As of March 2017, the Waldoboro Comprehensive Plan Committee is working hard to refine priorities, goals, and strategies that will guide development in Waldoboro over the coming decade. The committee is focusing on priorities that were identified through focus groups and coffee klatches held in the spring of 2016. Before finalizing the goals and priorities, the committee will seek feedback from the community to ensure they are inline with what is important to the Waldoboro community.
Waldoboro’s current Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1998 and no longer meets the State of Maine’s Comprehensive Plan Revision Criteria Rule. The update of the 1998 Plan should incorporate current land use and development trends and result in a Plan consistent with the Growth Management Act of the State of Maine.
Establishing the Committee
The Waldoboro Comprehensive Plan Committee was established last fall and began meeting in November of 2015. The committee is made up of a well-rounded group of community and municipal representatives.
A Community Vision
Comprehensive planning often begins with a community visioning process, the outcome of which determines the goals and strategies later outlined in the plan. Since the Town invested significant time and resources in a community visioning process in 2009, the committee decided that rather than starting from scratch, they would use the 2009 vision as a starting point and modify it based on community feedback.
To ensure the 2009 vision was still in line with the community’s goals, priorities, and concerns, the Committee held a series of seven focus groups where participants were asked to review and discuss the 2009 vision. Participants were also encouraged to share their general hopes and concerns regarding Waldoboro’s future. The focus groups were facilitated by an objective third party with no participation from committee members. The 2009 vision was tweaked based on feedback from the focus groups. The Medomak continues to be both the economic and cultural heart of the community. Water quality is maintained and improved while the river’s role as a recreational resource is enhanced.
Community engagement is an ongoing piece of the Comprehensive Process. In addition to the focus group, the Committee held a series of open discussions at Old #9 in downtown Waldoboro throughout the months of April and May. Two of these discussions were focused specifically on land use while the others were general discussions regarding challenges and opportunities the Town will face in years to come.
Comprehensive Plan Content
Comprehensive plans are required to include specific chapters outlined by the state. In updating the plan, the content of these chapters has to be updated as well. So far, the Planning Department has updated content in a number of these sections of the Comprehensive Plan including: housing, economic development, demographics, historic assets, and transportation. The data identified in these updates is used to determine goals, strategies, and future need for the Town of Waldoboro.
Based on community feedback and review of updated material, the Committee will identify specific goals and objectives for the Town of Waldoboro. Once goals and objectives are established, the Committee will administer a public survey in order to fine tune these goals and objectives for the final plan.