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Committee referrals get Comprehensive Plan implementation underway

The Town Council has begun work on implementing the 2019 Comprehensive Plan.

Councilors on Oct. 16, 2019 referred several recommendations of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan to various committees, including the council's ordinance subcommittee, the Conservation Committee and the Planning Board. "Just to clarify, this is to start the work process by all these different advisory committees that will come back with recommendations," said Council Chair Jamie Garvin.

Seven comprehensive-plan recommendations were referred to committee, and one – to incorporate the June 2015 "Cape Elizabeth Sea Level Rising Vulnerability Assessment" report in all water-access improvements – will be considered by the full council.

A ninth recommendation, to streamline administrative tracking of short-term rental activity, was instead referred to the Ordinance Committee for a full, comprehensive review [news article].

Garvin went on to say that all committee meetings are open to the public. Some of the implementation steps, such as amendments to ordinances, will also require public hearings, he said.

Here is a summary of Comprehensive Plan 2019 implementation steps approved Oct. 16:

Recommendation No.
The Town Council may consider adopting a "sentiment" to consider the Vulnerability Assessment report as part of water access improvements:
No. 64 Incorporate the June 2015 "Cape Elizabeth Sea Level Rising Vulnerability Assessment" report as prepared by the Greater Portland Council of Governments in all water access improvements. 
Referred to the Planning Board:
No. 47 Retain the current, stringent Resource Protection Regulations, Shoreland Zoning, Floodplain Management Ordinance, Great Pond Overlay District and cluster development requirements.
No. 48 Review and update the Resource Protection Permit standards to emphasize avoidance and minimization of wetland alterations.
Referred to the Conservation Committee:
No. 72 Assign names to significant unnamed bodies of water and streams.
Referred to the Ordinance Committee:
No. 30 Evaluate reducing the minimum lot size for existing, vacant, nonconforming lots to allow construction on infill lots of between 5,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 sq. ft. in size that will be served by public sewer and water and will comply with the Mandatory Affordable Housing provisions for low-income housing.
No. 82 Review the regulation of existing, nonconforming lots (infill lots) and recommend ordinance revisions that allow nonconforming lots a reasonable opportunity to be built upon and/or buildings expanded to meet the needs of modern households while also protecting the character of neighborhoods.
No. 51 Consider town action to require residents to minimize pesticide use and take advantage or programs such as the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCS) Healthy Yardscaping Initiative.
No. 86 Streamline administrative tracking of short-term rental activity by requiring a permit, without expanding regulatory requirements, for operating a homestay or short-term rental of two weeks per year or less. Expanded to include a thorough and comprehensive review of short-term rental ordinances