Maine Revised Statutes

§5247. Affordable housing development districts

1. Creation.  A municipal legislative body may designate an affordable housing development district within the boundaries of the municipality in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter. If the municipality has a charter, the designation of an affordable housing development district may not be in conflict with the provisions of the municipal charter.
[ 2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Considerations for approval.  Before designating an affordable housing development district within the boundaries of a municipality, or before establishing an affordable housing development program for a designated affordable housing development district, the legislative body of a municipality must consider whether the proposed district or program will contribute to the expansion of affordable housing opportunities within the municipality or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality. Interested parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present testimony concerning the proposed district or program at the hearing provided for in section 5250, subsection 1. If an interested party claims at the public hearing that the proposed district or program will result in a substantial detriment to that party's existing property interests in the municipality and produces substantial evidence to that effect, the legislative body shall consider that evidence. When considering that evidence, the legislative body also shall consider whether any adverse economic effect of the proposed district or program on that interested party's existing property interests in the municipality is outweighed by the contribution made by the district or program to the availability of affordable housing within the municipality or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality.
[ 2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Conditions for approval.  Designation of an affordable housing development district is subject to the following conditions.
A. At least 25%, by area, of the real property within an affordable housing development district must:
(1) Be suitable for residential use;
(2) Be a blighted area; or
(3) Be in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment. [2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW).]
B. The affordable housing development district is subject to the area cap established in section 5223, subsection 3, paragraph B. [2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW).]
C. The original assessed value of a proposed affordable housing development district plus the original assessed value of all existing affordable housing development districts within the municipality may not exceed 5% of the total value of taxable property within the municipality as of April 1st preceding the date of the director's approval of the designation of the proposed affordable housing development district. [2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW).]
D. [2013, c. 312, §2 (RP).]
E. The affordable housing development program must show that the development meets an identified community housing need. The affordable housing development program must provide a mechanism to ensure the ongoing affordability for a period of at least 10 years for single-family, owner-occupied units and 30 years for rental units. [2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW).]
F. [2013, c. 312, §2 (RP).]
G. The district must be primarily a residential development on which at least 33% of the dwelling units are affordable housing and that may be designed to be compact and walkable and to include internal open space, other common open space and one or more small-scale nonresidential uses of service to the residents of the development. [2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2013, c. 312, §2 (AMD) .]
4. Powers of municipality.  Within an affordable housing development district and consistent with an affordable housing development program, a municipality may acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, preserve, alter, extend, operate or maintain property or promote development intended to meet the objectives of the affordable housing development program. Pursuant to the affordable housing development program, the municipality may acquire property, land or easements through negotiation or by using eminent domain powers in the manner authorized for community development programs under section 5204. The municipality's legislative body may adopt ordinances regulating traffic in and access to any facilities constructed within the affordable housing development district. The municipality may install public improvements.
[ 2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2003, c. 426, §1 (NEW). 2013, c. 312, §2 (AMD).