Frequently Asked Questions

For Applicants

How long after I submit my application will I get an answer?

The application deadline is the first Wednesday of each month. Typically, the volunteer commission board meets on the fourth Wednesday of the same month to discuss those applications received and render decisions. A final written permit is usually in the mail within 10 to 14 business days after the meeting.

What happens if I don’t agree with the commission’s decision?

The commission has a reconsideration process for those applicants dissatisfied with the commission’s final decision regarding their project. Within 30 days from that date of issuance, applicants may file a written petition for a reconsideration with the commission that includes specific reasons for the request to reconsider. The commission must act upon such petition within 60 days. Details of this process are available by contacting the commission office or by downloading a copy of Chapter 101: Regulations for the Processing of Applications for Permits, Variances, or Certificates of Compliance.

On my application there is a space for the applicant’s agent. Who is that?

An agent is someone who files the paperwork with this commission on behalf of the property owner. This person is not necessarily the real estate agent who may be involved with the property purchase. Sometimes out-of-state residents have their contractors handle all the necessary paperwork to secure any required permits.

Can you further explain the Certificates of Mailing?

The applicant is required to send notice of the proposed development to the following people:

  • all abutting land owners,
  • all property owners within 500 feet of the proposed use (250 feet in Lake Arrowhead),
  • the municipal board of selectmen, and
  • the municipal planning board.

This list includes property owners across streets and water. The commission provides the form that must be mailed out as part of the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain all names and addresses through the respective municipality, to mail out the notices appropriately, and provide adequate documentation proving the notices have been done correctly. The Certificate of Mailing is a United States Post Office service that is much less expensive than using certified mail. Your local post office can provide additional information upon request.

On the Applicant’s Intent to File it asks for the date of filing. When is that?

The date you file the application is the date this office receives your application. It is not the date of the commission meeting when the commissioners will be making their decision. All recipients of your certificate of mailings have 14 days from the date of filing to respond. If this date is filled in incorrectly on the form, your application may be delayed for another month.

I’m building a residence and installing a septic system. Do I have to pay the fee for the residence and the fee for the septic system?

No. You only pay one fee for the largest aspect of your project. In this case, you would only pay the fee for a residence.

Does my site plan need to be done by an engineer?

No. Site plans can be drawn by the applicant. The commission provides a sample site plan and guidelines for preparing site plans with all applications handed out. The site plan must be to scale and include lot dimensions, abutting roads, and dimensions of all proposed development. For an example, download our sample site plan.

What should I do if I have additional questions or still don’t understand?

Please contact the office. We’re happy to help you with the application process or with general information about the commission.

What if I need a hardship variance?

Complete details on the process are located on our hardship variance page.

For Permit Holders

Is this the only permit I need?

After receiving a Saco River Corridor Commission (SRCC) permit, you need to visit your local code enforcement officer for any permits required by the municipality. Those of you who live in the Lake Arrowhead Community will also need to visit the community office to receive information about any permits needed from them. It is important to remember that you should obtain an SRCC permit first. There are instances where municipalities or Lake Arrowhead do not require permits for certain development activities, but this agency does. As a property owner within the Saco River corridor, you are responsible for obtaining all necessary permits.

How long is my permit good for?

Permits granted by the commission are valid for two years after the date of issuance. If at the end of the two years, your project is not completed, you may request an extension for an additional two years. It is important, however, to keep in mind that in the event there are changes to the law that affect your project, the commission will impose the new laws when reviewing your request for an extension.

What if my project plans change throughout the construction process?

A permit has been issued to you with specific dimensions and setback distances. If your project plans change and — as a result — these specifics change, you must contact the commission office prior to implementing any changes. Many times changes are simply a note to the file and may also require you to submit an updated site plan. There are situations, however, when a change in the project requires additional commission review. These types of changes also generally require the applicant to re-notify abutters of the change. Commission staff will let you know which next step is appropriate.

Can I undertake additional construction and development activities under one permit?

You may only undertake the activities specifically described in your permit. Any additional activities will require additional permitting from the commission and will require you to complete another application.

What if I decide not to construct something approved by the commission?

Simply phone the office informing staff that you longer plan to construct something previously approved. We will make a note of the change to your file. This file will be considered closed. If you decide to resume the original project, you will need to obtain another permit from the commission.

What are the conditions stated on my permit?

Attached to your permit are standard conditions of approval. These conditions are attached to all permits issued by this agency and you are bound to comply with all eleven conditions listed. If you have any questions about these conditions, please contact the commission office as soon as possible. In addition to the standard conditions of approval, there may be additional conditions listed on your permit. You are bound by all of these conditions as well. As the permit holder and/or land owner, you are the responsible party for any contractors who perform work on your property. We strongly advise you to inform all contractors of these conditions and any other special conditions that may have been placed on your permit.

Can I cut all the trees and vegetation I want?

First, read the standard conditions of approval. In summary, selective cutting of trees, as defined in the standard conditions, is allowed. There is a 75-foot no-cut zone leading inland from the shoreline, and you may never cut trees for the purpose of obtaining a view.

Can I pave my driveway?

Driveways must not be paved unless specifically requested. If it is not clearly stated in the application you submit, driveways are considered to be gravel.

Can I clear a path to the water?

A six-foot-wide, natural, meandering pathway is allowed. Any above-ground wooden stairs to help facilitate water access due to steep slopes require additional permits from the commission.

What about docks?

The Saco River Corridor Act states that “no privately-owned pier, dock, or float shall extend more than 10% of the width of the river at any time or extend into the water more than 10 feet perpendicular to the shore, whichever is less; and shall be temporary and capable of seasonal removal.” Any docks that do not meet this requirement may be in violation of the Saco River Corridor Act.

I’ve finished my project. Now what should I do?

Please mail the Notice of Completion of Construction Form (included with the original permit) to our office. If you need additional copies of this form, please contact the office or download the Notice of Completion of Construction Form. Once we receive the form, commission staff will plan to visit your site in order to perform a compliance check. We may not always call first or notify you when we plan to visit your site. If you would like to be present for the compliance check, please indicate so on the form before you return it.

I need more time to complete my project. Can I extend the completion deadline?

Any person who holds a permit may ask for additional time to complete permitted activities if it is necessary. The commission may grant up to two additional years. However, it is important to remember that at the time of the extension review, the commission will be adhering to the most current regulations. In the event there has been a change since your original approval date, new laws could affect your project. The most important thing to remember is to simply call the office with any changes or questions. Commission staff is here to help make the permit process a simple one.

Our responsibility is to project the public health, safety, and quality of life for the state of Maine through our regulation process. There are fines in place ranging from $200 to $10,000 for those who do not comply with the Saco River Corridor Act. All monies collected by this commission, as a result of a violation, are deposited directly into the General Fund of the state of Maine and do not benefit this agency.