March 2023

Town of Scarborough

Board & Committee Newsletter

The Town of Scarborough has nearly 20 citizen-led boards and committees working on a variety of issues to enhance our community. Their efforts are guided by the expertise of citizen volunteers and have a lasting impact in our town. Read on to see what some of the busier boards and committees have been up to in the past few months. Visit our Boards & Committees page for access to meeting agendas or to apply to fill a vacancy, and use the Town Calendar for a look at recent meetings and links to recordings.


This is a special edition of our regular newsletter. We'll send these periodically for a deeper dive on topics we don't want you to miss.

Committees & Upcoming Budget Season

A few of the committee updates below reference supporting projects which were approved in the FY2023 budget. We are coming into the FY2024 budget season, beginning with the proposed budget presentation by the Town Manager at the March 29 Town Council meeting. Be sure to follow along, as many of the approved capital projects will find their way into future committee work. FY2024 Budget Adoption Schedule.

Conservation Commission: Supporting Council's Goal

The Conservation Commission is currently working to raise awareness of the need to increase conserved lands in Scarborough. They are using Maine’s Climate Action Plan, Maine Won’t Wait, as a guide: It includes a goal to achieve “30x30”, or conserving 30% of land by 2030. The goal was set nationally through an executive order by President Biden and efforts are being made to implement this goal here in our own community.

Conservation in Scarborough is an ever more important issue in our community. For the first time ever, the Town Council included increasing conserved lands as one of their annual goals. The Town Council has a workshop scheduled for April 19 on the economic benefits of conserved lands. This will be a resourceful time to learn how the council envisions prioritizing this goal.

The Conservation Commission has also requested funding in the Town’s FY2024 Capital Improvement Plan to complete an open space plan and vulnerability assessment. Additionally, they are updating the Town’s plant list to emphasize the use of native plants. Located in the Town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance, the plant list is out of date and includes some plants that the State has designated as invasive species. The Commission is revising the list to emphasize the use of native plants and remove the invasives. Once the update is finalized, the ordinance will need to be updated with the new information. The Commission also plans to create a Scarborough Planting Guide for residents once the list is complete.

Sustainability Committee: Zoning Ordinance Updates

Small-Scale Energy Systems

The Sustainability Committee is currently assisting the Planning Department with an update to the small-scale energy systems section of the Town's Zoning Ordinance. This section of the ordinance limits the maximum amount of energy that a system can generate. Small-scale energy systems, such as hydrogen fuel cells and battery storage facilities, help reduce carbon emissions, but limiting their energy output makes development of these facilities cost-prohibitive. The Sustainability Committee and Planning Department took up this issue at the request of two developers who wish to include hydrogen fuel cells as accessories to their buildings.

EV Charging Infrastructure

In January, the committee successfully led a change to electric vehicle charging infrastructure requirements. They recommended the Zoning Ordinance be updated to increase the public’s access to EV chargers. The Town Council approved an amendment to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance that requires developers to plan for installation of EV charging infrastructure. Depending on the size and type of the development, chargers will also need to be installed. Studies have shown that it’s four to six times less expensive to plan for the installation of EV charging stations during construction, rather than going back to retrofit existing parking areas. 

Looking ahead, the Sustainability Committee will continue to explore ways of incentivizing energy efficiency upgrades in new construction. They also plan to offer workshops for the public to learn more about electric vehicles and the efficiency opportunities and incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Committee Collaboration: Announcing Sustainable Scarborough Day

The Sustainability Committee and Conservation Commission frequently overlap on projects, especially when it comes to public outreach and education. The two committees are collaborating on a shared idea to create an event called Sustainable Scarborough Day. This inaugural event will be held on October 1, 2023 and aims to share news of the incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act, while also featuring other ways of tapping into sustainable practices at home. They hope it is well attended and that it becomes an annual early Fall event!

Long Range Planning Committee

After several years helping to develop the 2021 Comprehensive Plan, the LRPC is now tasked with implementing it. This will be an ongoing project for the committee.

Currently, the committee is primarily focused on updating the Town’s Design Standards for Commercial Districts (Town Ordinances, 405B-1) to ensure development in town can remain appealing, as well as environmentally friendly and pedestrian accessible. They look forward to finalizing the Commercial Design Standards in 2023.

The 2021 Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for future development and conservation, and provides the Town with strategies for sustainability and steps for implementation.

