The Clinton Comprehensive Planning Committee has been called upon by the Board of Selectmen to develop a new comprehensive plan to improve the town’s economy, infrastructure and quality of life for residents.

According to Chairman Terry Knowles, the town’s existing comprehensive plan is about three years past its expiration date, which prompted the selectmen in June to request the committee to regroup and begin developing an updated plan.

“Comprehensive plans are supposed to work for about 10 years,” Knowles said in a phone call on Wednesday. “The original plan was adopted in March of 1991 and revised in 2006, so it’s out of date.”

Clinton selectmen have charged the town’s comprehensive plan committee with updating the plan that expired in 2006. Kassidy Perkins milking a simulator cow during a Maine Farm Days event at Misty Meadow farm in Clinton on Aug. 22, 2018. Morning Sentinel file photo

During a selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday evening, Knowles presented the board with an update on the committee’s progress over the last four months.

“(The) heart of the plan is to find ways to continue to build neighborhoods, find ways to continue (to) build commercial centers …” Knowles said. “These growth areas should be where they make the most sense, and to accommodate and stimulate economic growth. We do this by looking at the past, present and plan for the future.”

According to Knowles, the committee’s plans for improving Clinton are split into five stages: inventory, analysis and identifying issues; policy development; implementation strategies; update land use planning; and approval from the town and state.

The committee also divided its focus areas into categories: hazard mitigation, population and demographics, housing, transportation, history and archaeological resources, topographical, soils and water, habitats and other critical natural resources, land use patterns, recreation and open space, economy, public facilities and services, government and fiscal, future land use patterns, and regional approaches.

Knowles said that since June, the committee has completed the inventory, analysis and issue identification stage for five of these categories.

“The thing that we’ve done is look at the past quite extensively,” Knowles said. “(We) look at the current situation and the last thing we do after we go through that process is plan for the future … we want this plan to work for everyone in town.”

According to Knowles, the committee has been receiving advice from the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, a regional planning commission based in Fairfield.

The committee also distributed a 15-question survey to Clinton residents that asks an array of questions to help them gauge the public’s interest. The questions range from how satisfied residents are living in Clinton to what they’d like to see improve to how often they enjoy recreational activities.

The results of the survey will be reviewed at the committee’s public meeting on Oct. 30, which will be held at the Clinton Town Office at 6:30 p.m.

Knowles encouraged the public to attend the meeting in order for both the committee and the community to gain a better understanding of one another.

Knowles also encouraged residents to attend the committee’s regular meetings which are held every third Tuesday at 6 p.m.


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