Connecting Communities: Planning in Southern Maine
A Series of Workshops and Visioning Meetings for the Region

Updated: 2/2/04

Sessions and topic areas are scheduled as follows:


Southern Maine Housing Roundtable
Wed. 2/25 Saco City Hall, 2-5 PM

This roundtable will be bringing together leading housing professionals from the entire Southern Maine region (York and Cumberland counties) to discuss current housing problems and strategize about potential solutions. SMRPC is co-sponsoring this event along with the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) and the Institute for Real Estate Research & Education at the University of Southern Maine.


Rural Economic Development
Wed., 3/3, Cornish Town Hall, 7:00 PM

The issues and concerns of rural York and southern Oxford County are somewhat different than the rest of the region. What are the strengths of this region and what might an economic development strategy focus on? Issues and resources related to small business development, tourism and housing will be addressed.


Thurs., 3/11, Saco City Hall, 7:00 PM

A goal of this meeting will be to have a focused discussion about ways to develop a process for reviewing large developments that have a regional impact on highway capacity, mobility, maintenance, and other transportation issues. The Maine Department of Transportation's Regional Advisory Transportation Committee (RTAC) will host the event following the regular RTAC meeting.


Wed. 3/17, Wells Reserve, 1:00 -3:00 PM

The casino debate raised many questions about our ability to respond as a region to a large scale development proposal and how we respond in the future. Are there areas which deserve special recognition because of their natural resource value? How do we address this in a strong home rule environment? This session will attempt to come to some consensus on these questions.


Justifying Growth Caps
Mon. 4/12 Massabesic High School
Wed. 4/14 South Berwick Town Hall
( 7 - 9 PM for both)

Residential growth caps have become a widely used tool by rural municipalities in York County to slow the pace of growth within their borders. While many citizens applaud their use, growth caps are coming under increased criticism on many fronts, and many towns' caps may now be illegal due to recent changes in state law. These two parallel sessions are aimed at having an honest dialogue about the pros and cons of growth caps, and what alternatives may exist. A representative from the Maine State Planning Office will be on hand to offer the state's perspective on this issue.


Post-Casino Economic Development
Tues., 4/13, Sanford Town Hall, 7:00 PM

What do residents want for economic development? We know they don't want a casino. What can we do to capitalize on our strengths and promote quality economic development while retaining our character? From Pine Tree Zones to the "Creative Economy" new ideas will be discussed.

Please call SMRPC for information at 324-2952. Specific invitations to many of these workshops will be forthcoming soon.

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