Parks & Conservation Land Board

The charge of this board is to recommend and advise the Town Council on land acquisitions identified through the acquisition evaluation process. They also indicate any conditions, restrictions or protective measures appropriate for Council to consider on the land identified for acquisition. Presently, the Board is reviewing their “evaluation tool” and reference materials to ensure they are evaluating proposed parcels with the most current data. 

This board is also working to align themselves with other Municipal boards and committees to ensure they are all working together and striving to meet Council goals and objectives.

Planning Board

The Planning Board meets every three weeks and continues to review site plans, subdivisions, and other types of applications. Most notably, the Town Center Master Plan for the Scarborough Downs was approved at the end of 2022, with the subdivision review process of the development area to begin in March.

Recently, the Board has largely reviewed commercial projects, with Dunstan Tap & Table approved for a small building addition and two hotels near the Maine Mall being reviewed at a sketch plan level. Other projects have included a 5-lot subdivision approval on Martell Way, and a sketch plan for a residential care facility for disabled persons at The Downs.

In its inter-committee work, the Planning Board reviewed and passed on to the Town Council the EV parking standards for the Zoning Ordinance, which are now officially adopted. It continues to receive input from the Conservation Commission, which expects to review and update the approved Plant List that is part of the Town's Site Plan Review Ordinance.

The last Planning Board meeting on March 13 included a preliminary subdivision review of what would be the first phase of the Town Center District at The Downs.

Vacancy: Join the Scarborough Planning Board

Consider joining the Planning Board. Your time and expertise would have tremendous impact on the Town, as our municipal government relies on the volunteer service of residents. Complete an online application; Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis by our Appointments and Negotiations council committee.

Transportation Committee

The Transportation committee recently reviewed the Haigis Parkway area in terms of potential Complete Streets standards being implemented along the corridor in the future. They are also conducting an analysis and discussion on the formulation of Bike Byways throughout Town.

Over the past few months, the Committee finalized the scope of work associated with the Townwide Transportation Study, which had been included in the FY2023 budget. The Committee held a kick-off meeting with consultants. They'll be doing more public outreach related to this study in the months ahead.

In addition to the Transportation Study, this year the committee will be investigating where to begin updates of Traffic Impact Fees in Town. They will also be identifying Transportation "Hot Spots" based on zoning, safety, mobility, access management and roadway connectivity.

The Transportation Network Study will identify existing and anticipated future demands and provide a holistic review of opportunities to address long-term solutions.

Coastal Waters & Harbor Advisory Committee

Over the last few months, the Coastal Waters Committee has covered a few items, including a pier dedication to a former harbormaster and reviewing the current ordinance. They also reviewed and restructured the fees for mooring pier use and boat ramp usage, and are now looking at some pier and pedestrian walkway repairs to the infrastructure at the co-op.

Since the sewage break in July 2022, the committee has been discussing water quality testing, the responsibility of the various agencies who conduct water tests, and opportunities for collaboration among these groups. They have also been working on a solution to better label and post public access to waterfront areas at Pine Point. Additionally, the committee is currently looking into a newly created nonprofit organization called the Southern Maine Dredge Authority, in which southern Maine coastal communities would share use of a dredge.



The Shellfish Committee has been working diligently on what conservation time for license holders entails and making updates to the ordinance. Conservation time is volunteer work done by license holders and is done by conducting shellfish surveys or trapping green crabs, an invasive species that eats juvenile shellfish. There is an ordinance requirement for license holders to complete conservation time as a parameter of annual licensing issuance, as it helps support the sustainability of the Scarborough Marsh. The committee met with the Department of Marine Resources about survey data and training.

There has also been discussion on potentially changing residency requirements, and they have made some changes to the one-day licenses, which would allow vacationers to purchase a license for 3-4 days even when Town Hall is not open.

Zoning Board of Appeals

Welcome New Members

The Board of Appeals is comprised of 5 voting members and 2 alternates. At the last meeting of 2022, the Board elected a new chair and vice-chair, and said goodbye to the outgoing officers James Hebert and Rudy Caron. The Board is now chaired by Peter Freilinger, with Christine Snow as vice-chair. The other voting members include David Bourke, Michelle Stephenson, and Richard Silkman. New Board members include Kyle Noonan, first alternate, and Joseph Doherty, second alternate. 

