Yarmouth residents, along with business owners and other community stakeholders, are being asked to put their imaginations to work to help shape the future of the town.

The town is launching Imagine Yarmouth to craft a vision statement that will set the foundation for a new comprehensive plan. Sessions start next week to receive public input on, for example, town values, the amenities the community lacks, open space and the look of Main Street.

“Comprehensive planning is just such an important aspect of planning and guidance for the community. It should be a really great activity,” Yarmouth Director of Planning and Development Erin Zwirko said. “There should be lots to talk about, as the region changes and shifts to address all sorts of questions, concerns, activities, good things, bad things, all of it.”

A comprehensive plan is a blueprint for growth and will be used to make policy recommendations for the next 10 years. The process will likely take 18 months, Zwirko said, so the plan should be completed by winter 2023. The current comprehensive plan was approved in 2010 and is certified by the state until 2023.

The project kickoff starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at 196 Main St., with a presentation and a question and answer session.

Nine pop-up events will be held in July and August at various locations, including at the Yarmouth Clam Festival and the Yarmouth Farmers Market. Other sessions will be scheduled for September and October before the project finally wraps up in October.

Advertisement

Topics that come up during community conversations early in the process will help “tailor future engagement opportunities.” Swirko said.

To assist with Imagine Yarmouth, the town has hired Berry Dunn, a Portland-based consulting firm, for $23,940.

“The goal is really to hear from as many people … on what their priorities are for the future of Yarmouth and what they see as challenges to really give us a sense of where the community is and where the community wants to go in the future,” said Keri Ouellette of Berry Dunn.

Berry Dunn has conducted similar projects for the city of Bangor’s comprehensive plan and for a parks and facilities master plan in Scarborough.

More concrete goals will likely come later, during the comprehensive planning process.

For more information about the project and about the pop-up events, visit berrydunn.mysocialpinpoint.com. Yarmouth residents may also submit topics and suggestions to Zwirko directly by emailing [email protected] or calling 846-2401.

“We hope to hear from as many people as possible and we encourage people to come out and join a meeting or go on the website if they can’t,” Ouellette said. “We’re happy to hear from everyone.”

Comments are not available on this story.