Maine house votes to ease big-box regulations

Posted May 04, 2011, at 11:10 a.m.
Last modified May 04, 2011, at 11:16 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill to ease the Maine law requiring studies before big-box developments be built faces a Senate vote now that the House has given a solid OK to the measure.

Representatives approved the bill 90-59 on Tuesday, sending it to the Senate, which meets Thursday.

As approved by the House, the bill allows municipalities to opt in to Maine’s Informed Growth Act law. As it stands now, the law requires developers of big-box retail projects to commission independent studies that take into account the adverse impacts of the developments on local business and infrastructure.

The original bill sought to repeal the law outright.

The amended version permits towns to opt in, a plan opponents say effectively repeals the law.