Topsham’s comprehensive plan is due to be updated, and town officials want to get residents involved with the update in a way that is a bit more fun than attending a regular town meeting.

“This year we’re doing it vastly different,” Assistant Planner Carol Eyerman said. “If you’re not a meeting person, you may go to a bean supper,” she said. There will also be a block party and an artisan market — all of which will, hopefully, entice people to stay an extra hour to discuss traffic flow on Main Street and other concerns.

All the events will take pace at the firebarn at 1 Green St. in Topsham. Eyerman said someone will be posted there each day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday, Oct. 19 to Monday, Oct. 23.

Eyerman said the town has a zoning ordinance regulating the land use in town, so it is required by the state to update its comprehensive plan every 10 years. The comprehensive plan drives the direction of the town and is the vision the community has for itself, she said. The plan also serves as a guideline for the zoning ordinance and gives the staff its to-do list.

In the past, the town has held more traditional planning sessions, but there are still many people who won’t attend meetings.

Next Friday night there will be a historic lantern walk followed by an outdoor showing of “Wonder Woman,” and a block party Saturday afternoon with food trucks. There will be a pop-up library where librarians will do their own planning with kids. That may be handing them paper and asking them draw what they want to see.

The town’s comprehensive plan committee hired consultants from Maine Design Workshop. The town will create a temporary pop-up studio and office at the firebarn, where urban designers, illustrators and planners “will be working from morning until night on the comprehensive plan update, capturing public comments and incorporating these ideas real time into illustrative plans and drawings that will help articulate the community’s vision for the future,” an event announcement states.

There is a cost associated with the bean supper and food trucks, but all other events are free. Eyerman said residents are welcome to attend any or all events. All parking will be across the street from the firebarn.

The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee aims to prepare a revised comprehensive plan for consideration by residents at the May 2018 town meeting.

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