The Town of Scarborough’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) seeks public review and comment on the proposed 2020 Comprehensive Plan in three upcoming virtual public forums. Driven by three years of public input and revisions, the Comprehensive Plan articulates a vision of the community and steps to support this vision. The Plan aims to be an expression of Scarborough residents’ hopes and thoughts on important issues that impact the day-to-day experience of what it means to live and work in Scarborough. The Plan was first publicly released in March 2020 and the process quickly halted due to COVID-19. The committee seeks to reengage the process and resume public review.

The Plan highlights five core Vision statements, which evolved as the LRPC wove together public input from a variety of sources over the last two years. The five core Vision statements from the Plan are:

• The Scarborough Marsh is central to the Town’s identity, and therefore future land use will follow a pattern of development that is sensitive to protecting the Marsh as well as the town’s natural resources.

• Future land use patterns will create opportunities for the efficient delivery of municipal services and infrastructure, resulting in fiscal sustainability.

• Our ordinances will support the diversity and character of existing and emerging neighborhoods, centers and open spaces.

• Scarborough’s economy will support a broad assortment of companies that provide stability for the tax base, that blend with the natural resource base, and that support opportunities for residents.

• Scarborough’s transportation network will support current and future land uses that create efficiencies which reduce the impact of traffic on residents and businesses.

These vision statements are the culmination of public input, from vision-style meetings where people were asked to “Imagine the Future,” to hands-on meetings where participants mapped out ideas, to one-on-one meetings with staff and consultants, a survey to hear comments either online or on paper, and more. For those staff and committee members participating in all of the public processes, we learned that our residents and businesses are passionate about their community. They came from different styles of development, different areas of Town and different stages of life. But all identified their piece of Scarborough as home.

The intent of this plan is to respect that there are many sides to Scarborough, all of which can be woven together in a single community looking toward a healthy future for the town. At its very core, a Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that guides development based on a community vision. Though the Plan does not lay out all of the specific changes in ordinances or policies that will be required to articulate the vision, it does provide guideposts for evaluating changes. And, central to most comprehensive plans, a future land use map generally defines a pattern of development that shows where growth can be accommodated in light of the vision.

The LRPC encourages all who live and work in Scarborough to review the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. The latest draft can be found on the Planning & Codes Department page of the town’s website: scarboroughmaine.org.

There are three upcoming virtual public forums to learn more about the 2020 Comprehensive Plan and provide comment. They will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, Nov. 19, and a Dec. 1. Zoom links are available on the Town’s website calendar.

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