Role of Zoning Board of Appeals

The Board of Appeals (BOA) has a very important role acting in a quasi-judicial capacity to follow stricter procedural requirements (The term “quasi-judicial” literally means court-like; implying that proceedings must be similar to those followed in court proceedings). If the requirements are not followed, a court could invalidate the decision if it is challenged. 

Generally, the Board of Appeals is authorized to hear and decide administrative appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, decision or ruling made by the Building Inspector (Code Enforcement Officer or Zoning Administrator) in the enforcement of the Ordinance. The action of the Building Inspector may be modified or reversed by the Board of Appeals only by majority vote of those members present and voting. In the event of a tie vote, the action of the Building Inspector shall be affirmed. 

Current Hearing

Since the first meeting in 2023, the Board has been hearing an administrative appeal by State Manufactured Homes, which alleged that the code officer erred in not issuing a certificate of occupancy for a new unit at Pine Crest Manufactured Home Community. 


Zoning Board meetings were held on February 8 and January 11, 2023. Meetings are listed chronologically on YouTube, beginning with the most recent.

Community Services Advisory Board

The Community Services Advisory Board acts as a sounding board for the Community Services Department. The Board provides recommendations for consideration to the Council as requested on matters pertaining to planning, developing, financing and implementation of Community Services’ programming and facilities.

The CSAB continues their work on establishing Board goals and then ultimately creating action items to set a path for their work and objectives. They work towards increasing their overall understanding of the Community Services department and how it operates. Examples of their efforts include expense and revenue reviews as well as planning for fee reviews. 

Most recently the Town Council reviewed and accepted the Parks and Facilities Master Plan. During that motion they requested the Community Services Advisory Board provide recommendations on implementation strategies of the plan. The order reads:

Order No. 23-023. Act on the request to formally accept the Parks and Facilities

Master Plan as presented to the Town Council on February 1, 2023 and direct the

Community Services Advisory Board to provide recommendations on implementation

by June 7, 2023.

The Board will be discussing these strategies over the next few meetings.

Senior Programs Advisory Board

Last year, the Senior Programs Advisory Board was invited to participate in the UMaine Center on Aging Lifelong Communities Fellows Program. This program matches an experienced age friendly leader with host communities to provide assistance and resources over an eight-month period around one to two projects. It also came with a $1,000 mini grant towards a project in the action plan.

The UMaine fellow is working with an Age Friendly subcommittee to use the grant toward a speaker series around aging. The series kicked off with its first event on February 27 at the SCS Hub. The topic was "Aging Safely in Your Home", and the panel of presenters included Scarborough Fire Department, MedCOR, The Iris Network, Alpha One, and Project GRACE. It was well attended with 32 community members.

Scarborough Fire Chief Rich Kindelan was one of the panelists on the "Aging Safely in Your Home" program on February 27.

The March Speaker series theme is "Computer and Internet Safety". The USM Cybersecurity Ambassadors held a presentation on March 3 at Scarborough Public Library on "Phishing, Identity Protection, Social Media, and Everyday Home Cyber Security". The Ambassadors will be presenting again at the Library on March 31 with a program called "Lessons on Password Protection" (Learn more).

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the age-friendly subcommittee can email staff liaison Cindy DiBiase at [email protected]. Future events will be posted in the town e-newsletter and library newsletter.

The Senior Programs Advisory Board has been reviewing the charge of their committee and continues to discuss further opportunities for engaging current members and being more active in the community. If you are interested in being a part of developing Scarborough's senior program offerings, consider applying to join the board.

Join Us: Tune In or Fill a Vacancy

Watch a Committee Meeting

Committee meetings are a great starting point for you to participate in your particular topics of interest—they are less formally structured than Town Council meetings and allow ample opportunity for discussion. Find agendas on each individual webpage (all listed here), tune in on the Town's YouTube channel, or participate in person or on Zoom (link in the agenda). Committee meeting dates are listed on each committee page or on the Town Calendar.


Apply to Join a Committee

We also invite you to consider joining a committee. Your time and expertise would have tremendous impact on the Town. Our municipal government relies on the volunteer service of residents on boards and committees. If you are interested in serving on a committee, apply online today.

The following boards/committees currently have vacancies:

• ADA Advisory Committee

• Conservation Commission

• Historic Preservation Implementation Committee

• Planning Board

• Senior Advisory Board

• Sustainability Committee

Applications are reviewed monthly by our Appointments and Negotiations Committee.

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