What will our town look like in the next five, 10, 15 years? This question was central to discussions as the Town of Scarborough’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) developed the 2021 Comprehensive Plan. The goal of a Comprehensive Plan is to plan for and guide future growth and development in alignment with the community’s goals. 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 Purpose

The 2021 Plan identifies issues and challenges that have emerged over the last decade. There is increased traffic, heavy on the main roadways at times, and sprawl is having an impact on environmentally sensitive areas and municipal services. The latest version addresses issues such as coastal resiliency, housing availability and affordability, energy, and new transportation options. It also identifies land use choices that can most effectively manage growth while preserving natural resources. Designating areas where development and redevelopment should occur is an essential role for the Town and at the heart of any comprehensive plan.

Four Years of Public Engagement

Over the past four years, the LRPC has relied on public engagement, and now as the Plan nears completion with an anticipated Town Council vote at the end of June, we continue to encourage community input. Join the Town Council for scheduled public meetings in June to review the latest draft.

Revisions, public input, and discussion has been ongoing since 2017. The Plan was most recently brought to public attention again in Fall 2020 with three public forums and a Town Council Workshop. The key takeaways from these meetings were compiled and have since been incorporated into a near-final version of the Plan. Over the last few months, the LRPC reviewed comments from both the Town Council and the public, resulting in a revised version of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan that is being recommended to the Town Council. Changes to the Plan are in the following categories: 1) general editing for clarity, 2) substantive edits based on received comments and 3) data updates throughout, including socioeconomic data. Most recent adjustments include:

• Addition of an implementation strategy, descriptions of actions required, time frame and resources.

• References to the Growth Management Ordinance and monitoring the pace and impact of growth

• Clarification of the relationship between the new plan and the 2006 plan

• Update on the description of Villages

• Update of Vision statements 1 & 4

• Added COVID-19 Impacts & The Downs

• Clarification of the Zoning and the Conservation & Growth Map

• Reference to developing an Open Space Plan, and to the State’s “Maine Won’t Wait” climate action plan

• A Key Town Council Project this June

A vote on the Plan is anticipated at the end of June, following a final opportunity for public engagement. Please review the latest draft (available on the Town’s website and Town Hall) and attend the upcoming meetings to offer comment and learn more:

• Wednesday, June 16, 7 p.m.: Town Council, Planning Board, & Long Range Planning Committee Public Hearing

• Wednesday, June 30, 6 p.m.: Town Council & Long Range Planning Committee Public Hearing; Potential adoption

What Happens After Adoption?

The Plan lays out a structure for implementation that promotes partnerships between the Town and other stakeholders to achieve the community visions. The structure does not require all projects or recommendations be completed in sequence. Instead, it promotes flexibility that considers the pace of land development, emerging local and regional initiatives, and available funding. The priorities, resources and actions outlined provide a rough framework, recognizing that priorities will be further refined and discussed as the community moves forward.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: