A Resort Casino in Sanford…
A Regional Environmental
October 23, 2003
Paul Schumacher, Executive Director
Casino Project Overview
Transportation & Housing Impacts
Regional Review Process & Funding for Mitigation
Role of SMRPC
Council of Governments serving 39 communities
Neutral on casino issue
Working to learn from the lessons of Foxwoods and other casino areas.
Defining regional costs of project and ways to address those costs.
Helping Sanford Planning Board address regional concerns.
Existing approaches to the Casino site have noticeable capacity issues at this time.
Intersection problems and occasional bottlenecks occur in neighboring towns already.
Transportation - Impacts
Significant road and intersection improvements will be needed in Sanford and surrounding communities.
Public transportation and satellite parking may need to be utilized.
AMTRAK expansion possibility is limited because of a single track and
competition with freight traffic.
Projected Population and Employment Trends
(With Proposed Casino Project)
Total Units Demanded by Town (For-Sale and Rental)
New Households Induced by the Casino in 2007
Comparing Us to Others…
We can’t copy a plan by following the trail of other regions that have experienced casino development, because our forms of government are so different.
Maine has no County government involvement in land use planning.
The degree of municipal control is unprecedented when compared to other parts of the United States.
There is no State or Regional Review of large developments in Maine, other than Site Law
Nationally, many casinos are on Tribal Land, and this project will be on private land with municipal approval.
is the role of surrounding towns in the decision-making process?
Town of Sanford Contract Rezoning Process
DEP Site Law Review
Regional Planning Commission Statute Role of SMRPC
Regional Input - Town of Sanford Contract Rezoning Process
Enabled by a State Statute, and allows municipalities to impose conditions in exchange for a rezoning
Conditions must relate to the “physical development or operation of the property.”
It is uncertain whether this will include requirements to provide off-site improvements outside of the Town of Sanford.
Regional Input - DEP Site Law Review
DEP in its Site Law Process will consider regional impacts.
The applicants have stated that they will apply to DEP after the statewide referendum.
Impacts on the environment,
municipal sewage treatment and traffic will be considered. DOT traffic movement permit is also required.
There will be an opportunity for regional municipalities to provide input at the “scoping” meeting, and presumably at a hearing of the Board of Environmental Protection.
Regional Input - Regional Planning Commission Statute
30-A M.R.S.A. 2305
Statute encourages regional solutions through the RPC without creating new entities unless necessary.
SMRPC may study any problem common to 2 or more members that it considers appropriate.
Role of SMRPC?
Analyze costs and impacts of project
Provide input into :
Contract Zoning process
Site Law review
Work with applicants
What is SMRPC doing now?
Awaiting funds as part of Sanford’s development review process
If project moves forward utilize funds for regional reviews
Providing information and regional forum for discussion
Funding Mitigation Methods/Opportunities
Funding Issues/Referendum Language
Referendum legislation itself provides a mechanism for the State to help local governments, before the money is spent on state aid to education and revenue sharing.
However, there would be nothing to prevent the State from keeping the casino income, and letting the local governments take care of the local impacts.
Funding Issues/State reviews
DOT Permit requires examination of wide range of traffic movements
How far may they go?
Public transportation? Rail? Etc.
DEP conditions/mitigation measures
Funding Issues/Contract Zoning
Willingness of Sanford to consider regional impacts
Potential legal restrictions o ability to require conditions outside town boundaries
Funding Issues/Tribal Contributions
Relies on good intentions of applicants.
Numerous examples country wide of tribes captilizing foundations, development funds, non-profits and developing grant programs for environmental, econonomic and social service needs.
Funding Issues/New Legislation
Develop legislation outside of referendum language to provide for regional mitigation
Needs support on county and statewide level
Difficult because of refendum language itself
If nothing works:
Towns are on their
Why start now?
Regional planning work is vitally important, and the casino proposal is a “wake-up call” for us to work together.
Even if the statewide vote on the proposed casino fails in November, or if Sanford rejects a contract rezoning, plans for a casino in this region probably will continue.
The time to determine our regional needs, and to make sure they are considered in an approval process is RIGHT NOW.
Regional Environmental Constraints
Applicants have not yet proposed methods for obtaining water/sewer services.
Is there enough water for the proposed use? (Estimated consumption of 1.2 million gpd)
Where will sewage be disposed of ? Will this impact Sanford’s ability to accept septage?