India Street Neighborhood Plan

India Street Form-based Code Zone Audit 2019/2020

Survey - for interested parties, stakeholders, property owners, residents, business owners in the India Street neighborhood (closes January 10)

Form-based Code is land development regulation that regulates property based on physical form rather than land use.  The India Street Form-based Code (IS-FBC) is the zoning code for the India Street neighborhood, adopted in 2015.  At the time of adoption, the Planning Board recommended that there be an audit of the new zone after three years of implementation because this is a new  type of zoning regulation in Portland.

There are two primary goals for the IS-FBC:

1) Predictable development review process and results for developers as well as neighborhood property owners, business, and residents.

2) Regulations that better reflect the scale and character of the existing built environment.

What will the audit cover?

  • application and review process, including interaction with the historic districts
  • ease of understanding and interpretation 
  • unintended consequences in the code interpretation
  • quantitative evaluation of built projects (number and type of projects, footprint, building area, height, setbacks, uses, parking placement and numbers, bonus story use, affordable housing/housing creation)
  • qualitative evaluation of architectural character

What are the potential outcomes of the audit?

  • Staff will present the findings of the audit to the Planning Board in a public workshop. 
  • Based on the findings of the audit, staff may recommend revisions to the zoning code.  This would require Planning Board and Council review and approval.  
  • In addition, the Planning Division is proposing to overhaul the City of Portland Design Manual in early 2020 - this will have implications on the IS-FBC Building Design Standards.  These changes will require Planning Board review and approval.

How to participate in the audit?

  • Fill out a survey online
  • Attend or submit comment for Planning Board and City Council meetings covering audit findings and potential recommendations on the IS-FBC zone and/or the City of Portland Design Manual
  • Attend an India Street Neighborhood Association meeting for discussion and feedback 
  • Sign up for NotifyMe or check the Planning & Urban Development webpage on the City’s website to stay informed of Planning Board or City Council agenda items


India Street

Neighborhood Plan Documents

Additional Information

Michele Reeves Videos

Neighborhood Identity and Economic Development consultant Michele Reeves of Civilis Consultants in Portland, Oregon provides her expert recommendations in the video links below. Ms. Reeves was in Portland, Maine for three days presenting at the Portland Society for Architecture annual meeting about how "Good Design is Good for Business," holding a workshop with India Street stakeholders, and presenting her recommendations to be part of the India Street Neighborhood Plan. For more information about Civilis Consultants, visit: http://civilisconsultants.com/

In 2012, the Mayor, Planning Office, and City Manager committed to working with the India Street Neighborhood Association to create an India Street Neighborhood Plan. The planning process was to engage with the community to address issues such as the form and scale of development, infrastructure, identity, historic resources, and other issues as determined during the planning process.

From March through September, 2013, Sustain Southern Maine brought a team of planners to India Street from the initial open house to the presentation of the vision and plans that begin to describe the future shape and form of this neighborhood.

In July, 2013, the India Street Neighborhood Plan was selected to receive technical assistance from a new program launched by Portland State University (the other Portland) called Urban Sustainability Accelerator. City staff participated in training and planning workshops in Portland, Oregon, this past summer. As part of the USA grant the planning process has received visits from various consultants continuing to program resources to the planning effort, which will inform and assist with the work plan going forward. Michele Reeves and a planning team from UC Davis are among the visiting resources contributing to the plan.

In November, 2013 a stakeholder advisory committee was established known as the India Street Neighborhood Advisory Committee (ISNAC), appointed by the City Council, and includes interested citizens to assist the Planning Office to complete the plan. The India Street Neighborhood Advisory Committee (ISNAC) and five working groups within the committee will complete the plan for consideration by the City Council and Planning Board in September, 2014.

The Plan was recommended to City Council by the Planning Board at a public hearing on January 20, 2015. The Historic Preservation Board will begin to consider the proposed Historic District and the Form-based Code will be brought to the Planning Board in 2015. After a series of workshops, the Planning Board recommended the India Street Form-based Code and India Street Historic District to City Council on September 15, 2015. Check the calendar for upcoming City Council meetings.

Contact Us - For more information contact Caitlin Cameron, Urban Designer. Call 207-874-8901 or email ccameron@portlandmaine.gov

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