ORONO, Maine&nbsp- The rural zoning working committee has completed its work and has recommended eight basic amendments to the city’ s current zoning of the Forestry and Agriculture District.

The recommended changes presented to the community development committee are to:

  • Keep the existing purpose and uses of the district while increasing the minimum lot size from 80,000 square feet and require subdivisions to be clustered with 55 percent of the parcel in open space.
  • Create a new Low Density Residential zoning district as a transitional growth area between Stillwater Avenue and Taylor Road.
  • Create an overlay district along the Stillwater Avenue corridor to allow low-impact businesses that generate limited amounts of traffic and parking demands. Overlay districts require that developers meet the provisions defined in the underlying zone, but also add or remove restrictions to that definition.
  • Rezone an area between the basin and the Penobscot Valley Country Club where public sewer and water services are available to make it a Medium Density Residential area. This zone would be extended along the east side of Route 2 from the golf course south to the existing Commercial-2 District boundary, but with subdivisions subject to mandatory clustering.
  • Adjust zoning in two small locations, Moose Island in Pushaw Pond and a small commercial area along Route 2, to reflect existing conditions.
  • Create a private road standard as an option for new streets serving clustered subdivisions in the Forestry and Agriculture District.
  • Continue to apply storm-water best management practices in the Forestry and Agriculture District, as well as in the urbanized area of town.

“[The Community Development Committee] was very complimentary of the committee’ s work, but at this point we’ re noncommittal,” Town Planner Evan Richert said. “It was too early for them to take a position.”

In August, the community development committee will hold a full discussion of the report and likely pass the recommendations on to the planning board for review before the council starts its formal review process.