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GPCOG Planning Services

Municipal leaders face a tough balancing act between addressing the housing shortage and preserving our region’s farms, fields and forests. The Greater Portland Council of Governments is here to help you! With existing and anticipated grant resources, we can provide free and low-cost technical assistance to help you expand housing choices in places that make sense, for the people who need it, and in ways you want.

Download a menu of our services here:

Reach out to our Planning Director, Matt Panfil, to discuss any of these services, here:


Assess housing needs: Collect and analyze data about your community’s growth and housing needs.

Inventory natural assets: Map and identify the value of your community’s natural areas to help guide decisions on land protection and use policy.

Assess municipal owned land: Evaluate existing community-owned parcels for housing and mixed-use development and land protection potential.

Assess ordinances: Review your community’s current land use ordinances against the requirements of LD 2003.



Support committees: Launch and/or support a Housing Advisory Committee that convenes housing stakeholders from various industries and interests to inform local elected leaders.

Engage the public: For comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, and more, GPCOG can deliver learning sessions on a broad array of growth and development issues, state law, and best practices, as well as meaningfully engage the public through charettes, visioning workshops, virtual meetings, and more.

Matchmake with developers: Introduce a community’s housing aspirations to willing and talented housing developers. We can also partner municipalities with surplus land with real estate developers or land preservation trusts, depending on the context of the property.

Identify Grant Opportunities: With significant funding flowing from federal programs, GPCOG can help assess state and federal funding opportunities for community priority infrastructure projects



Plan: Support short and mid-range planning, including neighborhood, comprehensive, and topic-specific plans for your community.

Zone: Draft new or updated ordinances to comply with LD 2003 amendments, modify zoning codes to allow the creation of housing in desired locations, regulate short-term rentals, and explore inclusionary zoning.

Create TIFs: Assist with applications for Municipal Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts to support housing, transit and necessary infrastructure.

Track Short-Term Rentals (STR): GPCOG has developed software to help its members enforce their STR licensing program. With this tool, municipalities can enforce current regulations, generate new fee revenue for the municipality, and provide the public with transparency around STRs

Support funding: Support development of local funding through Affordable Housing TIF’s, Housing Trusts, and other tools

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