Imagine the Future - Listening Sessions

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Through the month of August, several listening sessions took place throughout the Town so we could all continue the conversation about how we Imagine Scarborough in the future. Here is all the information/feedback gathered during those meetings.

Thanks to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you at the Planapalooza, September 25-28, 2017.

Through the month of August, several listening sessions took place throughout the Town so we could all continue the conversation about how we Imagine Scarborough in the future. Here is all the information/feedback gathered during those meetings.

Thanks to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you at the Planapalooza, September 25-28, 2017.

Discussions: All (5) Open (5)
  • Oak Hill Meeting

    over 4 years ago
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    How would you describe the character of Scarborough?

    • Diversity
    • Economically
    • Politically
    • Welcoming
    • A place for everybody
    • Focus on public safety
    • Inclusivity
    • Balance of rustic and city
    • Progressive
    • Environmental, sustainability, conservation initiatives
    • Conservative
    • Opportunities available
    • Farming heritage
    • Great place to raise a family
    • 7 Villagessearching for one organizing principle
    • Build around little villages
    • Highlight villages
    • Honor history of the villages and settlement patterns
    • Beauty of the land mass – variety of neighborhood types
    • Full of Potential

    What attracted you to Scarborough?

    • Schools
    • Trails
    • Beaches, Marsh, Open Spaces
    • Lack of high density development
    • Proximity to work
    • Walkable, bike-friendly neighborhoods
    • Library
    • Retirement-friendly
    • Proximity to Portland
    • Rural nature but close to amenities
    • Easy commute
    • Eastern Trail
    • Mix of characteristic types
    • Family
    • Affordability
    • Compared to Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth
    • Environmental features
    • Bigger house lots
    • Happy medium between rural and urban
    • Safe, affordable neighborhoods
    • Natural Resources
    • Preservation of land

    What is your vision for Scarborough in the next 20 years?

    • Community has potential with all the resources we have available
    • Harder to get around – Traffic issues
    • Careful with development patterns
    • Higher density than 30 years ago
    • Many trees removed throughout town
    • Originally farming community, character has changed
    • Sidewalks are important even in the older neighborhoods
    • Conserving natural elements of the town
    • Development should be walkable, not just drivable to services and amenities
    • Need more emphasis on arts in schools
    • Need to protect environmentally sensitive areas
    • Focus on walkability within Oak Hill area – good for both residents and businesses
    • Sewer extension prompted the villages to become suburb and exploded
    • Sea level rise need to be considered
    • Need mixed uses in neighborhoods to promote walkability and community
    • Preserve/create village schools (K-2)
    • That children can walk to and from
    • Complete Streets
    • Including public transportation
    • More sidewalks
    • Safer crosswalks
    • Bike facilities
    • Traffic calming
    • More walkable/bike community
    • Connect sidewalk network within the village centers and neighborhoods
    • Commit to 100% renewable energy
    • Light Pollution is an issue, we should be able to see the stars at night
    • Need to work on implementation tools
    • Oak Hill has a brown glow over it
    • Continue being proactive with growth because of the geography of the Town
    • Diversity in the housing stock
    • Lack of Community Center/Senior Center needs to be a focus
    • Coordinated thinking – regional approach to sea level rise and other issues that cross our borders
    • Accessibility concerns with town playgrounds
    • Community center located in an area that is walkable to neighborhoods and in the Town center
    • More involvement from the younger demographic in town
    • More efficiency in terms of energy needs
    • Community Town Center – how do you create that around the Oak Hill area?
    • Traffic needs to be diverted
    • By-pass??
    • Route 1 is a divide for the Town
    • Traffic-calming can be used to make the area walkable
    • Community Pool is needed
    • More focus on schools
    • Retirement friendly, but we also need to also draw young professionals and families
    • If schools are not supported then they will lose those families
    • Not enough affordable housing
    • Need enough affordable housing to accommodate middle income residents
    • Diversity of housing promote diversity of age groups
    • Long term residents can’t afford to stay
    • Tax relief for long-term residents – are there tools to target seniors needing help
    • Hard to envision a downtown other than Oak Hill – need to get traffic off Route 1
    • Education is a center piece of a successful community to attract people to Scarborough
    • Falmouth is an example of what can happen to Route 1
    • Fiscal sustainability
    • Government involvement with broadband access
    • Most people don’t need broadband access
    • Needed by businesses and remote commuters

    Make sure that you…..

