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townofwashington-seal-ai

Code FAQs

Much of the following information is extracted from Washington’s Land Use Ordinance:

What district is my property located in? 
Click here to see Washington's district map; or read the short summaries of each district below. 

Most of Washington falls into the Farm & Forest District (dark green on the district map).

All properties within 500 feet of the centerline of Route 17/Augusta Road/Rockland Road are within the Rural/Commercial District (orange).

Several areas of town fall into the Resource Protection District (light green) – these are fragile environmental systems that include swamps, marshes and wetlands. See the district map or call the town office at 845-2897.

The Rural District (purple) encompasses properties within 500 feet of the centerline of Route 220/Waldoboro Road/Liberty Road, Route 105/Razorville Road, Route 126/Jefferson Road, and Route 206/West Washington Road; Hopkins Road; Vanner Road; Youngs Hill Road; Crystal Lake Road; Calderwood Road; and Old Union Road.

The Village District (yellow) is a small area near the south end of Washington Pond.

The Planned Development District (brown) includes areas for industrial activity at the east end of Route 17/Rockland Road as well as a large section of Route 220/Waldoboro Road.

The Shoreland Limited Residential District (blue) includes properties within 250 feet of the highwater mark along Washington Pond, Crystal Pond, Iron Pond, Spring Pond, Muddy Pond, Lily Pond, Medomak River, Little Medomak River, Davis Stream, Jackson Stream, Burns Brook, Calderwood Brook, Jones Brook, Washington Brook, Hope Brook, Vanner Brook and Pitcher Brook as well as the stream that runs between Washington and Crystal ponds.

There is a Historical Preservation District (red dotted outline) that includes the Village District, and a Watershed District (blue dotted outline) around Washington and Crystal ponds, that further restrict otherwise allowable activities.

 

What is the minimum lot size for residential use (one dwelling)? 

Shoreland: 1 acre on lakes & ponds; 3 acres on rivers and streams

Farm & Forest: 3 acres within 500 feet of the nearest public road; 5 acres outside 500 feet of the nearest public road

Rural: 2 acres

Rural/Commercial: 1 acre

Village: 30,000 square feet

 

What are the required setbacks from property lines? 

Resource Protection: 75 feet from the upland edge of wetlands; 100 feet from normal highwater mark; 75 feet from tributary streams; 25 feet from the lot line(s) opposite the shore; 25 feet from private road centerlines; 50 feet from public right-of-way; and 10 feet from all other lot lines

Farm & Forest: 50 feet from public or private road right-of-way; 25 feet from all other lot lines

Rural: 50 feet from public or private road right-of-way; 10 feet from all other lot lines

Rural Commercial: 50 feet from public or private road right-of-way; 10 feet from all other lot lines

Planned Development: 60 feet from public or private road right-of-way; 20 feet from all other lot lines

Village: 25 feet from public or private road right-of-way; 25 feet from rear lot line (rear lot line is most parallel to or opposite side from the road that defines the street address of the building(s); and 10 feet from all other lot lines

Shoreland: 100 feet from highwater mark; 75 feet from tributary streams; 75 feet from upland edge of wetlands; 25 feet from side(s) opposite shore frontage; 25 feet from private road centerline; 50 feet from public road right-of-way; and 10 feet from all other lot lines for lakes and ponds, 25 feet from all other lot lines for lakes and streams

 

What are the road frontage requirements?

Farm & Forest: 300 feet

Rural: 200 feet

Rural Commercial: 100 feet

Planned Development: 100 feet

Village: 100 feet

 

What are the rules for subdividing property?

Single lots may be divided into three lots without CEO or Planning Board approval. Further subdivision of the newly created lots must be delayed 5 years. Have more questions? Contact the town office to make an appointment with the CEO. 

 

Are the exceptions for family members when dividing property? 

Yes, nonconforming lots can be created for family members. Please contact the town office to make an appointment with the CEO to discuss your specific situation.

 

What structures do I need a building permit for?

Permit applications must be submitted and approved before any construction takes place, including groundwork. Building permits are required for new construction, additions, garages, sheds, decks, greenhouses and barns, etc. (Please note this is not a comprehensive list.) If you aren’t sure if you need a building permit, please contact the town office.

For structures with a footprint of 240 square feet or less, there is no fee but an application still must be filed.

 

I want to tear down an existing building and replace it – what do I need for permits?

No permits are required for demolition; however, a new building permit is needed before new construction can begin. Contact the town office to make an appointment with the CEO to discuss your specific situation.

 

Who do I contact for a septic or plumbing inspection?

Please contact the town office to schedule an inspection appointment with the CEO.

 

Can the town help me locate my septic system?

Sometimes, but not always. Some septic design plans are on file with the town office. You can also try the state online septic plan search to try to locate your septic system.

 

I’m in the Shoreland Zone, can I cut trees, branches and brush for a better view?

The answer depends on several factors but ALL tree removal in the Shoreland Zone requires CEO approval. Please contact the town office to schedule an appointment with the CEO.

Trimming is allowed in the Shoreland Zone but the extent is limited. Contact the town office to schedule an appointment with the CEO.