1962• Only 3.5% of households had divorced head• 80% of women with children did not work• Only 1% of pop with “no religious preference”• 41% below poverty line in 1949; 20% by ’63• Gallup Poll: 95% of pop self-identified as working class or middle class
Sustain Southern Maine• HUD Livability Principles – Provide more transportation choices. – Promote equitable, affordable housing. – Enhance economic competitiveness. – Support existing communities. – Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
Sustain Southern Maine What we are trying to achieveOur job:• To translate these principles into a format that works for Southern Maine – and is desirable to Southern MainersTranslation:• Find ways that the region can prosper – short and long term - in the face of change
Charting Maine’s Future: 6 Lessons1. Local independence is cultural, historic, and not to be ignored2. Government is not always the most effective change agent3. One state, diverse people4. Mainers are cautious5. Investment requires sustained commitment6. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s still there
Celebrate Home Rule!• Instead of seeing this as an obstacle to change, use it as leverage• Find those places where change benefits people and make it work• This environment provides many opportunities• Local home rule gives power to us!
Sustain Southern Maine The ProcessWe know: 1. People in Maine support preserving rural character, quality of place and increased economic vitality 2. Encouraging higher density mixed-use communities linked by some level of public transit is a good first step toward reaching these (sustainability) goals
Sustain Southern MaineBegin with a Smaller Scale Approach What we also know: • Property rights are a high value in Maine • Creating a large-scale “on paper” regional plan will, by itself, not do much to move the needle So, a different approach: • Sustain Southern Maine is adopting a community-driven, smaller scale approach using the power of home rule
Sustain Southern Maine Creating Centers of Opportunity1. Mapped all existing locations where market-driven growth is already occurring2. Which locations can absorb growth and are best suited for density3. Determine which communities WANT this growth4. Designate them as pilot/demonstration projects5. With an open mind, see what we can learn about making this model work in Maine6. Roll out what we learn to region at large7. Provide tools/planning support for all towns to adopt as they choose
Sustain Southern Maine Centers of OpportunityA center of opportunity will be:• Mixed use, no more than ½-mile in diameter, able to absorb growth, with appropriate infrastructure• Highly competitive for the next generation of job and housing growth in Southern Maine• Tapping into the market’s desire for safe, livable, and walkable neighborhoods,• A testing ground where lessons learned in generating economically sustainable and livable centers can be used throughout the region by other communities
Sustain Southern Maine: Sample Criteria• Community support for concept• Public sewer/water/soil quality for on-site treatment systems• Transportation intersection• Growth area – able to accommodate major growth• Open to community planning• Presence of existing business, public services, recreational, cultural areas, access to fresh food• Quality of school system/support• Replicable to other communities
Communities Interested in Hosting a Center of Opportunity• Brunswick • Westbrook• Yarmouth • Biddeford• Falmouth • Saco• Freeport • Kennebunk• Standish • Kennebunkport• Windham • Hollis• Raymond • Sanford• Gray • Wells• New Gloucester • Lebanon• Portland • Acton• (South Portland) • Kittery• (Cape Elizabeth) • South Berwick• Scarborough • Berwick• Gorham
Pilot Centers of Opportunity• Standish • Westbrook• Gray • Kennebunk• New Gloucester • Sanford• Portland • Wells• South Portland • Kittery• Scarborough
Sustain Southern Maine Centers of Opportunity• If in the next 25 years, 40-50 such locations attract and absorb growth and generate economic stimulus in this manner, we will have successfully changed the pattern of growth in Southern Maine in a way that is: • Sustainable • Economically beneficial • Supports preservation of rural character And in so doing, we will have built a collaborative regional framework that gives the region a stronger voice.