The state's proposal to increase housing density is raising concerns among city officials worried about losing local control over development in their cities.

1 minute read

December 12, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Kennebec River

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

An article by Jessica Piper and Michael Shepherd outlines the conflict between proposed solutions to Maine's severe housing crisis and its history of local control. "A draft report released Thursday by a legislative housing commission proposed a range of solutions, including eliminating single-family zoning and annual caps on home construction, allowing homeowners to add accessory units like in-law apartments and allowing up to four units to be built in lots now zoned for one."

Supporters of the proposal say statewide housing policy is essential to achieving housing goals and increasing affordability for Maine households. But while other states are aggressively promoting housing development, encourage high-density construction, and impose quotas on affordable housing production, the recommendations could fail to get enough votes in the Maine legislature, where, according to the article, "[t]he desire for local control is a sacred principle." 

With the housing crisis showing no signs of abating, housing advocates are calling on state and federal officials to implement robust tenant and homeowner protection policies and maintain pandemic-era housing assistance infrastructure.

Sunday, December 5, 2021 in Bangor Daily News

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Close-up of maroon California 'Clean Air Vehicle' carpool lane access sticker on the back bumper of a silver Tesla vehicle.

California EV Owners To Lose Carpool Lane Privilege

A program that began in 1999 to encourage more electric car ownership is set to expire next year without Congressional and state action.

April 2, 2024 - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

April 12 - Houston Chronicle

Closed black wrought iron gate in front of gated residential community with large palm trees along sides of street.

Friday Funny: Gated Community Doubles Down

The Onion skewers suburbia.

April 12 - The Onion

Aerial view of Chicago with river in foreground.

‘Cut the Tape’ Report Takes Aim at Inefficiencies

A set of recommendations from the Chicago mayor’s office calls for streamlining city processes to stimulate more residential and commercial development.

April 12 - Block Club Chicago

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.