    • Do a professional survey of the entire community
    • Communicate all the activity around the comp plan
    • Develop a plan that preserves open and historic lands
    • Consider sea level rise
    • Consider autonomous vehicles
    • Consider natural resource areas in town 

    Be Careful not to….

    • Allow unlimited growth
    • Be biased

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  • Pine Point Meeting

    over 4 years ago
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    Process Comments: 

    • A survey of the Community is needed.  (Staff noted that we are looking at doing an insert into the Leader that is mailed to every household)
    • Like the idea of a the Leader Survey – but the Character of Scarborough is seasonal - You need to access the summer residents – they won’t be able to attend Planapalooza. Could you use the tax assessor address files to at least mail a survey to summer residents? Could be very efficient way to ensure you reached property owners in beach neighborhoods.
    • Pine Point has an email distribution list, but it is not as robust as the Higgins Beach list.

    What drew you to Scarborough?

    • I was born here, I care about the area.  Moved away in my 20’s but came back. Bought an old house and renovated.  I have deep roots with Family and friends in the area
    • I don’t want to see the access limited to the beach here at Pine Point.  Many of the old pathways are disappearing.  That is changing the character of Pine Point.
    • If you live here, on one of the little streets and have to walk to park, that’s not living at the beach.  Having beach access at your door is important.
    • The new wharf, increased fishermen, and we’ve become a magnet for visitors.
    • My Grandfather built our house in 1938. I lived at the old orchard end. We were the only family that lived in the community year round.  Not a car would go by.  I really like the off season because it’s quiet. Every year it gets busier and busier.
    • We want to preserve the small community feeling.  On my street there are still houses that are vacant in winter.
    • I hope that marine access is discussed.  It was part of the 2006 Comp Plan, but I feel like we failed on marine access – we lost access at Bayley’s Lobster pound and others. 
    • Make sure that we retain access for residents
    • Lets’ look at the 2006 comp plan and identify where we fell short, where we exceeded and where we just met the goals.
    • I came to Scarborough 10 years ago, I was looking for a more rural community and Scarborough was an attractive community with great access to Portland, access to beach access to a nice community.
    • My first summer was in 1948 at 3 months old.  Parents had a cottage in Pine Point.  Summered here every year and have a great affinity for area.
    • Scarborough is unique in that there are some very identifiable neighborhoods.  Trying to preserve some of what Scarborough has been is important.  The access to other areas is good, but it can cause some stress between residents and others.
    • Sold our cottage because we could not afford the taxes. It was very hard.  There aren’t many year-round residents here, so not much pressure on the schools.
    • I get concerned that some family will get wiped out as they come over the bridge.  Traffic and parking present a dangerous situation. My preference is to not have parking along the road because of safety concerns. 
    • Town should look at ways to garner revenue from parking – perhaps have resident stickers. 
    • Don’t let the area get over utilized  Pine Point is mixture of businesses and residents, I hope it will be preserved, but some of the businesses are depending on town resources for their parking. That’s not equitable.
    • There needs to be a careful balancing of what’s happening. 
    • How do you get moorings?

    Staff summary – Sounds like you want to make sure use of public realm balances with the residents. It’s a balancing act of seasonal and year-round residents.  What does this look like? Is there a role for the Town?  Should the Town have a policy for the short-term rentals?

