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Planning and Development Department

Planning and Development Department 

Denise Clavette 

Emily Cole-Prescott

Jessa Berna

Isabelle Oechslie 

Department Phone: 207-282-3487

The mission of the Planning Office is to treat all residents and applicants as customers, deserving of our best service. We try to provide prompt and efficient processing of applications, as well as prompt attention to concerns raised by residents regarding particular developments. At all times, we strive to ensure that the Zoning Ordinances and Subdivision Regulations of the City are administered consistently and fairly.

The prime functions of the Planning Department are to provide timely reviews of development proposals for conformance with the City's regulations, including site plan, conditional use and subdivision review. In most cases, these reviews are done in conjunction with reviews by the Saco Planning Board. In addition, the Planning Department works closely with the Planning Board to modify the City's zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations.

The Planning Board meets twice a month, generally on the first and third Tuesday. It is given the responsibility of approving subdivisions, site plans, and conditional uses. Other actions include recommendations to the City Council on contract zoning applications, and zone text and map changes.

In addition to Boards, the Planning Office provides staff support for various City projects.

On February 20, 2018, the City Council voted to adopt the 2018 update of Saco’s Comprehensive Plan. The 2018 Comp Plan update was the result of nearly two years of review and discussion by the adhoc committee and City Staff. As a community, our next step is to update our Zoning Ordinances to align with the City of Saco’s land use vision: The most forward-thinking land use policies in the State of Maine that ensure financial stability, environmental sustainability, and provides opportunities and accessibility to all.

As of December 2019, the Planning Board and Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee are meeting on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Planning Board workshops to provide feedback on remaining items. The Planning & Development Department, in coordination with the Planning Board and Steering Committee, will soon have the next draft of the ordinances available online.

This strategic plan revisits those goals and techniques to determine whether they are suitable for the second decade of the 2000's and what new goals should be developed. PDF, 2.6MB, 1/2012

Saco Downtown West Historic Preservation Report
The City studied historic buildings in the neighborhood bounded by the Saco River, Elm Street, Cutts Avenue and the boundary of the downtown historic preservation overlay district which follows rear property lines on the west side of Main Street. PDF, 4.4MB, 11/2011

This is the 2018 update of the City's Comprehensive Plan.