Zoning Administration

Zoning Administration Division

Zoning administration is a critical component of the Inspections Program, and all building permit reviews start with a zoning determination. Zoning determines if a certain type of use can be undertaken at the proposed location, how much land is required for that use, how high a building can be, how much parking is required, and many other factors related to land development. 

Zoning Questions? 
​Please start with the Zoning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. If you still have questions after reading the FAQ, then please email zoning@portlandmaine.gov with your specific questions. 

Zone and Text Changes

Not all developments fit neatly into the rules, so appeals and variances are necessary so that property owners and developers have options and will be treated fairly in accordance with city policy. The Zoning Board of Appeals reviews and rules on these requests.

Note: Residents and property owners within 500 feet of the proposed development are mailed a notice, and a legal advertisement is placed in the local newspaper at the applicant’s expense.

Ordinance Interpretations & Variances

Ordinance interpretations are made by the Zoning Administrator, Room 315, City Hall. If an applicant disagrees with the interpretation for a given application, an appeal may be filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals. In some cases, an applicant may also file a hardship appeal for a variance to zoning provisions.

Definition and Scope of Uses Considered Accessory to Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing Facilities, Dated February 22, 2016

The purpose of this memo is to provide clarity and predictability to the business community and city staff as to the scope and type of uses considered accessory or ancillary to Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing Facilities (ABMF) under the existing Land Use Code, Chapter 14 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Portland.