    • I have a guest cottage that was grandfathered. We collect the 9% lodging tax.  All the services – we are paying for everything. Particularly for visitor impact. Yet we don’t get anything back from the State. If our legislators bring that up, we should support them
    • I have thought a lot about Bayley’s Campground. There are 750 sites that are full all summer long.  Town isn’t being paid anything for the visitors from the trolly.  They are not on sewer.  Odor problem at times.  I think Town should take a hard look at whether or not the camp grounds are paying for their impact.
    • Town of OOB assesses the camp grounds in the off season. People leave their trailers. They have decks and hot tubs etc. They are really permanent sites.  Are they paying the full freight? If every site has 4 people, a family, there is a least 3,000 people there all season long. Noise and smoke from the camp fires is a problem
    • We were drawn to Scarborough as a happy medium between urban and rural. Wonderful combination of everything.  Five minutes to airport etc.  From a transportation stand point it’s great.  I think for what we are paying for taxes, I feel like we have a full service town and excellent school system.  In 20 years, I want to see more of a sense of community.  Find something that unites us as a community.  Maybe it’s the marsh, maybe it’s the community center.  I’m hoping a more united community. There are situations unique to Pine Point and Higgins, but I’d like to see how we tie the great things about Scarborough together.
    • There are issues that are specific to areas. Are there visions that transcend Pine Point?
    • Pine Point can be a fishing community, but how many of them live in the community. Trying to create a greater sense of community is important. The boroughs have been separate communities for a long time, but we can find ways to connect.
    • The trip on Route One has become a painful path.  It took an hour and half to come down from Portland.  How do you address this?
    • People certainly don’t move to Scarborough because of Route 1! You really have to think about where you are going and when you are going. What can be done about Route One.
    • The improvements in traffic lights in Dunstan was well done.  I come from the Boston area and it’s a pleasure to drive around here.
    • I think of things in the big picture.  Big issues get addressed in small places.  I would like to see the town unite around living and planning in a sustainable way. I’d like us to have sustainability as our vision of the future.
    • It’s hard to do sustainable transportation, but we can encourage electric car use.  We could facilitate this by having charging stations available.  It’s a perfect place for electric cars.  Encourage solar development, we could work on codes and ordinances that encourage solar development.
    • I see development in West Scarborough with all the houses faced to the road rather than looking for optimum solar access.  Solar orientation could be tremendous amount of savings.  Our town could be preemptive on developing regulations.
    • I don’t’ want the Town of Scarborough to provide charging station.  I don’t want my tax money going toward something a private company could be doing.
    • Having ordinances that encourage solar and super insulation is great.
    • Would not want our town to buy all electric vehicles if it is going to cost us money.  Encourage the private sector. 
    • I would love to see a community center – meet, take classes, promote community.  I go to Cape Elizabeth for swimming and OOB for adult ED.  
    • Scarborough offerings are not that appealing.  OOB and Saco work together on their programs.  The programs are pay for themselves. Sense of community can come from building a community center.
    • I would investigate solar and super insulation, but Scarborough needs to be concerned about losing a cohort of property owners if the regulations create a greater cost of housing.

    (Staff)Back to balance – how do you encourage a diverse community? Diversity of housing - concerns and mixed feeling about different types of housing… What do folks think about the role of MF in the community?

    • Do we have a choice in terms of growth?  I’m not concerned about the types of housing.  Families have changed. We don’t have large families anymore. Southgate [Avesta Project] is a great development. We are not quite big enough to support certain things.  The “Y” decided not to come here because there wasn’t going to be enough fundraising capacity. Maybe we have reached a population level that would make them reconsider.
    • I’m fine with the multifamily on Haigis.  Scarborough – a lot of people were concerned, timing is everything, and we missed the boat on some items that we hemmed and hawed about.

    Staff: So it sounds like you are saying that density in certain areas of town works. 

    • I admit it – I’m in favor of growth in the right places. Not at Pine Point.
    • Speaking of housing – what is going to happen with Scarborough Downs.  It can be a significant asset to the community.
    • Not as a casino.
    • Mixed use, prime piece of real estate. Access to turnpike – I view as a real asset for future development.

