be within thirty-three (33) feet of the center line of the street or roadway.
B. The setback for an addition to a structure may be reduced to 10 feet from an
adjoining lot provided that the original structure existed in its current location prior to
December 14, 1970 and that the owner of the adjoining lot states in a notarized
document that they have no objection to the reduction.
C. The setback for a temporary structure of less than 200 square feet, such as a school
bus stop shelter, a farm stand or other seasonal use structure, may be reduced to 33
feet from the centerline of a street or roadway provided that the structure does not
have a poured-in-place concrete foundation or other feature which would make the
structure incapable of being easily moved. If the Planning Board approves a special
exception for any of these uses, a condition of approval shall be that the structure
will be relocated to a distance of at least 50 feet from the centerline of a street or
roadway once the structure is no longer being used for any of these uses.
1 To add a new Section 16, Accessory Apartments, and make other changes to the Ordinance consistent with the
requirements of this new section.