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FAQ: Land Use & Permitting Services

Do I need an ALTA survey?

ALTA (American Land Title Association) surveys are normally used during commercial or investment type transactions. A request for an ALTA survey usually comes from a title attorney or a lending institution. The American Land Title Association has specific requirements and plan formats for surveyors all across the United States to use for uniformity. A requirement of an ALTA survey is that the client must present the surveyor a title insurance commitment document.

Does Herrick & Salsbury, Inc., perform FAA tower certificates?

Yes, we survey all types of radio and cellular tower sites including rooftop sites, monopole tower sites, guyed tower sites, and utility pole mounted tower sites. We also do exclusive tower lease surveys and get easements surveyed and mapped. Pre- and post-construction surveys are provided as well.

Can you help with site planning?

We offer clients assistance with planning and evaluating many types of projects including housing developments, commercial buildings, land subdivisions, and shoreland zoning permits. Knowing the local best practices, we can maximize the value of your project and advance a realistic application for approval.

I want to subdivide my property. What will happen?

A subdivision is typically defined by the sale or lease of three or more parcels from the same parent parcel within a five year period. There are exceptions for gifts to a family member if you reside on the property for five years or more plus other exceptions. Generally, an application to the municipal planning board is required. The planning board will review the request against a list of standards in the municipal land use ordinance or subdivision ordinance. The planning board will cause notification to the public, notify neighboring lot owners, and advertise and hold a public hearing where the public can comment on the proposal. The public hearings can be televised or streamed for public viewing. Many times multiple hearings are needed. The process is very public and can be intimidating at times. We have many years of experience taking applications through the approval process and will be glad to handle the permitting for you.

I was issued a notice of violation by the code enforcement officer. Can you assist me?

Yes, in conjunction with our permitting services, we can assist in correcting an alleged land use violation. We will review the notice of violation and advocate on your behalf with the municipal official, usually the code enforcement officer. Stephen Salsbury himself is a licensed code enforcement officer in the state of Maine.

What are the minimum shore frontage requirements?

Each municipality will have what is known as shoreland zoning. Within each municipality there will be differing areas of zoning along the shoreline, river or significant wetland. Generally speaking, each residence within the shoreland zone is required to have one acre of land and 150 feet of saltwater frontage or 200 feet of freshwater frontage. These frontage requirements will be different for commercial uses and water-dependent uses or activities.

What are the minimum zoning requirements?

Each and every municipality in Maine has what is known as home rule. The municipality will usually dictate minimum lot sizes and configurations such as lot width and frontages. There are very few State minimum zoning requirements outside the shoreland zone. In rural areas without municipal wastewater systems, State law dictates a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet (about one-half of an acre) to install a septic leach field.

Are your developments environmentally sustainable?

Yes, we work with our clients to incorporate as many sustainable features within their projects as make sense for the situation. This can include natural stormwater bio-retention areas and filters, vegetated swales, porous pavement with underdrains to avoid open detention ponds, in-fill urban developments, revitalized sites, sensible lighting plans, landscaping, and recently, encouraging solar provisions into the developments.

How long does it take to get a permit?

When do I need a permit?