Casco Comp Plan vote date delayed

Casco Comp Plan vote date delayed


By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — A town’s comprehensive plan is by nature a large document that is designed to express the wishes and wants of the townspeople. Once completed, it is often not updated or redone for more than a decade. The process of putting together a comp plan can often take anywhere from 18 months to two-plus years.

The Town of Casco is in the process of doing its comp plan. ...

This spring, the timeline was to hold a special town meeting in July so residents could vote on whether or not to adopt the proposed comp plan.

That timeline has changed. Everyone is in agreement: Let’s get it right. Then, let’s move to the next chapter of the comp plan story.

Last week, the Casco Board of Selectmen held a workshop with the Casco Comp Plan Steering Committee. 

This summer, the steering committee has been meeting weekly, according to Chair Rae-Anne Nguyen. ...

Apparently, there is still some editing to be done.

“A lot of it comes down to wording: ‘You will, you shall, you must.’ I think that kind of scared people. If we let that [wording] down a little bit,” Selectman Scott Avery said. 

“We sit here and tell everyone this is a living, breathing document, which is basically a road map for the town. And if the town chooses to take that road, it can. But there are other roads as well. . .  The wording has to match that sentiment. We are saying it is a living, breathing, open document, but will/shall is making people uncomfortable. Once we get rid of some that, I think that will settle a lot of things.” ...

Nguyen asked the board: “What was your takeaway from reading the public comments? Are there any hot-button issues that you feel need to be addressed?”

Avery answered “one hiccup point” is that people want the land along Route 302 in Casco to remain zoned agriculture. That’s the area where Raymond Frozen Custard and farm stand is located. ...

Later in the discussion, Edwards said the committee “would like to have this done by the end of year.”

Chairman MacDonald agreed.

“I would love to bring it to a special town meeting in January,” he said.

Nguyen, who was already standing at the podium, spoke.

“We want to see the end point. We want to see our goal posts,” she said.

Selectman Avery said, “You have put in so much time already. You have gone above and beyond what is expected. The last thing I would want to do is rush you into something. If you need to take until the end of year, and you are comfortable with that, then by all means.” ...