April 2019
News & updates
New SMPDC Website

SMPDC is excited to announce the launch of our new and improved website!

On the homepage of the website if you scroll to the bottom or click the "Our Region" tab you will find a map, click on a town in the map for more information regarding demographics, projects completed etc.

To view our new website click below or visit smpdc.org.
Southern Maine Trails Page

SMPDC created a York County Trails Initiative page as a resource containing maps of trails in Southern Maine. You can view this page here or by clicking below
Regional & Rural Planning
Town Comp Plan Surveys

Recent comp plan survey results for Lebanon and Denmark can be found below. We like to keep everyone informed about all parts of the region. The issues seen in both were: maintaining rural nature and quality of life, management of locally owned roads, and keeping taxes low. We think these issues reflect a broader desire to attract new residents, younger families and preserve rural character. Using the word scramble on the second page of the Lebanon results might look good. They do not have zoning or police which is why those words appear larger. The zoning issue could be seen by other towns as a way to control growth and preserve rural character, and is important to both Denmark and Lebanon. Therefore zoning could be used as a common trait of these towns, but we wanted to give you some context, as most other towns have zoning and Lebanon does not.
Newfield Comp Plan

SMPDC recently helped the town of Newfield update the inventory section of its Comprehensive Plan. Working with the town, who has been working on the plan for a few years; SMPDC crafted an inventory that identifies Newfield’s resources, public services and characteristics. At the Newfield Town Meeting in March, Newfield adopted the inventory by vote. The information from the inventory will be used to help the town craft Goals, Policies and Strategies in 2019. We look forward to continuing working with the town and its residents, and congratulations on completing your inventory!
Calling All Municipalities: Recently Announced Funding Opportunities!!!
Several funding opportunities for culvert upgrades and coastal planning have recently been announced by state and federal entities. SMPDC is available to assist our communities with developing project ideas, drafting proposals, and serving as a partner to implement projects.  
Shore and Harbor Planning Grants
The Maine Coastal Program just released its annual solicitation for the Shore and Harbor Planning Grant Program. The grant program provides funding for harbor management, dredging studies, public access, and waterfront planning in coastal towns through municipal and regional projects. For more information and the full program statement, visit the DMR website: https://www.maine.gov/dmr/mcp/grants/shore-and-harbor-planning-grants.html

Stream Crossing Upgrade Grants
The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting proposals for the Stream Crossing Upgrade Grant Program for public infrastructure improvement projects on municipal roads involving culvert upgrades of stream crossings to improve public safety, minimize impacts to water quality and improve habitat for fish and wildlife. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, June 3, 2019. There will be another round of funding in the fall of 2019. For more information about the grant program, visit: https://www.maine.gov/dep/land/grants/stream-crossing-upgrade.html. The RFP, Application, and additional information can be accessed here: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bbm/procurementservices/vendors/grants 

National Coastal Resilience Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting proposals for its FY2019 National Coastal Resilience Fund. The request is for projects that restore, increase, and strengthen natural infrastructure — the landscapes that help absorb the impacts of storms and floods — to ultimately protect coastal communities and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Pre-proposals are due May 20 th and full proposals are due July 22 nd. The completed RFP can be found at: https://www.nfwf.org/coastalresilience/Pages/2019rfp.aspx

Coastal Grants for Municipal and Regional Projects
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry's Municipal Planning Assistance Program (MPAP) and the Maine Department of Marine Resources Maine Coastal Program (MCP) are seeking applications for the 10 th round of Coastal Community Grants for FY 2020.
The application information and forms can be found in the FY20 Coastal Community Grant Program Statement: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/financial_assistance.shtml
Case studies of Coastal Community Grant projects prepared by grant recipients can be found at:  https://www.maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/casestudies/ccg-case-studies.shtml
For more information about the Maine Coastal Program visit: https://www.maine.gov/dmr/mcp/
For more information about the Municipal Planning Assistance Program visit:

Did you know Maine is a “Delivery State?”

