Please contact the Planning and Community Development Department to make a request for an amendment to any of the Town's adopted ordinances.

Although Art. II, Section 14 of the Town Charter and Title 30-A §2522 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated do provide a legal basis for citizens to petition for ordinance amendments on their own, this is permissible only if the process outlined below does not result in the Select Board placing the desired amendment on the Town Meeting ballot. We hope it will be apparent that the process is designed to ensure that any changes the ordinances will be of the greatest possible benefit to all citizens of Rockport, present and future. The primary vehicle for Select Board's process is Ordinance Review Committee (ORC).

ORC meetings are open to the public and intended to provide facilitated, workshop-style discussions. The meetings take place at the Town Office on Thursday mornings at 8:00 a.m. during the winter season. The agenda is formed by following the annual Work Plan (examples below), with items ranked in priority order, as delegated to the ORC by the Select Board. A vote of the members present at any given meeting may be called by the Chair if necessary to clarify specific issues under consideration and to approve final drafts. In this way the ORC prepares its advice and draft language to return to the Select Board in the spring.

This material is merely advisory in nature. The Select Board may still elect to remove from consideration or to draft proposed ordinance amendments even after the ORC completes its work. However, the Board has historically shown considerable deference to the ORC, especially with respect to changes proposed to the Land Use Ordinance (LUO).

Upon review of the ORC material, the Select Board along with other Boards and Committees (such as the Planning Board in the case of LUO amendments) then conduct formal public hearings to determine whether or not to recommend approval to the voters at the next available Town Meeting to be held in June, and sometimes November, each year. 

For more guidance and a timeline of the local procedure for ordinance amendments, here is the policy adopted by the Select Board on August 14, 2006: 

The purpose of these bylaws is to establish reasonable rules of procedure for Committee meetings and to promote the fair, orderly and efficient conduct of the Committee’s proceedings and affairs.  These bylaws shall govern the Committee’s practices and procedures except as otherwise provided by law and shall be liberally construed so as to accomplish their purpose.