Planning & Development
The Planning Department issues permits, oversees projects, and collects fees related to new development in the City of Biddeford.
The Economic Development Department works with businesses, city officials, and other entities to grow the local economy.
Community Development encompasses the development of "quality of life" for City of Biddeford residents.
The Biddeford Planning and Development Department strives to create the best possible conditions for business development and growth within the parameters of the City’s Land Use ordinance. Special areas of concentration in the City are the Mill District,Downtown, the Business and industrial Parks, and growth corridors of Routes 1 and 111. The Department has initiated programs in workforce development, arts and heritage, and neighborhood networking.
In the Mill District, the exciting re-development of 3 Lincoln Street (former MERC site) is in the planning stages, and the renovation of 17 Lincoln Street (Lincoln Mill) into residential and commercial spaces will soon be under construction. The University of New England has expressed interest in integrating some of its operations in downtown Biddeford, a position the Department wholly supports and is working with UNE to broaden their presence in the City.
Downtown, the Department works to attract new businesses by constantly improving infrastructure like street paving and new sidewalks, and administering programs that improve the physical structures, keeping commercial spaces compliant with appropriate building and life and safety codes. The Department also assists with the City’sparking management plan that ensures adequate parking for current and future business needs. The Community Development Block Grant Program, through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development plays a critical role in infrastructure improvement as well as assisting with social needs.
In the business and industrial parks, the Department is in regular contact with the City’s large employers to ensure that business can proceed smoothly. Updated wayfinding signage has recently been installed which assists with identification of our four business parks.
The Department assists in the development of new large projects in the City, for example the new consolidated York County Courthouse. Construction for this new facility, to be located on Route 1 (Elm Street) near the Five Points intersection, is scheduled to begin in early 2020.
With a grant writer on staff, the Department is able to take advantage of state, federal and institutional grants, carefully targeted to effectively meet the capital and social needs of Biddeford.