Cape council moves ahead on new comp plan strategy

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The town of Cape Elizabeth has taken the first step toward creating a new Comprehensive Plan, which will inform land use and zoning decisions in the coming years.

At a workshop on Aug. 29, the Town Council agreed to move forward on the creation of a Comprehensive Plan Committee consisting of nine members, including councilors, School Board members, someone from the Planning Board and five citizens.

It’s been nearly 10 years since Cape created its last Comprehensive Plan and Council Chairwoman Molly MacAuslan said it is time for a new plan because the old one is now outdated.

The goal would be to create a completely new plan, not just to update the one created in 2007, according to a memo provided to the council prior to its workshop last week.

If the council approves the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan Committee at its next meeting, slated for Sept. 12, the goal would be to appoint the committee members in December. They would then have approximately two years to draft a new plan.

Last week, councilors said it’s important to have committee members who are not only passionate about the work, but who will also work well together.

“This is a very big deal and I think it deserves the tremendous attention it’s received in the past and what’s been set up here,” Councilor Jessica Sullivan said.

Across the two-year process, the committee will meet monthly, conduct surveys and hold public forums prior to creating a new plan. The council is also considering hiring a public participation consultant.

If approved, the total budget for the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan is $55,000.

In addition to discussing the appointment of a new Comprehensive Plant Committee, last week the council also discussed the process for finding a new town manager, now that Mike McGovern has announced his resignation.

“It is our intent to have the council serve as the search committee, supported by a professional recruitment firm,” MacAuslan said during the workshop.

A request for proposals is now available on the town website and all applications are due by Sept. 9.

–  Kate Gardner, Sun Media Wire

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