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Large Committee Starts Work on City Guidance Document

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Photo: Sebastiaan ter Berg via Creative Commons

By Lee Burnett, submissions editor

The Sanford City Council recently named 31 people to a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to update the city’s long-range planning document, last updated in 2005. The group includes city councilors, city staff, business owners and citizens. They met for the first time on May 22 to get acquainted and orient themselves to the task ahead.

The process will be led by City Planner Erin Moriarty, a veteran of community-wide engagement efforts. Moriarty has guided the development of 10 comprehensive plans, four downtown plans and one regional transportation plan in earlier work as a private consultant.

At the kickoff meeting, Moriarty provided an overview of the process, which is aimed at reviewing existing data and trends and charting a path forward while remaining responsive to residents.

Moriarty identified seven trends current in comp planning: aging in place; urban livability and walkability; flex work and co-working; buy local and farm to table; transit-oriented development; historic preservation and adaptive reuse; and tourism, marketing and brand.

The process will take a year or more and will include multiple opportunities for participation from the wider community, including periodic community workshops, planning pop-ups and community surveys, Moriarty said. “It’s important that (the comp plan) is unique to Sanford,” she said.

The group spent most of the first meeting cataloging Sanford’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Its next meeting, featuring a market analysis overview, is scheduled for June 26.

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