Have you read the draft of New Gloucester’s new Comprehensive Plan (CP)? It articulates our town’s vision for the next decade and is chock full of interesting facts and wonderful pictures. There are maps of water resources, roads, agricultural lands, historical resources, and critical natural resources. There are graphs of demographics, bridges, vehicle traffic counts, transfer station waste volumes, MSAD15 school enrollment, and revenues and debt. Read the community survey results including our high school students’ input. The final pages lay out the goals and strategies with a timeline for completion. Here is your Link. The Plan is 138 pages and can be downloaded in PDF format or you can pick up a hard copy at the New Gloucester Town Office.
The New Gloucester Comprehensive Plan Update Committee (CPUC) deserves a big shout out. Since January of 2018, Scott Hastings, NG Town Planner, facilitated the process to develop the CP with the committee. This dedicated group of local volunteers has diligently updated the 1990 CP and worked throughout the pandemic. Page five lists all the members of the Committee – a big thanks to all.
Now it is the community’s turn to weigh in one last time ………There will be a public hearing via zoom on Thursday March 18, 6:30 pm. Please keep in mind that this is our roadmap for the next 10 years and the Committee is anxious to hear your thoughts and comments.
In case you forgot what a CP is, here is a little history. Maine first enacted a requirement for comprehensive planning as the basis for zoning in 1943. In 1988, Maine adopted the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act, building on long established law.
A town’s CP takes stock of where the town is and then sets goals for where the town’s residents want it to be. A CP lets us find out exactly what has happened in town since the last plan was written and to see how we are doing on the goals from that plan. The heart of a CP is to find ways to continue to build neighborhoods and commercial centers to make the most sense to accommodate and stimulate economic growth and conserve large rural territories as working landscapes and natural gems.
The Land Management Planning Committee, in particular, needs an updated CP because they have responsibility for drafting zoning ordinances, and it is important for them to understand what the goals are going forward. Another example of its use might be the Parks and Recreation Committee which could find support for upgraded athletic facilities and services through the CP based on public input and survey results.
Please take the time to read the CP. Again, the CPUC will be holding a formal public hearing on the proposed draft at their next meeting on March 18th at 6:30pm. The meeting will be held remotely. Please reach out to Scott Hastings (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get connection information.