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Open Space Plan

Background

Given the rapid growth the Town has experienced over the past 20 years, Scarborough hopes to preserve its unique seashores, salt marshes, wetlands, forests, uplands, tidal rivers, and streams. These landscapes provide critical habitat for birds, shellfish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. 

The Town has hired Viewshed, a Maine-based landscape architecture, GIS, and planning firm, to assist with the development of a Conservation Open Space Plan. Through the development and implementation of this plan, the Town aims to maintain its character and ensure the future of Scarborough’s landscapes and natural resources. The Plan will ultimately provide the Town with a set of conservation priorities to achieve the Town’s 30x30 goal by identifying priority areas and their potential for conservation. 

30x30 Initiative

"30x30" refers to the Town’s effort to conserve at least 30% of Scarborough’s land by 2030. The Town Council passed a resolution in June 2023 that set a goal to achieve 30x30. The Open Space Plan will inventory existing conserved lands to set a 30x30 baseline and help the Town better understand additional conservation that needs to happen to achieve this goal.

Plan Development 

Identifying Focus Areas

Viewshed will work with the Open Space Ad-Hoc Committee to identify priority areas for future conservation and recreation opportunities. These areas may be undeveloped; adjacent to other conserved lands; or provide important ecological, recreational, or historical benefits. 

Incentivizing and Supporting Future Open Space Protection

The Open Space Plan will develop a framework to incentivize and fund future conservation efforts. The Town’s ordinances will be reviewed to identify opportunities to improve development patterns to help ensure open space is protected. The review will also include exploring opportunities to establish an open space impact fee for new development. Revenue from the fee would support future open space protection efforts. 

Community Engagement 

Viewshed will develop an interactive project page for Scarborough’s Conservation Open Space Plan, which will be available soon. Community members will be able to provide input into the Open Space plan directly from the website. Let us know which places and spaces that matter to you. Share information that you think is important for us to consider as the Plan is developed. Tell us what types of activities you’d like incorporated into Scarborough’s open spaces. The link to Viewshed’s project site will be posted on this page when available.

Viewshed and the Open Space Ad-Hoc Committee will also host an open house in the summer of 2024 to introduce the project to the community and get feedback on what’s important to you. Information about the open house will be provided when available. 

Members of the Open Space Ad-Hoc Committee will also attend community events throughout the summer to speak with residents and collect feedback. Information about where and when to speak Committee members will be posted here and on the Town’s social media pages.

 

Open Space Ad-Hoc Committee

The Open Space Plan will be advised by the Ad-Hoc Open Space Committee. The committee is intended to represent key stakeholders and experts, with members representing the Conservation Commission, Parks and Conservation Land Board, Community Services Advisory Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Shellfish Conservation Commission, Coastal Waters and Harbor Advisory Committee, Scarborough Land Trust, Scarborough Fish and Game Association, and the Town Council.

Committee/Group Representative
Coastal Waters and Harbors Advisory Committee Vacant
Community Services Advisory Board Patricia Brigham
Conservation Commission Maggie Vishneau
Long Range Planning Committee Robyn Saunders
Parks & Conservation Land Board Doug Williams
Scarborough Fish and Game Mike Kane
Scarborough Land Trust Andrew Mackie
Scarborough Land Trust, Marsh Committee Crescie Maurer
Shellfish Conservation Commission Noah Nygren
Town Council Karin Shupe
Staff Liaisons

Autumn Speer, Planning Director
Todd Souza, Community Services Director
Karin Martin, SEDCO Director
Jami Fitch, Sustainability Manager
Emerson Goodrich, Sustainability Fellow