Fact Sheet

Draft Whitefield Comprehensive Plan

What is it? The Plan is a set of goals, policies and implementation strategies to guide Town activities and manage the direction of growth.

Check it out on the web at: www.mainething.com/plan

Information also available at the Town Office

The Plan also contains an Inventory (71 pages and 12 maps!) characterizing existing conditions and a listing of issues that the Town will face as growth continues over the next 20 years. The Comprehensive Planning Committee has worked nearly two years collecting information and developing a proposal responsive to your opinions expressed in the 2003 survey.

Vision: To maintain Whitefield's rural character while accommodating growth in population and commercial development:

What is rural character? A sense of community, neighborliness, farms and forest, clean water, scenic views of open space, woods harboring birds and animals, outdoor recreation and an efficient, effective municipal government.

Manage Development by Incentive – Not Regulation

o The Plan does not enact zoning

o The Plan does not take away land-owner rights

o The Plan is not an Ordinance or Regulation

But The Plan Does Identify Needs With Respect To The Existing Ordinances:

    • Fair and consistent implementation of existing ordinances – Notice of Intent to Build
    • Adds flexibility to the Minimum Lot Size Regulation – Allows cluster development (more units in less space) in exchange for preserving open space
    • Develops incentives to encourage location of high impact commercial development along the Route 17 corridor
    • Sets standards for curb cuts – limits access points to roads for public safety – multiple homes could use the same access point

Now it’s your turn!

Do you share our vision? Can growth be managed by incentive? What are your priorities?

 

Recommended by Planning Board

Unanimously endorsed by the Selectmen

Public Meetings

July 9, 2005, 7:00 pm

Kings Mills Union Hall

July 28, 2005, 7:00 pm

Lion’s Club, Coopers Mills

With no Plan, the future character of Whitefield will be determined by newcomers and commercial developers – Are we willing to take a chance that we will like their vision?

 

Highlights of the Plan

Striking the balance between accommodating growth and our Vision –

Protecting our rural character and natural resources

Issue

 

Goal

Fastest growing Town in Lincoln County, 18% increase in population between 1990 – 2000: Projected to grow from 2,273 in 2000 to 2,685 in 2015

Population

Preserve community’s rural, scenic and natural qualities

Development pressure on farmland – land is more valuable as house lots than open space

Land Use

Orderly development while preserving open space, forestry, farming and protecting critical resources

Shifting from local jobs to a bedroom community; changing character of population

Local Economy

Encourage economic growth, opportunities for jobs locally

33% increase in number of houses between 1990 and 2000; 48% of houses were built after 1980.

Housing

Encourage new housing and fuller utilization of existing housing to accommodate aging population

More traffic, higher speeds, increasing points of access result in more accidents

Transportation

Improve safety, efficiency, scenic character of Town roads by developing standards for “curb cuts”

Municipal offices, fire and rescue need to grow to meet needs of increasing and aging population

Public Services

Facilities

Provide effective, efficient public services and facilities

Need to preserve tradition of public access to private land for hunting, fishing, hiking; expand opportunities

Recreation

Enhance recreational opportunities

Residents shouldn’t have to leave Town for culture

Cultural Resources

Ensure access to events/programs/facilities

Our past should be our guide to our future

Historic, Archaeological

Ensure appreciation of our heritage through education/preservation

Development pressure is most intensive along the Sheepscot River and it will shift to “backland” from existing road corridors as frontage is used up

Natural Resources

Preserve the quality of our natural resources for future generations: Sheepscot River, aquifer, deer yards, lake frontage, wetlands

State funding for revenue sharing and education are reduced by the fraction that local property valuation is lower than the State valuation

Fiscal Capacity

Maintain Town’s fiscal soundness; continue efforts to update valuation, develop long range capital improvement plan.

 

Want to learn more? Want to weigh in with different ideas? Want to host a neighborhood discussion of the merits of the Plan? Contact any member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee or the Town Office.

A YES Vote for the Comprehensive Plan in November is a Vote for preserving our rural character, natural resources, and our way of life!