    Councilor: As that property becomes available – should the town invest in it?  (CHRIS)

    • That’s a tough concept.  Prefer private developer to do it and the town work with the developers.
    • There are other companies that don’t want to pay the price of Portland, so there should be some opportunities for Scarborough.
    • Private sector should address the site.
    • Retail is nonexistent.  People can work from home, the need for new development is not what it used to be.  Hopefully whoever goes into Scarborough Downs, will be a good one and will attract others.
    • I think that when you are thinking about these developments we really have to think about the traffic.  Maybe there is a way to build a through road?
    • We have an opportunity with the Public Safety building moving out to have development that would slow the traffic down and get the through traffic off the road.
    • Allow people to get on the turnpike for free to get the through traffic off Route One.

    Staff asked if you were giving advice to the consultants – How would you finish these statements: Make sure to…  and Do no damage to….. 

    • I didn’t know what this was about but I am concerned about Ave 2. It’s an icon it’s the last one.  It’s an icon at pine point – the last path. They are all gone. 
    • I hope someday that I never hear that all the rights of ways become private ways and take the public access away. These are my concerns.
    • Life has changed and life is evolving, but I don’t want to see the public right of ways taken away.
    • Just leave it as is – the Town does not need to make it “pretty”
    • Town responsibility for cleaning the beach.  What’s the schedule – this is a responsibility for the town that is ongoing.
    • If OOB can keep it clean, so can Scarborough.
    • Maintain our common public lands. 
    • Red algae – important to clean the beach.  Beaches that are not combed and cleaned have less erosion. Our beach has grown we are fortunate.
    • Town has done a great job with the red algae. 
    • I want all the assets that the Town has to be available to as many people as possible for free. We’ve got to preserve what we have.

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  • Higgins Beach Meeting

    over 4 years ago
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    Character of the Town

    • No defined center
    • Character is Schizophrenic – different areas of town want different things
    • Traffic is extreme
    • Our traffic is complex because there is access everywhere
    • Why pursue growth – it leads to more traffic
    • Pass through traffic is intense
    • Scarborough offers the best roads for cycling
    • Bicycle paths needed
    • We need public transportation – It would be nice to have shuttle into town

    What attracted you to Scarborough?

    • The beauty of coming into town on Broadturn road many years ago – it was beautiful and welcoming. We came from Vermont and we thought the farmlands were unbelievable.
    • Uncle had summer rental and introduced her and her sisters to Scarborough, who have since bought homes here.
    • I summered in Maine as a child. I think we should approach Higgins Beach with a light touch and leave it alone.
    • I’m the 6th generation of my family to be here in Higgins. 
    • I’ve followed my parents to Higgins Beach
    • My future wife brought me to Higgins – we liked the beaches,the schools, the proximity to Portland.
    • I’ve been here since 1987. I wanted to be at the beach in an area with a rural feeling.
    • Quality of Senior Living (Piper Shores) facilities are important. 
    • We have always been coastal folks.
    • I’ve been a part of Higgins since 1939. I came with my parents – we summered here from New York. I eventually bought here as an adult.
    • No choice but to be in Scarborough – I was born on a farm on 77. Went to school in Boston then bought here in 1960
    • Attracted to friends and family here – Higgins was a community, not just a beach location. People of community are fantastic
    • Calm, peaceful evening atmosphere at the beach
    • Scarborough is unique.

    General Ideas:

    • Scarborough needs to increase funding at schools to maintain quality
    • We can’t attract people without providing quality schools
    • Look at fiscal impact of cost of schools for all
    • Town needs to look at infrastructure
    • Town needs to do a better job of bridging the need for quality schools to everyone in the community.  I believe everyone wants good schools. We may differ on how to get there.
    • Need more ways to involve more citizens in the discussions
    • Schools need to reach out to the community
    • We may need to change to Council districts.  We are at a point where areas of town need representation, rather than just area wide representation.

    Make Sure You…. 

