November 11, 2012

Richmond to seek 'community vision' on Tuesday

Public invited to discuss town's future at 6 p.m. Town Office meeting on Tuesday

By Keith Edwards
Staff Writer

RICHMOND -- Officials want to know what residents want their town to do and be over the next few decades.

They're asking anyone with a vision for Richmond to share their thoughts at a "community visioning session" scheduled Tuesday, a first step in re-doing the Richmond Comprehensive Plan adopted in 1991. The public session is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Town Office.

"A community vision needs to come from the residents of that town," said Victoria Boundy, community and business development director for the town.

Boundy said key questions that need to be addressed are:

* What do people want Richmond to look and feel like over the next 10 years and beyond?

* What kind of community do they want their children and grandchildren to live in?

* What types of jobs and businesses do they desire?

* What are the important natural and recreational uses in town?

* What areas of town should be looked at for future residential housing?

* Is further development desired near the interstate and along Route 197, or do residents want to continue focusing of development downtown?

* Are residents getting the kinds of community services they need or desire?

"This set of visions will be translated into Richmond's comprehensive plan and turned into policy that guides the town in its growth and decision-making," Boundy said.

The town will be assisted, at the session and in the process of redoing the comprehensive plan, by Midcoast Council of Governments and Planning Decisions consultants.

The town's comprehensive plan was last revised in 1990 and adopted at Town Meeting in 1991.

Boundy said much of that plan probably still is useful today, but the town needs to fill in some gaps and update it.

She said a comprehensive plan is the legal foundation for a town's zoning ordinances. The state requires a town to have a consistent comprehensive plan in order to impose zoning requirements legally. She said a consistent plan also would help the town qualify for some state grants and loan programs, such as Community Development Block Grants.

Boundy said Richmond selectmen will appoint residents to a Comprehensive Planning Committee, and information collected at Tuesday's session will guide the committee as it updates the plan.

Keith Edwards -- 621-5647

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