July 2022

Town of Scarborough

Board & Committee Newsletter

Thank you for your continued interest in Town of Scarborough updates! We send out a twice monthly newsletter, but also periodically send special edition newsletters for a deeper dive on topics we don't want you to miss. Learn more about what Scarborough boards and committees have been working on.

The Town of Scarborough has nearly 20 citizen-led boards and committees that meet at varying frequencies throughout the year. Each of these are supported by the commitment and expertise of Scarborough resident volunteers. The boards and committees each have a charge and goals which guide their work and create 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.

Stay Connected Visit our Boards & Committees page for access to meeting agendas, or check the Town Calendar for a look at recent meetings and links to recordings.

Conservation Commission

Sustainability Committee

The Conservation Commission had a recent goal-setting session and is making an effort align their goals and actions with the ones outlined in the Town's 2021 Comprehensive Plan. The Commission's goals are split into three categories:

1. Conserving land

2. Building resiliency

3. Promoting engaged citizen stewardship

The Commission is working toward implementing the goals identified. They are also defining conservation-related public benefits, which could be considered as part of contract zoning or Growth Management Ordinance exemption deliberations. 

Over the past few months, the Conservation Commission collaborated with the Sustainability Committee on shared goals. Together they drafted a memo to the Town Council encouraging them to require sustainable building practices and increased conservation when developers seek waivers to the Town's Growth Management Ordinance. 

Looking ahead, the Commission plans to work with local partners to offer workshops and other educational opportunities related to various conservation and sustainability themes, including pesticide-free lawn care, native plants, invasive plants, and others. They are also advocating for better bike and pedestrian trail connectivity and increased public access to open space and natural areas in Scarborough.

The Sustainability Committee aims to promote energy and environmental sustainability in Scarborough by researching energy programs, projects and policies. They are currently working on an ordinance to require all new development and re-development projects to, at a minimum, plan for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure

They have also been working on other Town initiatives over the past few months. The Committee proposed an amendment to the Town's Utility-Scale Solar Ordinance to allow more flexibility to develop solar projects by allowing tree cutting and requiring a re-vegetation plan to be implemented upon completion of the project and upon decommissioning. The Town Council approved the amendment at their October 5 meeting.

As mentioned by the Conservation Commission, the two committees collaborated to draft a memo to the Town Council encouraging them to require sustainable building practices and conservation measures when considering waivers to the Town's Growth Management Ordinance.

Next up, the Committee is exploring how to require or incentivize the use of energy-efficient building practices. 

Both the Sustainability Committee and Conservation Commission partook in the November 20 "Snug it Up" Winterization and Heating Workshop put on by Project GRACE. They were joined at the Scarborough Public Library by Efficiency Maine and event sponsors to offer resources for saving fuel and funds to keep warm at home this winter. 

Long Range Planning Committee

Over the past few months, the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) continued their work prioritizing strategies for the newly adopted 2021 Comprehensive Plan. The Committee ranked their top priorities and work is beginning for review of Town ordinances to achieve the goals of the Comp Plan. They'll continue the work of reviewing Town ordinances against the Comp Plan goals into next year, making recommendations for changes where deemed necessary. The committee will kick off this effort with a review of Commercial Design Standards at their December 2nd meeting.

The LRPC also worked to provide the Ordinance Committee with recommendations concerning traffic and zoning on Two Rod Road.

In addition, in October they provided recommendations for site plan approval amendments for the development of projects under unified ownership requested from the Planning Board.

Developed as a vision for the future of Scarborough, 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. The board meets quarterly and their 2023 schedule is now available on the Town website.

This year they have made three recommendations to the Town Council for land purchase from the Land Bond Fund. The most recent recommendation is for a property on 91 Burnham Road brought forward by the Scarborough Land Trust. Board Chair Suzanne Foley-Ferguson will present their recommendation to the Town Council on December 7.

All properties brought to the board are reviewed through a formal assessment process and given a point value based on certain criteria (Is it adjacent to existing conserved land? Does it protect wetlands?). Looking ahead, the board plans to review their charge and evaluate the Acquisition Evaluation Process (AEP) document to ensure it is in line with today's standards, as it is 20 years old. They will also set further goals for 2023.

Planning Board

The Planning Board has continued to be busy throughout the summer into fall. They spent a substantial amount of time fine tuning the details for the much-anticipated Costco Site Plan during the Summer. They have also been busy reviewing multi-family projects, including Hackamore Place Apartments, the NxGEN Developments mixed use building in the Innovation District of The Downs, and the AR Building, 120 multi-family units on Mussey Road.  