    • Use a light touch
    • Look at what has happened to beach communities to the south. Carolinas, New Jersey, New York – overcome with development, destroying the character of the Beach towns
    • Maintain the differences in the community and preserve what is unique.
    • Understand the character of all the areas of Scarborough. You may not have a single set of characteristics of Scarborough – but each area has characteristics
    • Preserve old homes and architecture
    • Find the qualities that will unite the different areas of Scarborough.  What are we all connected to – is it the Marsh? It could be multiple concepts

    Make sure you don’t…

    • Erase the agricultural heritage of the community
    • Let too much growth happen.

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  • North Scarborough Meeting

    over 4 years ago
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     How do we move traffic flow through our town? 

    •  Need infrastructure to move people to towns beyond Scarborough 
    •  Would like to see Scarborough growth continue in the town center, near turnpike, the mall area 
    •  Attract families and young professionals 
    •  Connect neighborhoods 
    •  Bike lanes, sidewalks to connect neighborhoods to other neighborhoods and services 
    •  Concern with growth ahead of necessary infrastructure 
    •  Concern with the Route One arterial running through the center of town, high speeds, not able to walk and bike safely 
    •  Roadway infrastructure hasn’t changed in decades while development has continued to happen 
    •  Opportunity with redevelopment of Scarborough Downs, different uses and possibilities 
    •  Denser housing development and creating more open space 
    •  More affordable housing needed 
    •  Look closely at minimal lot sizes to avoid overdeveloping and losing attractiveness and character
    • Preserve historic buildings and sites 
    • Relocation of historic buildings will lose historic value 
    •  Encourage commercial development, but not retail development 
    •  Continue to have high expectations on design in the built environment 
    •  Create multi-use development that connects live/work spanning uses throughout the day 
    •  Need more restaurants 
    •  Create more opportunities for community gathering 
    •  Need amenities close by, should growth areas be reconsidered since density has been established 
    •  Are we considering neighboring communities Comp Plans? 
    •  Utility companies future plans need to be considered 
    •  Consider regional context 
    •  Look at zoning across town lines 
    •  Collection of neighborhoods in Scarborough, encourage mixed zoning as these neighborhoods use to be able to stand on their own 
    •  Main commuter collectors should not become super highways 
    •  Need upgraded utilities in town, provisions included while development and construction is happening 
    •  Protection of aquifer – need to extend public water to North Scarborough 
    •  Neighboring communities growth is impacting Scarborough - they should be contributing more on a regional approach 
    •  Time Warner Cable monopoly in Scarborough 
    •  Broader communication 
    • Traditional mailings 
    •  Mobile homes/manufactured homes park zoning is not logically located 
    •  Multi-mode road network needed 
    • o Maintaining shoulders after ditch maintenance 

    Make sure you: 

    •  Preserve character 
    •  Update infrastructure as population increases 
    •  Zone and provide incentives for affordable housing (go up with amenities around it) 
    •  Require affordable housing in residential housing projects 
    •  Encourage diversity in uses 
    •  Track non-developable lands – what is actually able to be developed 

    Be careful not to: 

    •  Lose character 
    •  Spot zoning 
    •  Lose forested areas, green space, street trees 
    •  Drive out the seniors 

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  • Conservation Groups Meeting

    over 4 years ago
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     Scarborough is rich in natural resources and needs to be highlighted in new plan 
     How do you define success of 2006 Comp Plan? 

