LEWISTON — After an 18-month process, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted the Design Lewiston design standards for new development, which officials hope will improve quality.

All new projects in the downtown district will be subject to building standards for considerations such as entrances and windows, parking access and design, landscaping and an overall design that shows “compatibility and harmony with surrounding buildings.”

The standards were developed during a yearlong committee process, and received a favorable recommendation from the Planning Board.

Doug Greene, deputy director of Planning and Code Enforcement, said officials are excited about the final product.

“We think it will be helpful to developers, while at the same time not putting a burden on development costs,” he said Tuesday.

Earlier in the process, Greene told officials that Lewiston fell short in requiring much of anything in terms of building design. He said the new standards are meant to guide developers but are not requirements.

“They are recommendations to encourage developers to have good design principles when creating projects,” he said.

Mayor Mark Cayer had initially said he was wary of any imposed standards that might discourage new development in Lewiston.

As part of the approval, the council also OK’d text amendments to several sections of zoning ordinances and rezoning several properties along Pine and Leeds streets.

The properties will be rezoned into the downtown residential district, which Greene has said will create a more “unified” downtown residential zone in the Tree Streets area, intended to encourage development of vacant or underutilized spaces and redevelopment downtown.

The City Council had previously held two workshop discussions on the proposal.

There were limited comments from the council, but Councilor Stephanie Gelinas said she’s “really excited” by the standards.

“Kudos for the work, well done,” she said.


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