SCARBOROUGH — In the process to develop a new growth management ordinance, the Scarborough Ordinance Committee looked at what needs improvement in the current one on Jan. 7.

The intent of the ordinance is to regulate the pace of growth in the town, not total growth in the community.

Possible issues that have impacted the GMO over time include fractionalization of permits and complications surrounding fractionalization that have arisen through changes to the ordinance, committee members said.

The ordinance does not allow a project to receive more than 27 permits a year, but some developers have been able to buy a few permits one year and then a few more the following year so they are able to complete multi-family projects requiring more than 27 permits, Town Planner Jay Chace said.

Town Manager Tom Hall said that the ordinance should tighten that language up and simplify it.

Growth has outpaced infrastructure needed to support that growth, committee member and Councilor Ken Johnson said.

“We have not kept our infrastructure up to pace of the growth, and that was the function of the GMO, to allow us to do that,” he said.

Johnson added, “So you either tax everyone in the town to catch up or you start managing that pace of growth until you catch up.”

While not anti-growth, Johnson said that developers need to work at a manageable pace for the town.

“Anyone who wants to come, come, but the developers need to develop at a pace that we can absorb and service all residents, the residents who have been here 30 years or the brand new people coming in,” he said.

Committee member and Councilor Don Hamill said there’s a gap between what demand is and what can be accommodated and managed effectively.

The committee will have another workshop on Jan. 21. According to the meeting’s agenda, the committee will discuss potential modifications to the GMO.


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