    • Is evaluation/analysis a part of the comp plan process? 
     Identify growth areas? Eastern Village example of density described in 2006 comp plan 
     Visualization of changes in planning in Scarborough over time 
    • Look at community from the air; helps conceptualize impacts of 2006 plan 
    • Growth permits can be mapped in GIS for visual analysis (Jay) 
    • Timeline of techniques (Karen) 
     Scarborough’s natural treasures 
    • Marsh 
    • 5 rivers that flow through town 
    • Head of Saco Bay; largest stretch of barrier beaches in state 
    • Soils of statewide significance 
    • Agriculture—rich history 
    • Mature forests 
    • Bonds for conservation; 3 times by overwhelming majority 
    • Rank in top 10 of population in state of Maine 
    • Development attractive; business and residential 
     Criteria for success in the plan; can it be added? (yes) 
    • How to measure success factors in new plan 
    • Benchmarking 
     Find the right tools to measure 
     Acknowledge of agriculture—add to themes 
     Protection and/or conservation of marine resources 
     Economic incentives for commercial land or brownfields? 
    • Haigis Parkway? 
    • Scarborough Downs 
     How to manage a large piece of land coming available 
     Downs property has flexible zoning in Scarborough (currently) 
     Flooding with climate change and sea level rise 
     Limit impacts of development in vulnerable areas in town 
    • Infrastructure 
    • What development we do have is resilient 
     Separate climate change and sea level rise 
     Protection of marsh and tributaries 
    • Call out rivers 
    Limit use of pesticides and fertilizers in tributaries as well as buffer
    Stormwater drainage; look at soil structure in development 
     Link language of green infrastructure in new comp plan 

    • Stormwater 
    • Capacity of Stormwater review locally; reinforce in plan 
     Renewable energy linkage to development and municipal campus 
     Aesthetics and viewshed considerations in development 
     Protect woodlands and mature forests—protect large undeveloped blocks of land 

    • What do you mean by “protect large undeveloped blocks of land”? 

     Quantify “large” 

    • Contiguous 
     Easement development for 2+ acre lots? To make trail corridors for safe access to village centers 
     Concern about development sprawl in Scarborough

    • Balance smart development and contiguous open spaces 
    • Consider cumulative impacts of development 
    • Alternate uses of land to landowners; offer incentives (economic or otherwise) 

     Other than sell land for development 

    • Identify large parcels of land in town 
     TDR example; not successful when first tried 
     Over the next 10 years to preserve public access to natural resources in Scarborough 
     Protect more of the Nonesuch 

    • Greenbelt around/adjacent to Nonesuch 
    • Up against the Gorham line 
    • West of the Turnpike 

     Resiliency 

    • Pine Point 
    • Jones Creek 
    • Focus in on coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise 
    • How do these neighborhoods maintain vitality facing risks of climate change and sea level rise 
    Pete’s storm surge maps as a part of document 
    Imagine the Future 
    Maintaining connectivity of waterways in town 

    • Fish 
    • Aquatic mammals 
    • Maintaining passage of water 
    • Reconnect xx% waterways 
    • When a project comes up don’t replace in-kind, think about future 
     Revitalizing native fishery 
     Love to see Route 1 across the marsh become a raised causeway so water flows freely to marsh 
     Eliminate phragmites 
     Connectivity trail; biking and walking to navigate town safely 
     Healthy and vibrant habitat in Scarborough marsh continuing 

    • More protection along the upland edge of the marsh 
    • Lessen impingement 
     Mason Libby Road has undersized culverts that need to be addressed 
     Eco-friendly public transportation system 

    • Get into Portland without driving 
    • Dense development with open space 
    • Demographics are changing in Scarborough; aging population can lead to more dense areas 

     Cool downtown area with restaurants and attractions 

    • Walkability 
    • Create a village feel 

     Love the Eastern Trail 

    • Complete and connected to South Portland and Portland 
    • Eastern Greenbelt connection along the east coast 

     Flashing red left turn signals; like Falmouth for traffic flow 

    • Not at Oak Hill 

     Parts of town are hard to navigate 

    • Oak Hill 
    • Beech Ridge area 

     Consideration of commercial development areas and trees to the street instead of clearing 

    • Like Haigis Parkway and not Payne Road 
     Plant trees along Oak Hill 
     Public parking lots to natural resource areas 

    • Access to coastline? Is it enough? 
    • Maintain adequate access on par with population growth and tourism needs 

    One Piece of Advice to Consultants 

    •  Don’t touch the marsh 

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Page published: 14 September 2017, 11:04