The issue of affordable housing is one that Bangor city councilors have been working on for years; How can the city make more housing units available to those who cannot afford to pay a large sum towards a mortgage or rent each month?

Downtown Bangor 5, Cori Skall

While some projects are in the works to address the issue, City officials have recently pitched an idea that's a bit out of the box, or at the very least, outside of the lines...height lines that is.

Read More: What Is The Tallest Building in Bangor, Maine?

Last week, City Councilors discussed expanding the height limits of new builds in Bangor.

Downtown Bangor 2, Cori Skall
Downtown Bangor 2, Cori Skall

"24-164 ORDINANCE amending chapter 165 land development code to increase height allowances in the multi-family and service district and urban service district and for rooftop solar arrays and rooftop mechanical equipment."


According to Bangor City Councilor Gretchen Schaefer:

"The proposed changes would update the City's Code of Ordinances to increase the maximum height of buildings in the multi-family and service 60 feet if located on a lot that fronts a major or minor arterial street. The changes would also allow rooftop mechanical equipment or solar arrays to extend beyond the maximum district height, with some stipulations. The proposed changes could make housing projects and redevelopment in general...more financially feasible and could allow for more units on these lots."

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Schaefer cited that in the 2022 City of Bangor Comprehensive Plan, it was suggested that the City revise zoning regulations, as needed, to support the development of more affordable housing units.

Downtown Bangor 7, Cori Skall
Downtown Bangor 7, Cori Skall

By letting builders add extra floors, city officials hope the extra living space will translate into more affordable housing.

The item was reviewed and unanimously recommended for passage at the Planning Board meeting on June 4.

It was again voted upon and unanimously passed at the City Council meeting on Monday, June 10.

Downtown Bangor 1, Cori Skall
Downtown Bangor 1, Cori Skall

(You can check the meeting out by clicking here. The discussion on that particular ordinance starts at about 35 minutes into the talk.)

According to a story put out by News Center Maine, the current Bangor City building height limits were set back in the 1990s.

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