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Scarborough Citizen-Led Committee Updates

Scarborough Citizen-Led Committee Updates

The Town of Scarborough has nearly 20 citizen-led boards and committees supported by the commitment and expertise of resident volunteers. The boards and committees each have a charge and goals which guide their work and create lasting impact in our town. Here is what some of the busier boards and committees have been up to in the past few months.

The Conservation Commission had a Fall goal-setting session to align with those outlined in the 2021 Comprehensive Plan. Their goals are split into three categories: conserving land, building resiliency, and promoting engaged citizen stewardship. Over the past few months, the Conservation Commission collaborated with the Sustainability Committee to draft a memo to the Town Council encouraging them to require sustainable building practices and increased conservation when developers seek waivers to the Town's Growth Management Ordinance. They are also defining conservation-related public benefits, which could be considered as part of contract zoning or Growth Management Ordinance exemption deliberations. 

The Sustainability Committee is working on an ordinance to require all new development and redevelopment projects to, at a minimum, plan for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Additionally, the Committee proposed an amendment to the Town's Utility-Scale Solar Ordinance to allow more flexibility to develop solar projects by allowing tree cutting and requiring a revegetation plan to be implemented upon completion of the project and upon decommissioning. The Town Council approved the amendment at their October 5 meeting.

The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) has continued prioritizing strategies for the 2021 Comprehensive Plan. Work is beginning for review of Town ordinances to achieve the goals of the Comp Plan, and they'll continue the work of reviewing Town ordinances against the Comp Plan goals into next year. The LRPC began this effort with a review of Commercial Design Standards at their December 2 meeting.

The Parks & Conservation Land Board recommends and advises the Town Council on land acquisitions identified through an acquisition evaluation process. This year they have made three recommendations to the Town Council for land purchase from the Land Bond Fund. The most recent recommendation was for an 8-acre property on 91 Burnham Road brought forward by the Scarborough Land Trust, and was approved by the Town Council in their December 7 meeting.

The Planning Board has continued to be busy and to date has reviewed 36 projects this year. They spent a substantial amount of time fine-tuning the details for the Costco Site Plan this summer. They have also been reviewing multi-family projects, including Hackamore Place Apartments, the NxGEN Developments mixed use building in the Innovation District of The Downs, and the AR Building, 120 multi-family units on Mussey Road. The Board recently began the review of The Downs Master Plan revision to the Town Center, anticipated to expand the mixed-use offerings in The Downs next year and beyond.  

The Transportation Committee is continuing preparations for a Townwide Transportation Study, approved this year in the FY2023 budget process and last completed in 2005. The new study will identify existing and anticipated future demands and provide a holistic review of opportunities to address long-term solutions, including infrastructure improvements, transportation demand management, operational improvements, and multimodal improvements and services. The committee also has a goal to better inform the public of the ongoing traffic safety techniques being implemented throughout town. A map on the Town website was developed and shows all of the work being implemented within public right-of-ways. It can be found on the Transportation page within the Engineering department.

There is no better time for you, too, to join a committee, as terms are soon to expire for several committee members. See a list of all boards and committees, and complete an application on our website (Boards & Committees page). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by our Appointments & Negotiations committee. 

The Town is also seeking a representative to serve on the Portland Jetport Noise Advisory Committee. The Noise Advisory Committee (NAC) addresses the impacts of noise from aircraft operations on neighborhoods surrounding the Jetport. The 12-member committee is representative of local jurisdictions, and Scarborough has historically had a committee member.

The NAC meets semi-annually and covers both residential and business concerns by reviewing noise abatement projects, providing input for the implementation of the current Portland International Jetport Noise Compatibility Plan, developing ideas and recommending proposals for consideration in future airport noise plans, etc. To learn more about this opportunity or join the committee, please contact yjustice@scarboroughmaine.org and include a letter of interest.
 

Further Reading:

November 2022 Board & Committee Newsletter

2021 Comprehensive Plan

Boards & Committees

Town Calendar

Scarborough Maine Public Meetings YouTube Channel (Watch past meetings)