Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Comprehensive Land Use Plan Hearings

The Land Use Regulation Commission's (LURC's) Comprehensive Land Use Plan is, in essence, the playbook for Maine's Unorganized Territories. The Plan "guides the commission in developing specific land use standards, creating zoning boundaries and guiding development." (http://www.maine.gov/doc/lurc/reference_new1.shtml)

The Plan was adopted in 1976 and was last revised in 1997; since then, the Unorganized Territories have come under heavy pressure from many directions; fragmentation, the downturn in Maine's forest products industry, and the upturn in renewable energy have all played large roles in a changing landscape, for better or for worse. The new Plan will address these issues, among others.

The Plan is scheduled for revision in 2010; the draft version is complete and currently in the public comment period (September 9, 2009 to October 21, 2009, with an additional week for written rebuttal of prior comments). In addition, LURC is hosting three public hearings to solicit testimony from the public. Hearings will be held in Augusta (September 28), Bangor (September 29), and Presque Isle (September 30). Live audio broadcasts of the hearings will also be available for those who cannot attend in person.

The draft Plan, as well as more information on the hearings, can be found at http://www.maine.gov/doc/lurc/reference/cluprev/PublicHearings/september_public_hearings.html.

I would urge everyone to take a look at the 2010 Plan and get involved. Send LURC your thoughts. Testify at the hearing. Ask questions. More people looking at and critiquing the Plan will only make it stronger. If you think you're too small to matter, you've obviously never been in a dark room with a mosquito.

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