Old News Archive

Public Workshops on LURC Comprehensive Land Use Plan

April 22, 2008 - TRC

The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) is rewriting its Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). There will be Public Workshops throughout Maine so that people can give their input and ask questions of LURC staff about the new draft of the CLUP.

The CLUP sets rules that guide land use decisions for Maineís Unorganized Territories, which cover an area larger than Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. The CLUP is required to be updated in order to keep up with changing uses of the land and the needs affected communities.

If you are not able to make it to a workshop session, you can write or email LURC with questions and ideas. If you live in an area that did not host a workshop session (such as Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft, or Lewiston), you can request that LURC hold future hearings in these areas. Public comments on the draft CLUP should be sent to LURC by Friday, June 6. People can also organize as groups and request meetings with LURC staff. Anyone wanting to do this can request a meeting by calling 287-4936 or emailing sarah.giffen@maine.gov.

Following the Public Workshops and comment period, LURC staff will prepare a summary of comments and post them on the LURC website at http://maine.gov/doc/lurc/. LURC will revise the draft CLUP based on these comments, and the Public will have another chance to speak out on the CLUP at formal Public Hearings.

Issues that the CLUP could address include new and expanded uses of the land, such as commercial water extraction, gravel mining, biofuels refineries, roads building, planting of genetically engineered tree plantations, cell phone tower development, waste dumping and sludge spreading. It could address impacts of development and deforestation on climate change, wildlife habitat fragmentation, air and water pollution, and impact on deer wintering yards and fisheries. The CLUP could address impacts large gated resorts on traditional camps and campgrounds, Public access and the local economy.

The CLUP could address concerns about scale appropriate zoning. Many people are calling for more fair and effective ways for LURC to set up its permitting process so that individuals or families can more easily make small-scale low-impact changes to a home or camp without having to deal with unnecessary red tape, while at the same time making sure there is an effective process that allows the Public to have a voice in decsions about large-scale, high-impact developments.

The CLUP could address the needs of people who live in towns bordering LURC territory to have a more effective voice in land use decisions, especially in the permitting of things such as large-scale water extraction or waste dumping facilities in LURC territory, which can impact the water quality and truck traffic in surrounding towns.

Public workshops to present the new CLUP and take Public comments will be held on the following dates:

* Sunday, April 27: University of Maine Fort Kent

* Monday, April 28: Presque Isle Inn & Convention Schedule

* Tuesday, April 29: Stearns High School (Millinocket)

* Wednesday, April 30: Greenville High School

* Thursday, May 1: Rangeley Inn

* Monday, May 5: Holiday Inn By The Bay (Portland)

* Wednesday, May 7: Augusta Civic Center

* Thursday, May 8: University of Maine Machias

All meetings are scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m.
Reschedule dates, if necessary, will be the week of May 12th.

More information is available from LURC at:

Public Comment can be sent to LURC at:
Land Use Regulation Commission
22 State House Station
August, Maine 04333-0022

Comments can be emailed to: LURC@maine.gov

If you have questions or would like a copy of the CLUP mailed to you, call 287-4936 or email sarah.giffen@maine.gov .

NFN, a Maine-based volunteer group, has been researching the details of the CLUP, gathering Public comment, meeting with LURC staff, and working to provide helpful information for how people can have an effective voice in this decision making process. To learn more, contact NFN at:
nfnmaine@gmail.com, 649-5980, NFN c/o Maine IMC, PO Box 1444, Waterville,
Maine, 04903, or visit maine.indymedia.org .

FMI : hillary@maineindymedia.org to info

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.