The Comprehensive Plan Committee is now working under the Planning Board. The Planning Board meets the first Wednesday of the month at the Public Safety Building at 7p.m. The first hour will be devoted to the Comprehensive Plan and the second hour to Planning Board business.
The Planning Board is utilizing sub-committees to work on the different parts of the plan. If you are interested in helping out, please call the Town Office at 793-4348.
What is a Comprehensive Plan? A Comprehensive Plan is a road map for the future of the Town of Newfield. The plan has two parts. One part is an "inventory" of the town. This is a data gathering process. This inventory includes physical aspects of the town such as population and trends, home ownership or rental unit, resident or non-resident, buildable areas based upon soils, slopes and aquifers, natural resources, public buildings, parks and roads, public services such as fire, rescue, utilities and more. This part of the inventory is the facts regarding demographic and physical aspects of the town.
Another part of the inventory is public opinion within the town as measured through a comprehensive written survey. This part of the inventory provides the public's opinions of the town as it is today. It also provides some data regarding the public's future needs or desires within the town. This data helps in planning decisions for the future of the town. (Survey forms are available at the Town Office through October 31.) The second part of the Comprehensive Plan documents the actions and policies that are required to best promote the health, safety and general welfare of the town. This is the "Road map for the Future" of the Town of Newfield. This plan is based upon the facts from the town inventory and from opinions derived from those facts during the planning process. The plan is largely oriented around land usage and the identification of appropriate growth areas, conservation areas, recreation areas, natural resources and other land uses. However, the Comprehensive Plan may also include plans for capital spending, public acquisitions, town staffing or other identified needs within the town.
Why does the town need a Comprehensive Plan? The Comprehensive Plan is the basis for zoning within the town. The plan provides a rational basis for zoning decisions. Maine first enacted a requirement for comprehensive planning as the basis for zoning in 1943.ln 1988 the State of Maine adopted a Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act. This act specified that Comprehensive Plans must be implemented to prevent development sprawl. As stated in "Comprehensive Planning: A MANUAL FOR MAINE COMMUNITIES": "The Comprehensive Plan" will identify growth and rural areas. To achieve that goal, comprehensive plans must direct most of the anticipated growth to areas of town designated as "growth" areas, and away from "rural" areas. This is at the heart of the law: to find ways to continue to build neighborhoods and commercial centers where they make the most sense in order to accommodate and stimulate economic growth, and, at the same time, conserve large rural territories as working landscapes and natural gems."
How will the town get an up to date Comprehensive Plan? A Comprehensive Plan Committee has met several times and has started the process of writing a new and up to date Comprehensive Plan. As the Comprehensive Plan process moves from the fact finding process to the planning process it is important that this committee have input from the many differing interests within the town. The Comprehensive Plan Committee encourages all parties with a stake in the future of Newfield to follow this process and to provide feedback on the Committees activities. The Comprehensive Plan Committee is now under the Planning Board. Sub-committees will be set up to work on the Plan. If you are interested in helping out, please call the Town Office at 793-4348.