The Comprehensive Planning Committee (CPC) is in the second year of work on a new plan for the town. The first year laid the ground work for a plan with a survey of town residents views on their town. This was followed by making an inventory of what makes up the Town of Whitefield - including population, housing, economy, history, public facilities, land use, transportation, recreation, and natural and economic resources.
This past year the committee identified issues and implications associated with each section of the inventory. These issues were then addressed in a set of proposed goals with suggested policies and strategies for implementing the goals. At present (December 2004) the Committee is finalizing the draft version of the Comprehensive Plan to be presented to the towns people for their suggestions, comments and opinions. This plan should be a reflection of what the people of Whitefield want for their town. The plan is only a draft at this time and needs the input of every concerned person in Town to make it work.
We will provide a summary of the proposed goals, policies and strategies for public review and a new survey aimed at getting your input on our proposed approach. Please take some time to review our progress. I think you will come to realize that the Comprehensive Plan is much more than a framework for land use regulation; it is a roadmap for providing services and opportunities to Town residents that accommodates a continuation of the high rate of growth we are experiencing. It addresses needs for Town office space, improvements to highways and bridges, new opportunities for recreation, efficiency in financing as well as innovative approaches to provide flexibility under existing town ordinances. The committee plans reworking and revising the plan over the next months and put it to a town vote in November 2005. In order to explain our proposals and to gather your input, we will offer to meet with small neighborhood groups to discuss the benefits of our approach and listen to alternative approaches. If you would like to host a neighborhood meeting, regardless of your personal point of view, please contact any of the Committee members.
In 2003 the Town voted $10,000 for the Comprehensive Plan process. The committee spent $3500 in 2003 and in 2004 another $4200 leaving $2300 in the Planning account. The money has been used for consulting fees and printing costs. The consulting firm Planning Decisions of South Portland has helped the committee wade through stacks of information and begin to develop a view of Whitefield's past and a vision of the Town's future. We were also ably assisted by Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association putting much of the information on maps that were displayed at last year's town meeting and are available for a fee at the Town Office.
Committee membership consists of a core group of 10 residents with 10 – 20 people attending meetings each month on the third Thursday and often the first Thursday as well. Meetings are from 7-9 pm at the school in the winter and the Townhouse in the summer. All Whitefield residents are invited and encouraged to attend these meetings.
CHARLENE DONAHUE, Chairperson
Charles Acker, Alice Davis, David Dixon, Erik Ekholm, Libby Harmon, Herb Hartman, Pat Jennings, AnnMarie Maguire, Tony Marple, Lucy Martin, Sue McKeen - Vice-Chair, Marie Sacks, Lester Sheaffer - Secretary, Barbara Welch