Proposed Amendments to Land Use and Related Ordinances

Park St. Corridor:  The Town Council renewed a moratorium on most development along a portion of Park Street effective March 22, 2018, in order to have time to find solutions to congestion and safety issues in the corridor.  The ordinance applies to the Commercial-2 District and a portion of the University District, as shown in Exhibit A of the ordinance. The Town is also undergoing a traffic study for the Park Street Corridor. For more information on this study, visit this link.

Land Use Ordinance amendments: The Town will be considering a number of amendments to the Land Use Ordinance to implement the updated Comprehensive Plan. Individual amendments will be presented and considered by the Town Council in stages over a number of months. They will be posted here as they come forward for public comment.

As of December 11, 2017, the following land use ordinance amendments have been adopted:

Main Street Office Overlay District

Recent Land Use Ordinance Amendments can be found by clicking here.

Vernal Pools Overlay District:

The Planning Board held a public hearing at their November and December 2017 Planning Board meetings pertaining to the proposed Vernal Pool Overlay District. The Planning Board made a favorable recommendation of the proposed Vernal Pools Overlay District to the Council wiht the condition that minor changes be made to the Designated Development Area map. The changes were made to the proposed map and it is currently under review for input by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, as directed in the Maine Vernal Pools Special Area Management Plan. 

The purpose of the proposed overlay district is to provide an alternative approach to vernal pool regulation and is intended to (a) enable the Town to more easily direct development into an area with municipal services and close to schools, jobs, and downtown; (b) give vernal pools greater, landscape-level protection in the Town's rural area; and (c) streamline permitting within a "designated development area" to help assure long-term protection of vernal pool ecosystems.  

A draft of the Proposed Amendment to the Orono Land Use Ordinance to Create the Vernal Pools Overlay District can be downloaded here.

Drive-Through Facilities Standards:
The Economic Development staff has introduced proposed amendments to the land use ordinance that would apply to all drive-though facilities in the Village Commerical District. The proposed amendment would (a) allow for drive-though restaurants in the Village Commercial District, and (b) hold all drive-though facilities in the Village Commercial District to additional standards intended to minimise traffic congestion related to these types of facilities. The proposed amendment was discussed at the Council's January and February 2018 Community Economic Development Committee meetings and will go before the Council at their workshop on Marh 26, 2018 to be considered for a public hearing by the Planning Board. 

A draft of the Proposed Amendment to the Orono Land Use Ordinance to revise Drive-Through Facility Standards can be downloaded here.

Zoning Map:
Orono's Zoning Map was updated and approved on February 12, 2018, with an effective date of March 14, 2015


The Planning and Economic Development Office provides Orono with comprehensive land-use planning services and advises the Planning Board and Town Council on all development matters. We welcome the opportunity to help applicants and citizens understand requirements for moving through local subdivision and site plan reviews. 

The Office routinely looks for opportunities for economic development and redevelopment; to maintain the rural character of outlying parts of Town; and to protect the environmental quality of the community. It works with the University of Maine, the Orono Village Association, the Orono Economic Development Corporation, and others to create an environment in which the University, Downtown, and businesses can grow.

Comprehensive Plan

On November 9, 2015, the Town Council adopted the Update of Orono's Comprehensive Plan.

The Town Council also has adopted updates to amendments to the 2009 Forestry and Agriculture Addendum to the Plan. 

Noise Control Ordinance

The Town Council recently amended the Noise Control Ordinance. Among other things, the amendments  bring the ordinance up to date with existing zoning districts.
Amended Noise Control Ordinance (PDF)

Land Use Ordinance

Orono's Land Use Ordinance is Chapter 18 of the Town's Code of Ordinances. It includes townwide zoning (Article IV), general performance standards (Article V), site plan review (Article VI), subdivision review (Article VII), floodplain management (Article VIII), and shoreland zoning (Article IX).

Zoning Map

Orono's Zoning Map (PDF) was last amended by the Town Council effective December 13, 2010.

Regional Planning Efforts

Orono is a member of the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System (BACTS), which sets priorities for transportation improvements in the Bangor Metro area.

Orono was one of 12 communities in the Penobscot Valley to work with the Trust for Public Lands on a regional open space plan. TPL used its "greenprinting" system - a combination of citizen participation, scientific analysis, and a geographic information system - to prepare the plan, The Penobscot Valley Community Greenprint, and a related, interactive web map.