You know the old saying; you learn something new every day? Well I have in fact learned something new that is very old and could pose a problem with the state subdivision law.
I have been working in this field for 35 years and just came to realize that Maine is a “delivery state.” What is that you ask? It simply means that a deed is not required to be recorded in the Registry of Deeds and when land is transferred from the Grantor to the Grantee, it's considered the day the deed is executed! My bad for not understanding this but I think it brings about a larger issue for municipalities.
The “delivery” date mechanism was created before the formation of the County Registry of Deeds and has been in the books since then. I have no problem with the delivery date however; the “delivery” date method does not require any notice or notification to a community in a timely manner to notify the town that the lot had been created.  This puts the towns at a disadvantage to review the lot for proper lot size with the town’s zoning, compliance with the state subdivision law and for various assessment purposes.
This all came about when I was asked to review some deeds that were recorded in the registry and did not meet the 5 year time period between lot creations as stated in the state subdivision regulations. Meaning, the three lots created needed to go to subdivision review with the Planning Board.  It was at that time I was told that the date was not the recording date but the date of “delivery” between the grantor and grantee. Going by those dates, the lots met the required time frame.  I have always used the date of recording in the Registry of Deeds as the date to determine the 5 year time frame between lots being created. To me, this is the only reasonable and consistent tool for communities to use and is much more effective by today's standards with electronic filing and instant information available to the communities. The chances of this becoming a change are slim since we are so committed to the date of delivery process. 
My point in all of this is that the state subdivision law does not indicate how to calculate the 5 year rule! The wording in the subdivision law should go on to indicate that “the 5 years shall be calculated from the date of delivery between the grantor and grantee”. This should be considered by the legislature in an amendment to the subdivision law for the purpose of making it clear how to calculate the 5 year window.  
Economic Development
Kittery's Homestead Nursing Home

We are excited to announce the SMPDC Executive Committee officially granted a loan to cleanup and demolish the former Homestead Nursing Home in Kittery. The Route 1 site has been approved for redevelopment of housing units and a hotel.
Some of the SMPDC staff and consultants recently completed a site visit (pictured below), where they met with the demolition and contamination cleanup crews. The cleanup of this site will produce a number of benefits to the town and region and remediate an environmental hazard. It is a great example of how the Brownfields Program should work!
The Story of Biddeford's Revitalization

Biddeford now known as the youngest city in Maine, where what were once old mills with limited use are now businesses and housing units. Click below to view a recent article posted by the Journal Tribune regarding the transformation and revitalization of Biddeford through the Brownfield's programs success.

SMPDC/I-95 Corridor Coalition Drone Workshop held on April 11 th

SMPDC worked with staff and consultants from the I-95 Corridor Coalition to organize a UAS or “drone” workshop focusing on operations and use cases.
Over sixty people from seven states and multiple agencies attended the workshop, which was held in Portsmouth at the NH Department of Environmental Services regional office. Morning sessions included presentations highlighting how several departments are using drones to support their operations. Speakers included:
  • Maine and Massachusetts State Police
  • Delaware and Massachusetts DOT’s
  • York County Emergency Management Agency
  • WMTW Channel 8
In the afternoon, drones took to the air as Delaware DOT and the Maine State Police provided live demonstrations, and additional discussion with the pilots.  For more information about the workshop or to see copies of the presentations, contact Tom Reinauer at SMPDC.
Other News
Upcoming Work
 What is this below you ask?
The SMPDC staff gathered this April to discuss upcoming work for the year. Among many other projects, pictured below is some of the work we will be doing in the land use field alone. It is quite a handful for our land use team. We are glad to be busy and happy to be assisting our towns!
SMPDC Annual Meeting
Our 54th Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting will be held on Wednesday June 5th at 5:30pm at the Sanford Town Club

More information and invitations will be going out soon.

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