Housing Legislation - L.D. 2003

What is L.D. 2003?

L.D. 2003 is An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions. The bill was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor in April 2022. The law went into effect July 27, 2022, however, a majority of the bill’s requirements do not take effect until July 1, 2023. The Commission was established under LD609 and provided 9 recommendations to increase affordable housing that was intended to address the shortage in Maine. This law is designed to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to housing production in Maine, while preserving local ability to create land use plans and protect sensitive environmental resources. 

What should towns do now?

Review what is a "Growth Area" in your Comprehensive Plan

Identify areas that can connect to water and sewer

Ensure the Planning Board and CEO are aware of the rules and parcels that are applicable

Talk with your Select Board about Short-Term Rentals

Ordinance Revisions:

Towns should prepare Ordinance revisions in advance of July 1, 2023

Towns should review their Ordinance to remove any discriminatory language against affordable housing

Towns should add a definition of "Accessory Dwelling Unit" that includes a maximum size to avoid loopholes

Towns should review parking and density requirements


Immediately review Accessory Dwelling Units, parking requirements, and dimensional standards in Ordinances relating to residential use

Towns can establish a process to anticipate for the high volume of multi-family and ADUs 

Speak with your local representatives if you believe you need more time to prepare your ordinances

DECD Q&A Sessions:

The Housing Opportunity Program within the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development hosted six Q&A sessions in April and May to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about L.D. 2003. If you have any questions about these sessions, please email housing.decd@maine.gov.

Session Recordings:

 References & Resources:

  • L.D. 2003 "An Act to Implement Recommendations of the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions"

  • L.D. 2003 Final Rule: 19-100 C.M.R. ch. 5, Housing Opportunity Program: Municipal Land Use and Zoning Ordinance Rule & the Summary of Comments and ResponsesThe updated final rule for LD 2003 went into effect on October 1, 2023. The updated rule can be read in-full on DECD's website under "LD 2003 Resources", linked here. Essentially, the updated final rule makes the following clarifications/changes:

    • - It formally changes the implementation date for towns with town meeting-form of government to July 1, 2024.
    • - Non-conforming lots will be allowed to add an ADU if it meets other dimensional requirements (setbacks, coverage, etc.)
    • - "Illegal" ADUs built prior to LD 2003 implementation will need to be legalized by towns.
    • - Shoreland zoning cannot outright prohibit an ADU. It must be given 'due consideration'.
  • Housing Opportunity Program Grants: The Housing Opportunity Program has grant funding available to financially assist service providers and municipalities with municipal ordinance development, community housing planning services, and community housing implementation services. The Department of Economic & Community Development is responsible for adopting rules by which to administer the grant funding. Once the rulemaking process is complete, the Department will solicit applications for grants through the competitive application process. View the Final Rule and the Summary of Comments and Responses

  • Guidance Document on L.D. 2003, issued by the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) Housing Opportunity Program

  • Recommendations from the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Land Use Regulations & Short Term Rentals, issued on November 15, 2022 (This report was mentioned during our workshop presentation. Note, it is separate from L.D. 2003)

  • LCRPC Quick Chart of L.D. 2003 *FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, please refer to L.D. 2003 language when preparing any ordinance changes* 

  • LCRPC Memo: L.D. 2003 Updated Final Rule & Outline of Items to Consider When Amending Land Use Ordinances to Incorporate L.D. 2003 *FOR PRELIMINARY PLANNING PURPOSES as you work through ordinance updates*

  • LCRPC and MCOG hosted a workshop highlighting L.D. 2003. You can view the recording to the workshop below and here.

  • LCRPC and MCOG hosted a second workshop highlighting L.D. 2003 in June of 2023. Ben Averill and Hilary Gove of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) provided an overview of L.D. 2003 with updates related to rule making, grants, and legislation that may impact L.D. 2003. You can view the recording to the workshop below and here. The slides to this workshop are available here

If you have any questions or need any assistance contact County Planner Emily Rabbe at erabbe@lcrpc.org or (207) 882-4271. 

To receive updates from the Department of Economic and Community Development about implementation of this legislation, please email Housing.DECD@maine.gov.

297 Bath Road
Wiscasset, Maine 04578
T: (207) 882-4271 • F: (207) 882-5188