Newcastle residents will get a look at the first draft of the town’s new comprehensive plan and land use code during a public presentation Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the Lincoln Academy Alumni Dining Commons.
Consultants from Maine Design Workshop, the firm responsible for drafting the new comprehensive plan and land use code, will lead the presentation, according to Newcastle Local Planning Committee Co-chair Ben Frey.
In the spring, the Newcastle Local Planning Committee hosted a weekend of events, focus groups, and workshops in an effort to get input from Newcastle residents to help shape the new planning documents.
One of the main goals behind rewriting the current comprehensive plan and land use ordinance was to make both documents less cumbersome, Frey said.
“With the current code, it has been heavily band-aided over the years, and it’s frustrating to work with, even to do something simple,” Frey said. “Our goal is to make the process easier, not only for residents, but also for town boards and committees.”
The documents will also seek to accurately reflect the direction residents would like the town to move in, Frey said.
Maine Design Workshop has compiled the feedback received during the spring event in order to make the new plan and code. The Newcastle Planning Board and the Newcastle Design Review Committee have also been consulted with regard to the new documents.
“We’ve been introducing them to the code and the plan to get them used to working with it, because they’re the people who will be dealing with it the most,” Frey said.
To get the word out about the presentation, the Newcastle Local Planning Committee handed out more than 1,000 save-the-date cards on Election Day. Frey has also put the “This is Newcastle” signs back up around town. The committee used the signs to promote the planning process this spring.
“Whenever the signs go up, that means there will be something happening,” Frey said.
There will be more presentations as the comprehensive plan and land use code undergo revision, Frey said. The goal is to have both documents ready for a vote at the annual town meeting in June 2017.
The presentation will take place at the Lincoln Academy Alumni Dining Commons on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments, and the presentation will begin at 7 p.m.
For more information, go to facebook.com/thisisnewcastle.