PARIS — Voters will be asked next week to approve changes to the town’s subdivision laws, a move which town officials believe will entice developers.  

At the polls Tuesday, June 10, residents will vote on proposed changes to the town’s subdivision ordinance, which would reduce the time it takes projects to move from conception to completion. 

“Over the life of an application, the deadlines are being reduced,” selectmen Chairman Robert Kirchherr said. “It will speed up the process.” 

In most cases, the proposed changes would cut the Planning Board’s response time for scheduling inspections and public hearings in half — from 30 to 15 days. It would also reduce the time the board must notify developers of receipt of their application and compel the board to finish reviewing materials sooner. 

Once a final application has been received, board notification of receipt of a final plan would also reduced from 30 to 15 days.  

The subdivision ordinance was first passed by voters in 2009. 

The town, in conjunction with Glen Holmes, director of the Western Maine Economic Development Council, has eyed local laws that might prove unnecessarily cumbersome to business. 

“It’s a win-win anytime the town can protect its interests while improving its standing with businesses,” Holmes said. 

Selectmen recently broached the topic of amending the town’s subdivision ordinance last October, in an effort to receive a business-friendly community certification from the state. 

According to Kirchherr, the ordinance is one of several to receive an overhaul in the last year and a half, when Paris began examining the local laws to see if it could remove impediments to business activity.    

Kirchherr said the ordinance will hopefully coincide with an expected upswing in the housing market. 

“It’s an effort to attract business and a little more friendly,” he said. “Our deadlines were on the more conservative side for towns with our demographics.”  


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