Fall is bringing with it new projects and milestones, and our staff (including some new folks!) have been busy in the field meeting with our cities and towns. Read on for more info.

SMPDC Launches the "Climate Action Planning Cohort"

SMPDC, in partnership with ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability and Fourth Economy Consulting, is launching the Southern Maine Climate Action Planning (CAP) Cohort - a group of four municipalities who are undertaking local climate action plans. The process will result in individual plans for the four communities (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, and Biddeford), but the collaborative process will allow them to leverage collective resources and utilize a regional approach. 

A $100,000 Community Action Grant from the State of Maine is helping fund the effort, along with a $25,000 contribution from each of the participating municipalities. 

For more information and opportunities to get involved, visit the new CAP Cohort website.

CAP Cohort Website is Live!

Funding for Communities

Coastal Community Grants - The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Municipal Planning Assistance Program (MPAP) is seeking applications for a new round of Coastal Community Grants (CCG). FY23 CCG details and the program statement are found on the MPAP website. CCG applications are due Friday, October 14, 2022, by 5:00 pm. Questions about CCG applications should be directed to Joan A. Walton, joan.walton@maine.gov, (207) 419-8661.

These grants and more on our webpage - Grants and Other Funding.

Welcome, Hannah & Julia!

Hannah Bonine started at SMPDC in July as the Land Use and Sustainability Planner. Hannah earned a BA in Geography and Anthropology and a MS in Policy, Planning and Management from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine.

Prior to joining SMPDC, Hannah was the Assistant City Planner for the City of Biddeford. In her new role, she will be working with communities on development review and comprehensive planning along with assisting with sustainability efforts.

Outside of the office, Hannah enjoys hiking, kayaking, family game nights, and spoiling her dog, Archie!

Julia Maine joined us this month as the Sustainability and Resilience Specialist. Julia studied Earth and Ocean Science at Bowdoin College, and holds an M.S. from the University of Galway, Ireland in Coastal and Marine Environments.

Previously, Julia worked at Competitive Energy Services supporting the CES Maine Solar Consortium and assisting New England-based clients with their energy needs, and at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in education and aquaculture. 

In her free time, you can find her at the beach or in the mountains - or at home, sewing, and knitting.

Maine Land Use Law Books Now Available!

The 2021 Maine Land Use Law Books have been printed, and we are in the process of shipping out our many preorders. Thanks to all who have ordered!

The 2021 Maine Land Use Law Book includes laws updated through the First Regular session of the 130th Legislature, plus language enacted through the new housing law, LD 2003. Books are $15 each, plus shipping.

If you are interested in placing an order, please fill out this brief form.

If you have questions or would like to check on an order, contact Raegan Young.

State Guidance on LD 2003 Upcoming

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has been working on an interim guidance document to answer questions about LD 2003, the new housing legislation that requires increased housing density statewide. We will be sure to send this information out as soon as it is available.

The DECD is also in the process of the official rulemaking which will determine more specifically how the requirements will be implemented. As it stands, the requirements of the law will take effect for municipalities on July 1, 2023.

Visit SMPDC's webpage with information and resources about the law, which will continue to update as the state releases more information. If you have questions, please reach out to our office, (207) 571-7065. 

Visit our Website

JLUS Phase III Partnership Kickoff Event

The Joint Land Use Study, between the Town of Kittery and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, is moving forward with the implementation of recommendations identified in the previous phases. This grant will go towards the design of a micro transit service for commuting shipyard workers, concept designs for potential new transportation hubs, and a regional housing needs assessment.

The JLUS Partnership Committee, comprised of Kittery Town Staff, Shipyard Officials, SMPDC and NH Regional Planning Organizations, and other municipal and state and federal partners, will continue to meet and guide the effort. The Partnership will encourage communication and collaboration between the Shipyard and the region’s municipalities to identify opportunities for intergovernmental agreements and bring additional resources to the region. 

Visit the JLUS Webpage

Fryeburg progresses toward Community Resilience Partnership

In August, SMPDC worked with the Fryeburg Conservation Committee to host a Community Resilience Workshop, aimed at raising awareness about climate change impacts in Fryeburg and seeking community input on potential climate change initiatives and actions the town could pursue.

The workshop is one of the first steps to enrolling in the state Community Resilience Partnership, which SMPDC received a Service Provider Grant to assist four communities with. Once enrolled, communities can access grant funding for community resilience projects and initiatives. The program is run by the Governor’s Office of Policy, Innovation, and the Future.

Fryeburg was the first community to host their workshop, but SMPDC will be assisting the other three communities -  Old Orchard Beach, Eliot, and Berwick - with workshops this fall!

(Photos courtesy of the Fryeburg Conservation Committee)

SMPDC In the News

Maine’s Eastern Trail joins Rail-Trail Hall of Fame - Boston Globe

"Story Map" helps to visualize climate change impact - Kennebunk Post 

Proposal for 31-mile western Maine rail trail could go before Legislature as early as next year - Maine Public 

Governor Mills announces new round of Community Resilience Partnership grants available to help Maine communities fight climate change - State of Maine

In Memory of Chuck Morgan

Chuck worked with SMPDC for 25 years – serving as our Economic Development Director. He was responsible for spearheading the preeminent Brownfields Program in New England, helping revitalize countless blighted properties across Southern Maine.

Please keep Chuck and his family in your thoughts. Chuck’s obituary can be found here.

Remember to follow us on social media for more frequent news and updates, or reach out to learn more.

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