The Planning Board has recently begun the review of The Downs Master Plan revision to the Town Center. It is anticipated to expand the mixed-use offerings in The Downs next year and beyond.  

To date the Planning Board has reviewed 36 projects. More are anticipated for the fall/winter, including two large scale solar utility submittals and a Hannaford E-commerce project.  

Conceptual Master Plan for the Town Center in the Downs (included in the 11/21 meeting agenda).


There are vacancies on the Planning Board. Consider joining! Application details are at the bottom of this email.

Transportation Committee

The focus of the Transportation committee is to continue preparations for a Townwide Transportation Study, which was approved this year in the FY2023 budget process. The last of this study was completed in 2005. The new study will identify existing and anticipated future demands and provide a holistic review of opportunities to address long-term solutions, including infrastructure improvements, transportation demand management, operational improvements, and multimodal improvements and services. It will be a critical resource for modernizing and updating traffic demand impact fee strategies.

This new transportation improvement project map on our website was driven by the Transportation Committee.

The committee also has a goal to better inform the public of the ongoing traffic safety techniques being implemented throughout town. They plan to create regular educational content to highlight these upgrades.

In the past few months, the transportation committee prioritized the need for a map that shows all of the work being implemented within public right-of-ways in Town (Town-led, State-led, and Private Development-led projects). This led to the creation of the Transportation Project Map on the Town website. It can be found on the Transportation page within the Engineering department.

Next up, the committee will continue to review the transportation goals outlined in the 2021 Comprehensive Plan. They will review Vision 5 ("Scarborough’s transportation network will support current and future land uses that create efficiencies which reduce the impact of traffic on residents and businesses.") and discuss implementation strategies. They also plan to revise the Traffic Impact Fee ordinance in the coming months.

Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals (BOA) has a very important role acting in a quasi-judicial capacity to follow stricter procedural requirements. The Board continues to hear variance appeals that request relief from required setbacks, lot size, street frontage, or other dimensional standards that may be preventing the applicant from developing their property as desired. The Board also reviews Special Exception permit applications for proposed uses that not permitted by right, but could be permitted if they meet a number of specific standards demonstrating that the use is not injurious to other uses in the neighborhood. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals heard 15 appeals since July 1, 2022, of which 10 were approved, 4 were withdrawn, and 1 was tabled. Some members of the Board also improved their Boardsmanship skills by attending training workshops for Boards of Appeal hosted by the Maine Municipal Association and by our Town Attorney. 

Two of the current Board members have expressed their intention to resign at the end of the year due to personal obligations. That means the Board will be seeking 2 new members to fill those seats, and will be electing a new Chair to serve in 2023. If anyone is interested in serving on the Board of Appeals, they should contact the Town Clerk's office or fill out an application online.

Community Services Advisory Board

This 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 Board meets every other month and their 2023 schedule is now available on the Town website. They will start off the year with elections for a Chair, etc. in January. From there they will move to setting goals for the year to ensure they are meeting their charge. The Board has one open vacancy—applications are encouraged!

Senior Programs Advisory Board

The Senior Programs Advisory Board was established in an effort to create and provide effective and meaningful programs for Scarborough seniors. Community Services currently offers over a dozen programs aimed towards adults 55+. Because of the success of these programs, 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 comes with a $1,000 mini grant that can be used towards a project in the action plan. The group is currently deciding how best to utilize those funds.

The Board meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm. They are also currently working with a group of volunteers who have expressed an interest in making Scarborough more age-friendly. The sub-committee meets following each board meeting at 2:00pm and would love to have anyone who is interested in age friendly work join their meetings. To learn more, contact staff liaison Cindy DiBiase at (207) 730-4173 or cdibiase@scarboroughmaine.org.

Scarborough has been a member of the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities since 2018. Age Friendly Communities work to implement programs and policies to make their communities more livable for people of all ages through the lens of the older adult.

This group plans to become more active and has vacant spots to fill. 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. There are nearly 20 council-appointed committees made effective by the expertise and commitment of dozens of volunteers. If you are interested in serving on a committee, apply online today.

With terms coming up, there are vacancies in nearly all committees. New members are especially needed on the following boards:

• ADA Advisory Board

• Planning Board

• Senior Programs Advisory Board

Applications are reviewed monthly by our Appointments and Negotiations Committee.

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