for the amount of protected land in Maine, and click here
to review Maine's federal transportation spending.
Center on the States &
Changing Direction: Federal Transportation
Spending in the 1990s. Surface
Transportation Policy Project
to read Governor Angus King's 2001 State of the State address.
The largest conservation easement in U.S. history
was finalized in Maine with $28 million going towards development rights
on more than 760,000 acres in western and northern Maine.
For an overview of Maine's planning and zoning
statutes, see a summary provided by the American
Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act of
1998, Title 30 M.R.S.A. Sec. 4960
Passed in 1988, initially this law was a funded
mandate directing Maine municipalities to develop comprehensive plans for
the future, with statewide goals as a guide. Some of the goals include:
Goal 1, identify and designate growth
Goal 2, develop a plan for maintaining
and expanding public facilities
Goal 5, protect and maintain and improve
Goal 6, ensure the protection of Maine's
Goal 9, preserve the State's historical
and archeological resources
Enforcement of the planning requirement, however,
has been on hold due to lack of state funds to assist planning. Today
the Act is a cooperative program between municipalities, regional councils,
and the state. Communities who choose to plan must follow statewide
objectives. The State Planning Office is directed to coordinate the
activities and plans of various state agencies, such as the Dept. of Economic
and Community Development. Contact: State Planning Office, 184 State Street,
Station 38, Augusta, ME. 04333-0038; Telephone (207) 287-2851 http://www.state.me.us/spo/homepage.htm
Maine's Sensible Transportation Act (23 M.R.S.A.
The 1991 Act mirrors several concepts in the
federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act: it emphasizes
"intermodalism," a movement away from pro-highway biases, and citizen participation
in transportation planning. The Act resulted from a citizens' referendum
in which Maine voters rejected the state's proposal to widen a turnpike.
In 1997, a second referendum allowed the widening of the turnpike but it
did not change the Act.
Contact: Maine Dept. Of Transportation, Bureau
of Planning; Telephone (207) 287-3131 http://www.state.me.us/mdot
LD 2252, Public Law Chapter 787
Until recently, the state education department
did not help communities pay for school renovations. Only new school
construction could receive state funds. This bias in favor of new
over existing schools had the effect of encouraging "school sprawl."
This new legislation takes steps to change the way school construction
and renovation needs are identified, assessed and financed. Among other
actions, the legislation creates a new Revolving Renovation Fund to improve
the condition of existing school buildings, many of which are located in
service center (hub) communities.
Maine's Brownfields Initiative
Directed by the State Planning Office, the initiative
involves: a municipal revolving loan created to assist cities and towns
in conducting environmental assessments of brownfields sites; a database
of brownfield sites, a two-volume guidebook, which includes an overview
of brownfield; a Maine Brownfields Conference; a web page; and work
on clarifying liability issues. Contact: Nicholas Hodgkins,
the manager of Maine's voluntary clean-up program for the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP), serves as Maine's overall Brownfields Coordinator;
Maine DEP, 17 State House Station; Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management,
VRAP Program; Augusta, ME 04333-0017; Phone: (207) 287- 4854
Land for Maine's Future Program
This program provides matching grants to municipalities
for local open space acquisition. Contact: State Planning Office; http://www.state.me.us/spo/LMFB/lndfutr.htm
The Waste Management and Recycling Program
The program has a two-fold mission: to assist
municipalities in their efforts to improve recycling and composting performance,
and, to ensure sufficient, environmentally secure, cost-effective disposal
capacity for Maine's municipal solid waste. Contact: State Planning
New Neighbors Program
The Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) has
piloted this program in neighborhoods in Maine's three largest cities:
Portland, Lewiston and Bangor. This program is aimed at improving neighborhoods
by helping home buyers purchase 1 - 4 unit buildings in designated areas.
Buyers are required to participate in an education program to help them
with future management responsibilities. Contact: Maine State Housing Authority,
353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633; Telephone Number (207)
626-4600 or 1-800-452-4668.
Economic Development Districts
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
directs this program, which seeks to develop high quality and permanent
employment while supporting community values. Contact: Maine Department
of Economic and Community Development (207) 287-2851.
See Maine's "Cost of Sprawl Report", an excellent
report from Maine's State Planning Office. The report contains numerous
statistics related to sprawl, such as:
For a copy of the report, contact Maine's State Planning
Office, 184 State Street, Station 38, Augusta, ME; 04333; Telephone:
(207) 287-6077 The report is also available online at www.state.me.us/spo
Over the last 30 years, the fastest growing towns
in Maine have been new suburbs 10 to 15 miles distant from metropolitan
areas. These high growth communities have accounted for virtually
all of the state's population growth.
Between 1970 and 1995 the number of elementary and
secondary public school students in Maine actually declined by 27,000.
Yet from 1975 to 1995 Maine state government alone committed $727 million
to new school construction and additions. School busing costs rose by $45
million from 1970 to 1995.
Maine Governor Angus King (I) lent his support
for a $184 million redevelopment plan for Bangor's industrial waterfront
and downtown. The plan, utilizing $144 million and $40 million in
private and public funds respectively, will incorporate housing, business,
and recreation along 36-acres on a 1-mile stretch of the Penobscot River.
The Governor was in town attending a meeting of the Smart Growth Forum,
an ad hoc group consisting of planners, town and state officials and businesses
that looks at ways to balance ecology and development in the state. http://www.bangornews.com/cgi-bin/article.cfm?storynumber=20528
Spoiled by Sprawl, a series of articles
that ran July 6-8, 1997, in the Portland Press Herald and Maine
Sunday Telegram. Topics
include: The pattern of growth in Southern Maine has its costs; growth
limits clash with landowners; and State policies fostering suburban sprawl.
"A Helping Hand for Housing," Portland
Press Herald. February 5, 2001.
"Lawmakers' views mixed over growth caps," Portland
Press Herald. April 3, 2001.
"Land trusts working to save state's farmland,"
Press Herald. May 2, 2001.
Resources Council of Maine
The Natural Resources Council of Maine is a non-profit,
independent, citizen's organization dedicated protecting Maine's
environment through a program advocacy, education, and legal defense. Address:
NRCM, 271 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04330; Telephone: (207) 622-3101;
Fax: (207) 622-4343
Maine Historic Preservation Commission
55 Capitol Street, Station 65
Augusta, ME 04333
Telephone: (207) 287-2132
Maine Citizens for Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 1198
Portland, ME 04104
Telephone: (207) 775-3652
Law Foundation (CLF)
The Conservation Law Foundation is the largest
regional environmental advocacy organization in the United States.
Based in New England, the organization's attorneys, scientists, economists,
and policy experts work on the most significant threats to the natural
environment of the region, and to the health of its residents. CLF
has published an excellent guide for citizens, Take Back Your Streets:
How to Protect Communities from Asphalt and Traffic. Contact: CLF,
Rockland, ME, Regional Office: 120 Tillson Avenue, Rockland, ME 04841-3416;
Telephone: (207) 594-8107; Fax: (207) 596-7706; Internet:
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are
federally designated planning organizations responsible for carrying out
a continuous, comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning process
for urbanized areas with populations of 50,000 or more. Similar organizations
exist in urban areas nationwide. There are four MPOs in Maine:
Bangor Area Comprehensive
Transportation Study (BACTS);
Kittery Area Comprehensive
Transportation Study (KACTS);
Transportation Study (LACTS);
Portland Area Comprehensive
Transportation Study (PACTS).
Since 1995, the State Planning Office has collaborated
with the IslandInstitute on projects related to sustaining Maine's 14 year-round
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