Design Lewiston: Updates to Lewiston Design Regulations


Lewiston, Maine is taking another step in becoming a great place to live, play, and invest. “Design Lewiston” is a new project that updates the city’s design regulations.  An Advisory Committee has finished their work assisting in the creations of Design Lewiston and Staff is nearing the completion of the final edits.  Design Lewiston will amend relevant parts of the Zoning Ordinance, Historic Preservation Design Manual, and the Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines. (See below for a link to the final draft)

Based on recommendations from the 2017 Legacy Lewiston Comprehensive Plan, as well as the 2014 Riverfront Master Plan, this new effort will address architectural and site design in a manner that respects Lewiston’s heritage and encourages high-quality development that benefits the entire community.  The updated design regulations will be more easily understood, ensure cost-effective projects for developers and create predictability for property owners.  We encourage you, your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who cares about our historic city to get familiar with Design Lewiston, the new direction in improving the quality of new development.

What are the goals of the Design Lewiston project?

  • Improve the appearance of new development throughout the city
  • Preserve Lewiston’s Heritage
  • Encourage infill development in Lewiston’s Historic Core
  • Foster a safe and pleasurable environment that encourages pedestrian activity

What are some of the changes proposed and deliverables in the Design Lewiston project? 

  •  An update of the Site Plan and Design Guidelines that will be an easy to follow guide for developers and property owners
  • A summary of the development approval process and streamlined development review application
  • City-wide recommendations for ways to improve the appearance of new and infill development for site layout, buffering and screening, landscaping, on-site circulation, and lighting
  • A new Design District Overlay for Lewiston’s Historic Downtown Core 
  • New Design District Standards for Ground Floor Uses, Parking Location and Design, Architectural Design Elements, Roofs, Mid-Block Accessibility, and Context Sensitive Design 
  • New, easier to understand graphics for Space and Bulk Standards in the Design Districts
  • Text amendments to Lewiston’s Zoning Ordinance that reflect the content of the Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines

Links to the Draft Site Plan Review and Design Guidelines and Text Amendment: 

Implementation and Meeting Schedule:

June 8    Update to Planning Board and Design Lewiston Advisory Committee
July 13   Planning Board Workshop for discussion
July 14   City Council Workshop
July 27   Planning Board Workshop # 2
August   City Council Workshop # 2
August/September   Planning Board Public Hearing (Text Amendment and Zone Change recommendation to the City Council) and Adoption of the Design Guidelines
August/September   City Council final vote (Text Amendment and Zone Change)

Questions?  Comments?  Get in touch with us!

Follow the Design Lewiston on the City’s Facebook page and Twitter to receive project updates.  Email the project manager Doug Greene with your comments and questions