Planning, Permitting & Code dEPARTMENT
Eric Cousens | Director
The Planning, Permitting and Code Department administers land use, building, housing, plumbing and electrical codes and oversees the development and implementation of improvement plans for various areas of the city. On the permitting and compliance front, we aim to help developers complete their projects on time and in compliance with State codes and local ordinances.
The City of Auburn has a long history of planning, including our first Comprehensive Plan in 1919. Maintaining and improving the quality of life in Auburn through planning, zoning infrastructure, accommodating all modes of transportation, recreational opportunities, protection of residential neighborhoods, code compliance and creating economic opportunities are all high priorities.
Building, Plumbing & Code Services
- Building Inspectors are responsible for enforcing building codes. The staff reviews development plans and inspects work in progress. The staff works with both “weekend handy-persons” and professionals in an effort to make projects proceed as smoothly as possible. Many of our efforts are intended to ensure that the public is protected in the workplace, commercial establishments and in their homes. The building code for the City of Auburn is the Maine Uniform Building & Energy Code (MUBEC).
- Plumbing Inspectors enforce all state regulations for all internal and external plumbing permits, which includes septic system design issued in the city. The division works closely with the Lake Auburn Watershed Commission regarding septic and sewer designs in the Lake Auburn Watershed. Currently, the City of Auburn is using is the Maine State Internal Plumbing Code, 2021 Edition. Please refer to the State of Maine Wastewater and Plumbing contract program.
- Our staff enforces City Ordinances related to the proper use and development of property. To report a complaint please click here.
The Electrical Department is responsible for maintaining the City’s extensive network of traffic signals, streetlights, and fire alarm systems. It also administers the Electrical Code and performs associated inspections. The City of Auburn has adopted the NFPA 70, (National Electrical Code) 2020 edition (In effect as of July 16, 2021).
Electrical Permits and Inspections: The owner of a single-family owner-occupied dwelling may perform all electrical work (without licensure) within their dwelling. All appropriate permits and inspections shall be obtained. Only an appropriately licensed electrician may perform installations in multi- family dwellings, commercial, and industrial properties. It is a “class E crime” to perform electrical installations in the aforementioned areas without appropriate licensure. Scheduling for electrical inspections and general electrical information may be obtained by contacting the Planning & Permitting Office: Tammy Thatcher
Traffic Signal Maintenance: The City of Auburn Electrical Division maintains all traffic signal devices within the municipality. If you feel you have a concern, make note of the specific location, time of day and a brief description of the problem, and please contact the Electrical Department
- Streetlight Maintenance: The City of Auburn leases the majority of streetlights within the municipality from Central Maine Power Co. To report problems, please obtain the street address closest to the problem and the utility pole number on the light in question, if available. The pole number is a small silver stamp located approximately 6 ft. from grade level on the street side of the pole. When placing your complaint, include a brief description of the problem such as the light is out, the light is cycling on and off, or the light stays on during daylight hours. All complaints can be submitted to Electrical Department and City Staff will in turn contact the utility company for repair.
Zoning & Land Use Services
- The Land Use Division is charged with protecting and improving the community’s environment and promoting economic development through land use policies and ordinances. The City has a Planning Board, comprised of nine citizens, who are responsible for hearing zoning requests, reviewing site plans, and recommending land use policies to the City Council. The Zoning Board of Appeals, another citizen board, reviews staff and Planning Board decisions.