Comprehensive Plan
& Form-Based Code

Newcastle, Maine

Client Challenge | The Town of Newcastle realized that it was in a fiscal landslide and needed to address its imbalance between costs and revenue to maintain a stable tax rate. The town was also up for a comprehensive plan update required by the state. In an effort to streamline the planning and coding process, the Town commissioned our team to address both projects at the same time.  

Team Approach | A social media selfie campaign called “This is Newcastle” and a public engagement charrette was held, attracting participation from over 10% of the Town’s population. The local planning committee also conducted several Tactical Urbanism road reconfigurations at its main intersection to slow traffic moving through its main street district. 

Project Impact | Using an iterative design approach, our team was able to learn that residents were comfortable with intensive development within certain areas of town and actually embraced the density required to grow a vibrant downtown, critical information that directly informed the form-based code. The community pushed the planning team to think differently about how to zone the rural areas of Town. This required a new approach to the rural form-based standards and how to promote commercial and residential growth that fits the natural character of these rural areas.

Newcastle, Maine

Town of Newcastle


Maine Design Workshop

Urban Design
Planning & Coding
Public Policy

In Progress